Microsoft Dynamics® CRM Training

Data Migration Challenges for CRM 2013

Video Details

When deploying Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 or Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, data migration can present several challenges.

In this video, learn the reasons that data migration can be difficult as well as several techniques that you can employ to mitigate the challenges of moving your data from your old database to Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Video Summary

Data Migration

Thank you for viewing “Data Migration.” Below, you will find a short summary of the material covered in the video.

Lesson Summary

Migrating data from your existing database(s) to your new Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 or Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online database can present many challenges.

What’s so tough about data migration?

1. Data structure—the columns, the entities (tables) in the source may be different than what is in CRM. Characteristics of “good” data structure:

• Information is discretely stored. First Name, Middle Name, Last Name instead of “Full Name”

• Columns are used consistently. Phone numbers are in the Phone column. Dates are in the date column.

• Formatting is coherent and standard.

2. Relationships—data must be related through a unique “key” across tables. For instance, when the Contact is related to a Company, for example as a “Primary Contact”, there needs to be something in the Company table that maps to someone UNIQUE in the Contact table.

3. Completely different relational architecture—sometimes, data is simply stored differently with respect to related data. For instance, in Sugar CRM, there is a separate entity for emails, so that there can be any number of email addresses for a contact. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with this approach, but it is entirely different from the way that data is stored in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

What are some techniques that can be used to mitigate these challenges?

1. Use PowerPivot in Excel (or a similar tool) to join spreadsheets, if necessary.

2. Learn the structure of CRM and how entities have to be brought in a certain order. For example, Accounts should be migrated before Contacts are because the Company Name field on the Contact entity is a lookup field that searches the database for Account records.

3. Bring your data into SQL first as a staging table, even if your data is stored in spreadsheets, so you can perform joins and views against the data when needed.

4. Use a third-party tool such as Scribe as a data migration platform.

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