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Update a field from external file RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    Is it possible to do the following:

    I know you can import into contacts from an external file but once that is done can you:

    1. Import and update new contacts that were added to the external database since the first import? (So it knows to filter out the contacts already CRM)

    2. Can you update specific fields in  CRM that change each month from the external database?

    Thanks.

    David

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014 3:30 PM

Answers

  • Hi David,

    Yes you got me. The only way to achieve both your scenarios would be to do some programming. Also, is there any unique id maintained in your external database. If yes, and if you have the permission to add an extra field to Contact entity in CRM, I'd suggest storing the unique id in CRM; so that every time you could directly reference the actual record in CRM using that Id. I believe you're getting what I am trying to say here? The idea is to have some sort of unique id in CRM or in your external database (which as you pointed out is not possible), so that referencing the actual record becomes easier and the batch job runs more efficiently.


    • Edited by Anupam Bishui Tuesday, February 25, 2014 4:29 PM typo
    • Marked as answer by D Kerr Tuesday, February 25, 2014 5:01 PM
    Tuesday, February 25, 2014 4:29 PM

All replies

  • Hi David,

    Not sure if I understood your questions correctly, but here's what I have to say for them.

    1. If by "to the external database" here you're referring to Dynamics CRM database; what you're trying to achieve here is not available out-of-the-box. If you import a list of contact to Dynamics CRM, all of them get created without any kind of duplicate checking. But you could always write a batch application (using C#), use CRM's web services and perform the checking (based on specific fields that you might want) and create or update Contact records.

    2. If you're looking for some kind of scheduler, you can achieve this using a batch application again; which would run every month, and update the specific fields in Dynamics CRM.

    For both the scenarios above, the batch application developed would be highly efficient if you had the CRM Id (GUID) stored in your external database. So you could develop the batch in such a way that after creating records in Dynamics CRM, it goes and updates the CRM Ids in the external database. 

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014 3:59 PM
  • Hi,

    Thanks for the quick response.  The external database (in SQL)  would be imported to Microsoft CRM.  I can't write back to the external database due to my service contract so it is one way into CRM.  Basically I need to import names and addresses to CRM but this needs to be able to be updated.  It does not have to be real time.  As well, there are a couple of appointment date fields that need to be updated from the external database to the CRM database which could be a scheduled update. 

    However, I get where your going - basically you would need to programmatically check for duplicates and I assume do some programming to update the specific field.  Is that correct?

    David

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014 4:22 PM
  • Hi David,

    Yes you got me. The only way to achieve both your scenarios would be to do some programming. Also, is there any unique id maintained in your external database. If yes, and if you have the permission to add an extra field to Contact entity in CRM, I'd suggest storing the unique id in CRM; so that every time you could directly reference the actual record in CRM using that Id. I believe you're getting what I am trying to say here? The idea is to have some sort of unique id in CRM or in your external database (which as you pointed out is not possible), so that referencing the actual record becomes easier and the batch job runs more efficiently.


    • Edited by Anupam Bishui Tuesday, February 25, 2014 4:29 PM typo
    • Marked as answer by D Kerr Tuesday, February 25, 2014 5:01 PM
    Tuesday, February 25, 2014 4:29 PM
  • Thanks for your help.  I do have a unique id which can be used.  I was hoping that I didn't have to do programming as dentistry is my real profession! (though I do have a computer science background)
    Tuesday, February 25, 2014 5:05 PM
  • Hi David,

    Glad I was able to help. Batch jobs are pretty easy, so I guess you won't have much trouble. :)

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014 5:06 PM