Importing Data with Guids into Dynamics 365

Often when moving data around between Dynamics 365 (CRM) instances, you want to preserve the guids of certain records so they are the same across instances. This helps with workflows that link to entities directly - you don't have to edit the workflow and re-link things. Additionally, configuration information is usually guid-sensitive.

In the past I've used Scribe or Kingsway Soft to move records around and preserve the guids - but it turns out to be very simple with Excel. Here's how to do it:

  • Perform an Advanced Find in one environment that includes all the fields that you wish to export.
  • Once you get the query set up, use the Export feature to export the results of the Advanced Find to an Excel (.xlsx) spreadsheet.
  • Open the Excel file and Un-Hide the first 3 columns (A, B and C). You can delete columns B and C, and you can rename column A to be "Guid" or something like that.
  • Save the Excel file as a Comma Separated Values (.csv) file.
  • In Dynamics 365 of the target instance, choose Import Data (ie: under Settings > Data Management > Import Data).
  • Click "Choose File" and select your .csv file then click "Next".
  • Click "Next" on the Review File Upload Summary screen.
  • For Select Data Map, leave Default (Automatic Mapping) selected and click "Next".
  • On the Map Record Types screen, choose your target entity in the drop down that currently says "Not Mapped" then click "Next".
  • On the Map Fields screen, map your fields appropriately and ensure the Guid field gets mapped to the entity's Primary Key field <- this is very important!
  • When you're ready, keep clicking "Next" until you reach the last screen then click "Finish".

Once your file has imported, you can check to make sure that not only did the records get imported, but that they have the correct Guid.