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Exporting/Importing Data from one Dynamics instance to another

  • 1.  Exporting/Importing Data from one Dynamics instance to another

    SILVER CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Dec 19, 2018 11:15 AM
    Edited by Nicholas Arbour Dec 19, 2018 11:27 AM
    Hello All,

    I have been looking online and found a few articles regarding this process, however, they don't get too much into detail regarding the actual data. I am curious if this is possible;
    1.) To create a brand new Dynamics 365 instance (core with modules, no custom entities/workflows/etc)
    2.) Export data from current production instance of Dynamics
    3.) Import data from production instance into newly created Dynamics instance
    4.) Keep the relationships/workflows/businessflows without losing any data

    * I should clarify that I mean the actual data and history of company/contact/leads/opportunities/taks/etc, the workflows/business flow I intend to rework to a simpler configuration*

    I'm sure this is possible, but the thing where I run into an issue, and where I hesitate, is the encryption. Our data is encrypted from an encryption key within Dynamics, that I imagine most people utilize. I understand there is a way to extract/export the encryption key as well. Essentially, I am asking if anyone who has done this particular process has any insight on what I'll be needing from my previous production instance, in order to properly import my data into a new instance without losing anything.

    I do understand that my instance would have to have the entities/fields created that certain workflows/business flows would need in order to function properly, and I would build them prior to the export/import process naturally. But, any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

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    Nicholas Arbour
    TEKLYNX
    Whitefish Bay WI
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  • 2.  RE: Exporting/Importing Data from one Dynamics instance to another

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Dec 19, 2018 12:03 PM
    @Nicholas Arbour - Have you considered doing a Full Copy through the Dynamics 365 Admin Center? If you need to copy the data from a Production instance into your new instance (Sandbox), then you can use the Full Copy option.

    More information can be found here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/admin/copy-instance

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    Aaron Back, MCP
    Sr. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Consultant
    www.acemicrotech.com
    _______________________________________
    CRMUG Board Member
    CRMUG Chapter Leader - Cincinnati, Ohio
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Exporting/Importing Data from one Dynamics instance to another

    SILVER CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Dec 19, 2018 12:42 PM
    Hello Aaron,

    Thank you for your quick reply. I understand that I could do a Full Copy of the instance to a blank instance to rework what we have, but what I'm asking is, I want to start fresh from scratch and just export/import my data. I do not want the structure of the previous production environment present within my new Dynamics instance. The reason being is that up until 3 months ago, we did not have a Dynamics Admin. I am currently filling that role, so I am still learning and I understand there are massive amounts of things to learn within Dynamics. But, due to the fact that before I came into this role we have had some 'attempts'  (both successful and some not so much) to improve/update/customize the production instance we currently use. It is a fully operational and a working environment, but there is a lot of useless/duplicate clutter in the back-end that I wish to do away with. I am attempting to save myself some time, if able, to not go through every single entity and look at relationships/workflows/business flows tied to said entities. I just want to grab my data, and import it into a fresh new instance without all the clutter so that I may build a better instance from scratch.

    I'm not sure if this is possible, however, if I'm able I'd rather build the new instance and just use the data within my new environment without breaking the instance, losing any data, or bringing any prior instance structure from the production environment

    I hope this helps clarify.
    Thank you,.



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    Nicholas Arbour
    TEKLYNX
    Whitefish Bay WI
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  • 4.  RE: Exporting/Importing Data from one Dynamics instance to another

    MICROSOFT MVP
    Posted Dec 19, 2018 12:52 PM
    Edited by Alex Shlega Dec 19, 2018 12:53 PM
    Hi Nicholas,

      you can easily do it with the workflows, entities, fields, etc, but not with the actual data. To bring over the actual data, you would have to create those entities first. If you don't like those particular workflows, you can always delete them after taking a full copy..


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    Alex Shlega
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  • 5.  RE: Exporting/Importing Data from one Dynamics instance to another

    SILVER CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Dec 19, 2018 12:59 PM
    Hello Alex,

    Thank you for your reply. Okay so, for just the data (companies/contacts/tasks/opps/etc) it is not possible is what it seems like. So, making a Full Copy of production and going through the setup is the only way to create a brand new instance where the data is present. That is unfortunate. I was hoping to save storage space, as it is limited to what we pay for in the online instance, but I will have to work it out.

    Thank you for the help.

    ------------------------------
    Nicholas Arbour
    TEKLYNX
    Whitefish Bay WI
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Exporting/Importing Data from one Dynamics instance to another

    GOLD CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Dec 20, 2018 10:03 AM
    Edited by Ryan Perry Dec 20, 2018 10:07 AM
    Hi Nicholas,

    You may be able to use a combination of solutions and the configuration migration utility.

    A solution file could import the required customized workflows, business rules, form layouts, etc.

    The configuration migration utility is designed to move configuration data.  You use it to export a desired schema first, then the data for that schema, and import into another system.  One catch, which may not be an issue, is that it cannot filter to a subset of the records.  When it grabs an entity, it grabs all records, or none.  It can, however, select specific attributes in the dataset, while ignoring others.  It is a great Microsoft tool, and pretty easy to use.

    As with all things, test your process before putting your business on the line with it.  You may want to verify record guids match up as expected before running the real deal.

    https://community.dynamics.com/crm/b/crmpowerobjects/archive/2018/08/27/microsoft-dynamics-365-crm-configuration-migration-tool

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/developer/download-tools-nuget

    There is also the data import wizard, but I find this less straightforward.



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    Ryan Perry
    Auric Solar
    West Valley City UT
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  • 7.  RE: Exporting/Importing Data from one Dynamics instance to another

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Dec 20, 2018 06:21 PM
    @Nicholas Arbour - Thanks for the update. There is something to consider in that the current environment may contain custom entities and fields that are not present in the "vanilla" instance you want to copy the data to. So, you would be left with data you can't import from the source because there isn't a place for it to go.

    It seems like you are aware of the "useless" and "junk" data in the current system. I would suggest mapping out a plan for the data you need from the source and the destination prior to investing time into the migration method. Once you have a solid plan on all the entities and fields for data migration, you can then evaluate the best approach and tool/application that will fit your needs. There are many tools or methods to choose from. You may want to check into a tool you may already have, but aren't aware of: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powerapps/administrator/data-integrator

    ------------------------------
    Aaron Back, MCP
    Sr. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Consultant
    www.acemicrotech.com
    _______________________________________
    CRMUG Board Member
    CRMUG Chapter Leader - Cincinnati, Ohio
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Exporting/Importing Data from one Dynamics instance to another

    Posted Dec 20, 2018 12:04 PM
    If you're comfortable with SSIS you can use KingwaySoft data migration tool, they also have a Migration Starter Pack which is a sample package that you can customize to meet your needs but you can see how they handle relationships and dependencies

    https://www.kingswaysoft.com/blog/2016/09/16/Announcing-Migration-Starter-Pack-for-CRM-Online-and-CRM-On-Premise

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    Edrei Mpanduki
    CRM Technical Analyst
    Fender Musical Instruments Inc
    Scottsdale AZ
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  • 9.  RE: Exporting/Importing Data from one Dynamics instance to another

    Posted Jan 02, 2019 11:45 AM
    Based off of the description, I think SSIS with KingswaySoft is by far the best solution.  You would have the option of mapping fields differently, and any transformation that might be necessary to the new environment as well.

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    Michael Quattlebaum
    Sr. Functional Solution Architect
    AKA Enterprise Solutions
    New York NY
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  • 10.  RE: Exporting/Importing Data from one Dynamics instance to another

    SILVER CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Jan 02, 2019 11:00 AM
    Hello All,

    Thank you for your input, I appreciate the alternative methods of how to accomplish this task. I believe I have an idea of what I want to do now, so again thank you for the assistance.

    Thank you,

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    Nicholas Arbour
    TEKLYNX
    Whitefish Bay WI
    ------------------------------