Friday, May 18, 2012

Chicken or the egg?

We’ve started the move to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. So begins the task of exportation of information and the resulting importation of said information. Sound easy enough, however both CRM 4.0 and 2011 don’t have the most…robust import/export feature set.

Off I start creating a report (remember, poor export tools) of all of our active accounts. Everything is going just fine, the export went well it was only a few accounts to test the process with, no big deal.
Start the import process in CRM2011, looks different, maybe this will be a better experience than the export. At step ‘n’ I map the fields in the export with the associated fields in CRM2011 that went nice and easy. So at this point, I am thinking that the import process for the contacts should go swimmingly as well.  I get to the “finish” screen for the importation. Click “run”. Navigate to the import status page, “failed”.


“Alright, must be a logic error that I missed”, I think to myself. I view the details of the failed import, yup, sure enough. The process bombed on the primary contact field. It is an option list, well seeing how there are no contacts in the CRM2011 yet, doesn’t really surprise me that it failed at import.


I go create the export report for the contacts. I start the import on the CRM2011 server. I pause.


I cannot import the contacts with the parent customer field mapped.
I suddenly had the urge for breakfast.

Went to the gang, told them that there was a hitch-in-the-giddy-up about whether to import accounts or contacts first. We decided that it was best to import accounts, not map primary contact. After they are imported go ahead and do the contacts. The downside is that the accounts won’t have a primary contact filled out. So we plan on filling the primary contacts in as we touch those accounts.

Has anyone found a way to programmatically import accounts with the associated primary contacts?