Data Templates and Import Data Wizard features were introduced as part of Nov 2009 Microsoft Dynamics CRM online service update. Now these features will be available as part of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Online, On Premise and Internet-Facing Deployments (IFD) with some improvements and new functionality. This blog post covers some of the improvements that make these features easier to use.
Getting Data Templates and Import made easier
Let us see with an example of how easy it is to get a template for a record type (Account). In earlier versions, getting a data template required you to navigate to settings->Data Management->Data Templates->select Record type.
Now the download template is available as part of the ribbon action in the record type for which you want to download the template. Navigate to Accounts record type and click on Import data->Download Template for Account and you get the template. It will be in the context of the record type where you are working. The file is in XMLSS format.
Save the file with the name ActiveAccounts.
Another Improvement is that now you get Import data button in Ribbon for the importable entities. So input the data in the file and just click on Import data button in the ribbon and this launches the Import Data Wizard.
Importing data using templates made easier.
The number of clicks needed to Import data using these Templates have been reduced.
Upload the file in Import Wizard and Import Wizard automatically figures out the record type for which this template is generated. Just finish the Wizard in 2-3 clicks. The record type for the template is stored in the template itself as metadata so you can save the template with any name that you want and as you upload the file Import Wizard will automatically map it to the right record type and all fields, making it much easier to use.
So you do not need to do auto mapping etc. Just upload the file in Import Wizard and finish it. That is it, you are done.
Ignoring all unmapped attributes in just one click
If you are on the Map fields page and there are a set of attributes for each record type which you want to ignore, instead of going to each record type and then ignoring each field one by one it has been made much easier to ignore the fields in just one click. Just click next on the attribute map page and all unmapped fields will be ignored if you say ok on the warning dialog (Do this only if you want to ignore all unmapped fields). This makes it really easy to ignore a set of attributes in just one click and makes experience much easier.
The other new powerful features like Update via Import will be covered as part of other blogs. So stay tuned for other blogs in this series.