August 25, 2010 Ken Jacobsen

Switching from to Microsoft Dynamics CRM? A CRM Data Migration Option for Making Sure Your Notes and Documents Come Over Too

If your company is switching from to Microsoft Dynamics CRM (and there are plenty of excellent reasons to do so!), you are going to want the best options for data conversion.   Just ask any sales person if he or she wants their notes and documents to come over too;  the answer will probably be a resounding, “Absolutely!”

We recently had to solve this problem for a client moving  from to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online – so our custom development team at the TM Group developed a Microsoft Dynamics CRM data migration framework tool that works like a charm.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM comes equipped with a plethora of tools to import data. These built-in tools allow importing of data from Excel spreadsheets as well as other systems such as The out-of-the-box Dynamics CRM migration tools do a satisfactory job importing well-formed data like Account or Contact name, address, phone, or email, however if the data is more complex or requires a bit of cleanup and manipulation before import, another solution may be required. For these more complex cases we developed a .NET code-based framework to create a Microsoft Dynamics CRM custom data import tool tailored to a specific data set.

Using this custom import tool we can verify data, create complex relationships and import additional items such as tasks, notes and documents. For example, the import tool does a fine job importing data; however it does not import documents.  Additionally, the assignment or reassignment of data elements to tasks and notes is rather complex.  For our recent client, by using our Dynamics CRM custom import tool we were able to handle all the customers “special cases” and successfully import all their data.

Once created, the Microsoft Dynamics CRM custom import tool allowed us to import data into a multi-org system, supporting development, test and production environments. The data is imported into Microsoft Dynamics CRM through the Dynamics CRM web services API, allowing for Dynamics CRM to enforce business logic and additional data validation.

The TM Group Microsoft Dynamics CRM data import framework allows us to handle complex, poorly formatted data by applying additional data processing in a custom application.  In addition to Microsoft Dynamics CRM data migration, our custom integration framework can be combined with other code elements to import data into Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft SharePoint at the same time.

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