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Problems importing Contacts with Parent Accounts using CRM Data Import RRS feed

  • Question

  • New to this forum so if this question has been addressed my apologies...I did a search and didn't find anything specific.  I have a straightforward import spreadsheet containing contacts.  Each contact has a Parent Account associated with it (Parent Account is a lookup field into Account).  The Data Import Wizard refuses to work with it...I've tried many permutations and combinations, and my conclusion is that the Import Wizard has problems importing data into lookup fields.  So, I created a Temp Parent Account varchar field to hold the data and was hoping I coudl use Workflow to transfer from one field to another.  No luck...Workflow won't allow you to update the Parent Account field.  Next, I tried using Multi-Edit to update a block of these records at once with Parent Account (many of the Parent Accounts for the contacts are the same).  No dice...you can't update the Parent Account field in Multi-Edit mode, it's grayed out!  I've got two high-priced consultants and Microsoft working on this problem, and I'm at my wits end...my last resort is to update the Parent Account field for a thousand contacts, one by one.  Aargh...help please!  I can be reached directly at roy.abitbol@autotrader.com.  Thanks!

    Thursday, June 5, 2008 6:32 PM

Answers

  • Have you considered trying a product like Scribe Insight for this job?  If There are several reasons it may be a better choice for this job.  Here are just 3:

     

    1.  Step control--you can have multiple steps to your import, such as lookup parent account id, update existing contacts, insert new contacts.  Lookups can be tricky with the import utility, especially if you have accounts with the same or similar names.  With Scribe you can easily specify multiple lookup criteria to find the GUID of the parent account record.

     

    2.  It can update existing records.  the import utility just creates new records

     

    3.  It can preview the import so you can verify that the results are as desired before executing the import.

     

    4.  Scribe MS CRM adapter uses the CRM API, so imports performed are fully supported by Microsoft, and have full access to workflow, etc, just like imports performed by the import utility.

     

    Don't get me wrong, the import utility is great for simple imports, and it is much improved from the utility in 3.0, however, for jobs that you want to run on a repeating basis or that need to update existing records, sometimes it is worth using a tool that is more capable and will do the "heavy lifting" that you are manually doing with the import utility for you.

     

    Probably for les than you are paying the high-priced consultants to spin their wheels on this issue, you could have the job done quickly using Scribe, without the need for any programming.  At least in North America, most Microsoft CRM integrations use Scribe, based on the last stats I heard.

     

    http://www.scribesoftware.com/

     

    And I don't work for them.

    Monday, June 9, 2008 3:46 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Have you considered trying a product like Scribe Insight for this job?  If There are several reasons it may be a better choice for this job.  Here are just 3:

     

    1.  Step control--you can have multiple steps to your import, such as lookup parent account id, update existing contacts, insert new contacts.  Lookups can be tricky with the import utility, especially if you have accounts with the same or similar names.  With Scribe you can easily specify multiple lookup criteria to find the GUID of the parent account record.

     

    2.  It can update existing records.  the import utility just creates new records

     

    3.  It can preview the import so you can verify that the results are as desired before executing the import.

     

    4.  Scribe MS CRM adapter uses the CRM API, so imports performed are fully supported by Microsoft, and have full access to workflow, etc, just like imports performed by the import utility.

     

    Don't get me wrong, the import utility is great for simple imports, and it is much improved from the utility in 3.0, however, for jobs that you want to run on a repeating basis or that need to update existing records, sometimes it is worth using a tool that is more capable and will do the "heavy lifting" that you are manually doing with the import utility for you.

     

    Probably for les than you are paying the high-priced consultants to spin their wheels on this issue, you could have the job done quickly using Scribe, without the need for any programming.  At least in North America, most Microsoft CRM integrations use Scribe, based on the last stats I heard.

     

    http://www.scribesoftware.com/

     

    And I don't work for them.

    Monday, June 9, 2008 3:46 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks.  I've been able to resolve the problems with Parent Account but this advice is helpful...I'm trying to build a business case for Scribe.

     

    Monday, June 9, 2008 3:15 PM
  • Hi Roy,

    How did you resolve the issue.  I have the same problem: imported contacts just won't map to an account whatever I try with the Parent Customer attribute!

     

    thanks,

    Trevor

     

    Monday, July 28, 2008 9:38 AM
  •  

    With contacts and accounts?

     

    Did you load Accounts first?

    Did you change the name of the parent customer field in the contact source file? Or is “Parent Customer” OK?

     

     

    Screen clipping taken: 07-Aug-2008, 03:23 PM

     

     

    Thursday, August 7, 2008 10:26 PM
  • Roy, I'm glad you managed to resolve your issue. For everyone else, here's how we manage to import data with lookup references.

     

    Let's use Roy's example: contacts with a parent account.

    1. Build an import template. Use Advanced Find to export the columns you want to import. This makes life easier because the column heading contains the CRM attribute name, so CRM will easily recognise the names when you come to import using this template. Build one for accounts and other for contacts. Column A should contain the account name (for accounts) and fullname (for contacts).

    2. Populate the spreadsheets with your data. Ensure that the parent account values on your contacts contain an exact text match of the account name, and any picklist values you want to import are also an exact match for the picklist options configured in CRM.

    3. Import the spreadsheets using the import wizard. Import accounts first. Ensure that you use the automap. The lookups don't work if you build a manual map.

     

    If all goes well, this should work.

     

    Neil

    Thursday, August 14, 2008 12:22 PM
    Moderator
  • hello neil,

     

    how would crm know which accounts to link the contacts to when they're on separate files?

     

    cheers.

    Tuesday, September 23, 2008 11:07 AM
  • Hi Guys

     

    I had this issue a while back while uploading accounts and contacts into a new tenancy on our hosted CRM platform.  Our customer wanted the primary contacts to be assigned at this upload stage and after much figting with the import tool, using the Microsoft Data Migration Tool worked a treat (and its free)

     

    Basically by using the tool, you are able to specify the primary contact and then teh tool asks you which field it should use for the lookup, so in this example I used {contact full name} and this resolved against the column in my CSV.

     

    It worked very well for us, and saved us the £600 odd for the scribe licence

     

    hope that helps

     

    Allan

     

    http://www.virtualit.biz/OurSolutions/Pages/microsoft-dynamics-CRM.aspx.aspx

    Thursday, October 23, 2008 9:41 AM