Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Import Data Wizard and Automatic Customizations

The Import Data Wizard for CRM Online makes customer’s life easy by powerful features such as the automatic customizations of field width (for text data) and list values (for picklists).


1. The Field width customization feature increases the length of a Microsoft Dynamics CRM text or ntext field on the fly based on the length of data in the source file.
When import data wizard encounters a mismatch in the field lengths of source data and target field it deduces following:

i. Is the field customizable.
ii. Finds the maximum length of the source data in respective column of given source file.
iii. Checks whether the length found in step 2 is more than the default length of the field and is less than the maximum allowed length for the Text column (which is 4000).

If both conditions mentioned in Step iii are satisfied, it updates the metadata of an attribute to the length found in step2 and changes the column length in database.

Import Data Wizard applies field width customization even if some advanced transformations like Concatenation are applied on source data, and concatenated data is then mapped to some CRM field. If the data obtained after concatenation has length more than the default length of the field to which it is mapping, Import Data Wizard will apply field width customization in that case also.

2. Import Wizard can handle the picklist customization when user has chosen Map Automatically or has chosen to Use and existing data map while importing data. This is what the import data wizard does in case of picklists:

i. Identifies all the unique values of the column in source file, which is mapping to picklist column.
ii. Identifies which source values are having an exact string match with Microsoft Dynamics CRM fields' picklist string values and can be imported without additional customization.
iii. To create new picklist value for the unmatched source values, system verifies:
a. Whether the number of new picklist values which need to be created is less than 400 else system fails the entire import file.
b. If the target field is customizable. Pick list is not created unless the field is customizable and those records fail with appropriate error otherwise.
c. In case field is customizable then system creates new picklist values in CRM with the same label as that specified in source unique value.

Read more about the Import Data Wizard and Automatic Customizations at:
http://blogs.msdn.com/crm/archive/2010/01/11/microsoft-dynamics-crm-automatic-customizations.aspx

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