Microsoft Dynamics® CRM Training
CRM Online Trial: Sample Data
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This is the fourth entry in the CRM Online Trial series, and we are well on our way to effectively evaluating a free 30-day trail of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. So far, we’ve added sample Users to the organization, assigned them Security Roles, and explored the application through these sample Users. Now we are going to create and manipulate sample data in the organization.
When signing in to a trial environment, notice that there are already dashboards featuring graphs and records. This is the representation of default sample data that automatically comes installed in the trial. The default sample data set contains records for each of the following entities:
- Phone Call
This sample data is useful, but can be easy to outgrow. If we need additional sample data, or data from entities not covered in the default sample data, like quotes, orders, and invoices, we can import our own data by using templates, which can be configured in Microsoft Excel. These templates can be downloaded in the Settings module under Data Management and clicking Templates for Data Import.
A dialog opens with a single dropdown field. This field contains all of the entities in the organization. Let’s say we want to add more Accounts to the organization. Note that templates are saved as XML files, and, in order to edit the template, we need to open it using Microsoft Excel.
Notice that all of the columns represent fields for the entity. These are only fields that can have data imported for them. For tips on how to customize these templates, refer to the Success Portal lesson, “Templates for Data Import”. When we click a column heading, an inline box appears providing some information about that field. When we click a cell in that column, another inline box appears. It will tell us if the field is required, what field type it is, and other information like its maximum length.
From here we can enter some real data or make up some dummy data. One thing to consider is making sure that sample data is distinct from real data. For example, let’s insert the word “(sample)” in the name or topic of each record. That way the records can be removed later through a simple Advanced Find search. This convention follows the default sample data in the trial instance.
Once all of the sample data ready to be imported, we’ll go back to CRM Online, navigate to the entity in question, Account in this example, and then click Import Data in the toolbar. There is a lesson in the Success Portal called “Import Data Wizard” that will provide detailed step-by-step instructions on how to do this.
One last tip regarding sample data: if there is no longer a need for the default sample data, it can be removed quite easily. Simply navigate to Settings > Data Management and click Sample Data. The Sample Data dialog opens where we can click the Remove Sample Data button. There is no confirmation window, so once you click the button, the removal process begins.
If the default sample data again at a later date, we can open the same dialog and click the Install Sample Data button.
Sample data is perhaps one of the most important aspects in effectively evaluating CRM Online. It is simple to create, import, and remove. Our next lesson will focus on configuring CRM for Outlook.
For more tips, tricks, and tutorials, please refer to the Success Portal by xRM.com.