Updating CRM records via Excel Export in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

August 12, 2011

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Updating CRM records via Excel Export in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 data can be exported to Excel file. This feature can be used to update CRM data externally and then import back while updating the matching CRM records.

When exporting data to Excel, select the ‘Static worksheet option’ and check the ‘Make this data available for re-importing’ checkbox.



Off course, the re-importing functionality relies on the CRM records GUIDs to uniquely identify each CRM records that requires an update. But when you open the exported Excel file, the GUIDs column is not visible. You can expose this column in Excel 2010 by following the next steps:

  1. Open the exported file Excel
  2. Click the Review tab
  3. Click the Unprotect Sheet button in the Changes group
  4. Mark the whole sheet by clicking ctrl+A
  5. Click the Home tab
  6. Click the Format button in the Cells group
  7. Open the Hide & Unhide men and select the Unhide Columns menu item

As you can see below, you get 2 more hidden columns (with an explicit warning to avoid changing).
The Lead column contains the exported Leads GUIDs. The Modified On column describes the CRM record Modified On value.
I suspect the Checksum column is used by the Data Import module to verify that the hidden columns have not been tempered with. Indeed, if you try re-importing after changing any of the hidden columns values, the Import operation will fail with the error description ‘You cannot import data to this record because the record was updated in Microsoft Dynamics CRM after it was exported.’



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