Introducing the ‘Import Data Wizard’ in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Service Update for Nov 2009

Import data into Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online using new Import Data Wizard

Microsoft has released Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Service Update: Nov 2009. To assist organizations with importing data into Microsoft Dynamics CRM, a new enhanced Import Data Wizard is available amongst other new features and enhancements in this update. This wizard is functionally more powerful than the old import data wizard.

The wizard supports multiple file formats including Comma delimited CSV, XML Spreadsheet 2003 and zip, creation of custom record types and fields, import of notes and attachments record types, user creation and owner resolution, complex transformation mappings, pick-list values creation, lookup type field creation and many more such capabilities; Additionally, it provides two Out Of Box Salesforce maps for importing Salesforce data. We will try to cover all new Import Data Wizard enhancements of R4 update in a series of blogs. This is the first blog in the series and aims at familiarizing you with the new Import Data Wizard.

As they say, the best way of learning something is by doing it so I am going to walk you through an import of a simple file named MyAccounts.csv. It has following contents:

Name, Account Number, Company

Raymond Largos, 1456, Global Media

Van Kintop, 16785, HCL Technologies

Step 1: Launch the Import wizard from Tools->Import Data or from the Help Visor as shown below. You can also launch it from the Import grid (Workplace->Imports->New)


Step 2: Choose MyAccounts.csv file on the Upload Data File screen by clicking the Browse button as shown and click Next.


On clicking Next, you will see a Review File Upload Summary screen which shows all the uploaded files and their sizes. It also has a Delimiters View Settings link. Clicking this link opens delimiter section which allows you to change field and data delimiters as shown below. Since our file is comma delimited, we do not have to change these values here and we will move to the next screen by clicking Next.


Step3: Next is Select Data Map screen where you have following two options:

1. Map Automatically –This option allows you to proceed without a data map and system will try to automatically map source data based on the name of your files and name of fields in source files. If the name of a file/field exactly matches with the display name of some record type/field in MSCRM, then that particular file/field will get automatically mapped. Any remaining unmapped files/fields can be manually mapped in the wizard flow. Moreover, you can save these mappings for future use as described in step 6.

2. Use an existing data map – You can use this option when a data map which have mappings for your source data is already present in MSCRM. There are following two types of data maps:

i) System Maps: There are two Out Of Box maps present in MSCRM to help you import your Salesforce data. There will be separate blog posts coming shortly on how to use these data maps to import Salesforce data into MSCRM.

ii) Customized Maps: All data maps on which you have read privilege will be present in this section. These maps are created when you save a data map during the last step (refer to step 6) of an import, or by directly importing data map xml in MSCRM.

Since we are doing a first time Import & we don’t have any existing custom map for our file, we will select the option “Map Automatically” as shown and click Next.


Step 4: Next screen is Map Record Types which allows you to map the source file to a MSCRM record type. It also allows you to customize MSCRM and create a new record type for a given data file. You can also choose to ignore a file from here.

Since our source file contains Account information, we will select Account record type from the dropdown. After all the source files are mapped, we can proceed by clicking Next button.


Step 5: Next is Map Fields screen which allows you to map fields in the data files to MSCRM fields. You can choose to map the source field to an existing field or create a custom field for mapping against a source field. You can also choose to ignore a particular source field.

For each record type, this screen displays two sections- Required and Optional Fields. The Required Fields are mandatory fields in MSCRM and while some of them might take default values in MSCRM, it is advisable to map the mandatory fields with user data fields.

For MyAccounts.csv file, Account Number gets mapped by the automatic mapping logic. A warning icon is displayed against the 2 leftover unmapped fields namely Name and Company.

We’ll select Name from the dropdown against Account Name for mapping it to Account Name.

For the Company field since there is no existing field, we would create a custom field in MSCRM to map it. For this, we’ll select Create New Field from the dropdown against Company. Since this field contains the text data, we will create a Text type field in MSCRM. You can also change field display name and field type if required.


Next button gets enabled once all the source fields get mapped. Clicking Next will take you to the Review Mapping Summary screen. This screen displays a summary of the mapping of source files. If you want to review the mappings done, you can click the Edit button to go back to Map Record Types screen.


Click Next to proceed.

Step 6: The next screen Review Settings and Import Data allows you to review/change the settings which will be used during import and submit the import. Various settings are as follows:


1. Allow Duplicates: You can choose whether to allow duplicates during import or not. Duplicate records are identified based upon the published duplicate rules in the MSCRM System.

For more details about how duplicate detection works, you can refer to

2. Select Owner for Imported Records: This is a lookup where you can select any user to be the owner of the records being imported if the records do not have owner information, or if the records cannot be assigned as expected.

3. Data Map Name: You can optionally choose to save the map if you wish to use it for future imports. I have given it the name –AccountMap.

Guess what? You just need to click Submit for submitting your import!


This is the last screen after your Import has been submitted. Click Imports to navigate to the Import grid and see the status of your import.


In case of multiple files, you will see one import job per file. Wait for import to complete and open the import form.


And here are the accounts that have been imported successfully! We’ll keep you posted on more complex import scenarios that can be handled by Import Data Wizard in the Nov 2009 Service Update.


Khushboo Pandey

Comments (12)

  1. henrik says:

    Can the new tool update records based on a unique key (e.g. account number), since this is the feature I have been missing most?


  2. Nick says:

    This looks great!  Will this be eventually rolled up into on-premise versions as well?  It does not seem to be part of rollup 7.

  3. arkuma says:

    Henrik – No you cannot use this to update an existing record.

  4. Khushboo pandey says:

    Nick – Yes it will be availlable in the next CRM On -Premise version

  5. Theresa says:

    I am using the new import wizard. I download the csv file, map all the data and follow along until I am finished. However, it keeps failing on me. I uploaded a sample data about a month ago and it was successful. Help.

  6. dinesk says:


    Could you tell what error are you getting and where are you seeing that error?



  7. Frank says:

    Does this new version support importing of multiple line values within a field?

    For example:

    Account Description field value:

    "line 1 [carriage return there]

    line 2"

  8. Theresa says:

    Hi Dinesh,

    Thanks for the response. Sorry for the delay. It wasn’t giving me an error message, but would give me a status of failed. But I broke down my csv file in smaller batches and it seems to be working this way.

    Thanks again,


  9. Khushboo Pandey says:

    Hi Frank,

    You can import multiple line values within a fields using proper data delimiters with new wizard.The example you have given will be imported successfully with newlines (as you have used Double qoutes in the data) if you select double quotes in wizard as data delimiter (this is default selection)



  10. Kevin says:

    I'm trying to import new Cases into CRM 3.0. I found a Bulk Import tool online, where you could add/change a few lines of code, and be able to import to Cases. I set up a .csv file, all looked golden, but it didn't work (something about one of the fields not being in the entity, which is garbage, 'cos they're all there).

    Can someone tell me if I can do this thru the back-end with SQL Server? I really need to get this done, I just want to know if there are things to watch out for if I did it through a back-end query add.

    My co. is going to 4.0 in the Fall, which by all accounts is the bee's knees … I hate hearing "you can do that in 4.0", I've heard it all too often.

  11. Croix says:

    Does anyone know which Update Rollup for Microsoft Dynamics has the new import data wizard? I've installed Update Rollup 7 (which I thought would have it) and Update Rollup 8 and it is still not there.

  12. Roxana says:


    I know that CRM Online Service- November 2009 can import data to look-up fields.

    I would like to know, if it is possible to have this add-in in my Workgroup CRM installation.?

    If so, where I can get this add-in to my On-Premise (Workgroup License) CRM?  I need to import and update look-up fields urgently.


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