How alternate key is useful while importing data into CRM?

Introduction

In this blog, I have explained how an alternate key column can be used to import the data into CRM using OOB import/export facility.

We get frequent requirements to perform initial data load for customers and contacts. In almost all cases, we are asked to link the Contacts to the customers.

This can be achieved easily using Alternate Key in CRM.

In this blog, I have assumed that we have Account Number field as an alternate key on Account entity and Contact Number (custom field) as an alternate key on Contact entity.

How to achieve this?

Case 1 (initial load): We have 2 separate Excel/CSV files as per below screenshots.

Customers

1

Contacts

2

  1. We will first import the data of Account (as it is straightforward I have not explained about it in this blog).
  2. Then we import the contacts. This is also straightforward except one below check in field mapping.
    1. In field mapping we have to select the Account Number as a matching field for Company Lookup field.

3

Case 2 (Update existing data): Now we have contacts with accounts selected, on Accounts we need to select primary contact.

Let’s say we have below CRM view and we click on Export to Excel and put the contact numbers appropriately in Primary Contact column in Excel.

4

If you note in below screenshot, I have renamed Primary Contact field to Contact Number which contains Contact Numbers.

5

NOTE: IF WE DON’T RENAME THE COLUMN, IMPORT WIZARD WILL NOT SHOW FIELD MAPPING WINDOW AND WILL DIRECTLY START IMPORTING THE DATA AND EVENTUALLY WILL RESULT IN FAILURE.

  1. Now we save the exported Excel with contact numbers and start data import with the same file. It will again give similar field mapping dialog where we have to select Contact Number as a matching field for Primary Contact field.

6

  1. After completing import wizard steps, you will see the result as below:

7

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