Supported file types in Data Import Wizard for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online November 2009 Service Update encapsulates many new cool features and improvements. One of such features is the much-much improved Import Data Wizard.

The new Import Data wizard no longer restricts user to import one data file at a time. You can do Import of multiple files containing record types that are related to one another in single Import session. Such as accounts with related contacts, import of notes and attachments along with their associated records in different files, etc.

Apart from this, the new Import Data wizard also supports different formats of input source data file:

1. XML Spreadsheet 2003 (.xml) – The data file can be in Microsoft Excel format stored as an XML file. You can open the XML spreadsheets with Microsoft Excel.

You can also download the pre-created XML Spreadsheet 2003 templates for any record type of Microsoft CRM for doing easy Import with auto mapping. More details on this will be coming in shortly in a separate blog post. So stay tuned!

2. Comma-separated values (.csv) – This is Comma-delimited format file. You can have different field (comma, colon, semicolon, tab) and data delimiters (quotation, single quotation) in this kind of source file.

3. Text (.txt) – This is delimited text format with columns separated by commas, tabs, semicolons, or other characters.

4. Compressed files (.zip) –If you want to Import multiple files in one Import session, you can .zip them together. A .zip file can include files of .csv, .xml, or .txt file types. All files in a single compressed file must be of the same file type.

The .zip file must confirm to one of these folder structure:

  • .zip file having the files and optional attachment folder directly in it:-
    • Attachments (Folder)
    • <File1>
    • <File2>
    • <File3>
  • .zip having a folder which in turn is having the files and optional attachments folder in it:-
    • <Folder1>
      • Attachments (Folder)
      • <File1>
      • <File2>
      • <File3>

Note: By default, the maximum size of the files you can import is 8 megabytes (MB). This means:

  • Any .csv, .txt, or .xml file must not exceed 8 MB.
  • Any individual file inside the .zip file must not exceed 8 MB and the total size of the .zip file, including the Attachment folder, must not exceed 32 MB.

You can choose any of the above file formats and give it as an input to the Import Data wizard. The delimited .txt, .csv, or XML Spreadsheet 2003 format files can be easily created by using Microsoft Office Excel:

1. If your file uses only ASCII characters, save the file as a comma-delimited values (.csv) file:

  • In Excel, click Save As, and select CSV (Comma delimited (*.csv).

2. If your file uses non-ASCII characters, save the file as a Unicode or UTF-8 text (.txt) file:

  • In Excel, click Save As, and select Unicode text (*.txt).


Nitin Mukhija

Comments (6)

  1. Josh Painter says:

    Sounds great! When will this be released for the on-premise version?

  2. Fred Kaemmer says:

    Sounds great but

    I do not understand why this is released only for CRM online and why still default XML structures are not supported

  3. Christian says:

    Very good! I am looking for a solution like this within our Enterprise CRM Solution. When will it be available for internal MS CRM installations?

  4. Nitin Mukhija says:

    Yes, this Import Wizard will also be available in the on-premise version, in the next (v5) release of MSCRM.

  5. markmartin says:

    Does the import wizard now support mapping to lookup fields?

  6. veeranb says:

    Yes, the Import Wizard supports mapping to lookup fields. By default the Import Wizard will kookup to primary key and primary attribute name of the entity. In case user wants to lookup to some other attribute then in that case the lookup mapping needs to be specified in map. Currently the UI to have mapping to lookup fields is not there.

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