Posted by: Charles Maitland | Wednesday 20 January, 2010

MSCRM – Export – Edit – Import – Beware

Well Phil Richardson has departed back to his home shores.

In this post announcing his move he dropped into the final paragraph this statement:

Don’t use this feature. It’s really bad and bad things will happen to you, your CRM system and your family. It was removed from CRM 4.0 for a good reason (trust me – I was there – it’s really bad).

The link is to a post by Eyal Vardi where he shows how you can export data using the Excel export capabilities, edit it and then re-import it.

Now Phil does not elaborate on why he has such an aversion to this method but off the top of my head I can think of the following possible reasons:

  • De-Duping: If the MSCRM de-dupe engine kicks in then all manner of chaos could ensue.
  • Business rule violation.
  • Unexpected workflow triggering
  • Changes to ownership

These are just my first guesses as to the potential pitfalls. If you have some more then please add them in the comments.

So if you can accurately map ALL the consequences and are happy to fly by the seat of your pants then the technique may be of use otherwise look elsewhere.



  1. Hi Charles,

    The possible effect is even worst. I remember hearing something about data corruption two years ago.


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