Microsoft Dynamics® CRM Training
Importing Data into Microsoft Dynamics 365
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An important step in having a truly functional trial of Microsoft Dynamics 365 is importing at least a small set of existing data, of actual importance or value to you and your organization, to use to trial the system with. While sample data is included with your trial, it is recommended to use familiar data. This video will walk you through importing leads, then go over some best practices for importing accounts and contacts. If you haven’t already, sign up for your free trial of Microsoft Dynamics 365. Check out the Your Successful Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Enterprise Trial video on the Success Portal to learn how. Within Dynamics 365, click the down arrow for Sales along the top of the screen, then, make sure that the Sales app is still selected, and click the Leads entity within the Sales column. Click the down arrow for Import Data above the list of open leads, then click Download Template for Import. After the file downloads, open it in Microsoft Excel – this process may vary depending on your Internet browser. The first thing you’ll want to do is to click Enable Editing, and save the template to your computer. Click File, choose Save As, then click Browse. Choose the desired folder. For this example, I’m just going to save to my Desktop, but choose whichever folder makes the most sense for you. Enter a name for the file, then click Save. You’ll notice if you scroll to the right that the template has quite a few labeled columns for data to be entered into. Enter as much or as little information as you have on each lead, but be sure to complete the First Name, Last Name, and topic fields, since those are required for each lead. Once you’ve entered information for all of the leads you’d like to import, return to Dynamics 365 and click the down arrow, again, for Import Data. Choose Import Data from the dropdown list. In the window that appears, click Choose File, navigate to the folder you saved the template to, click the template file, then click Open. Click Next. A notification will appear, letting you know that importing records will update existing records, as well as create new records when appropriate. Click the radio button for Yes or No, based on whether or not duplicate records should be permitted. For today, I’ll choose No. Your name will automatically populate as the Owner for records that do not contain owner information, or cannot be assigned to specific owners for whatever reason, but you can change the Owner to another user by clicking the magnifying glass icon, clicking Look Up More Records, and then clicking the check mark to the left of the desired user’s name. Click Add when finished. Click Submit. As shown here, you can check the status of an import at any time by navigating to Settings, Data Management, and choosing Imports. Let’s walk through that and see how our import went. Click Finish. Click the down arrow for Sales along the top of the screen, then click Settings. Within the System column, click Data Management, and on the page that appears, click Imports. As you can see here, our import was completed successfully. If the import failed or had errors, those would be shown here. While you, hopefully, won’t need to make use of it often, it is possible to delete import source files, or records imported during a specific import simply by clicking the check mark to the left of the import name, then clicking Delete and choosing the appropriate option from the dropdown list. Next, let’s talk a bit about importing accounts and contacts. The import process is the same for Accounts and Contacts as it was for Leads, though each entity has a slightly different template, as the records will have different types of information within them. One thing to be aware of, however, is that when importing Accounts and Contacts, always import Accounts first. The reason for this is that the Contacts import template contains a column for the Account name, and if the Account has already been imported when the Contact is imported, it will automatically map the contact to the account. There is one issue with importing Accounts first and then Contacts that may arise, however. This is when there are SOME of the contacts in your import file that serve as Primary Contacts for an Account. There can be only one Primary Contact for an Account, and it’s an important relationship, but how can the system know which contact is Primary? It cannot, unless we employ take some special measures. The method to achieve this relationship when the Contacts are imported is to include a column in the contact import file named something like “Primary_Contact” with values of either blank or “Y.” Before import, simply place a Y in that column for every contact that is primary for that account. Before you import the data you would create a simple workflow that checks for a “Y” in this field, and then automatically populates the Primary Contact field with the Contact that is imported when a “Y” is found. That's it for Importing Data into Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Enterprise. Next, you’ll want to tackle server side synchronization with email systems so that you can send and receive email within the system, and automatically track emails as well. Thanks for watching this video by xRM!