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One of our customers recently asked to do an update on their instance of the microsoft CRM 4.0 platform.

The goal was to change the current Country Picklist to a lookup field which points to a new_country entity.

The new_country entity contains a few translations of the countries in different languages like english, dutch and french, and the ISO codes for each country.

Try to update that in CRM 4.0. So we start looking. The first thing I came across was the MSCRM 4.0 Bulk Data Export Tool

This tool allows you to export data generated by an advanced find view to a CSV file which you can later on import in CRM 4.0 trhough an update job. So I started playing around with it.

The major issue for me is that with that tool I couldn’t get the lookup field to be populated. I tried a bunch of different things like “account,E52B43A8-5FC6-4934-A5A3-96B2983EE140” or just the “E52B43A8-5FC6-4934-A5A3-96B2983EE140” but nothing seemed to work.

So I decided to create a new tool that basically does what i want, without creating an import job. Everything is done through the CRM SDK.

A few things I thought are very cool:

  • You can save your connection. We are a hosting company and we have 6 different CRM instances on 3 different servers, so this is quite nice.
  • One of our clients has 15.000+ records in their contacts. Because CRM returns only 5.000 records for each request, I can’t update them all in one go. This was changed by making multiple requests if necessary.
  • Access all the records and all the fields. In the MSCRM 4.0 Bulk Data Export Tool you can only use the tool on Advanced find views. I allow you to use the tool on the main entity. Which is really helpfull in some cases.
  • It allows you to choose the Authentication type. You can connect to CRM with Active Directory, SPLA, Passport (this last one I haven’t been able to test so if anybody has a CRM with passport please let me know)

It is still a work in progress but it does the job quite nice already so try it out.

The CRM Bulk Update / Export Tool

I hope it helps some of you in your daily (or not so daily) tasks. I know it saved a colleague of mine about 80% of his time for only one case, and I consider that a big improvement. 🙂