Once the customers have their CRM solutions, the information starts flowing in and out. Now the question arises “How to do bulk edit records?”. Well, Dynamics CRM offers various options to help you with bulk editing.

The options available in Dynamics CRM for bulk editing are listed below:-

  • The Bulk Edit feature
  • The workflow engine
  • Export to Excel, edit (in Excel) and import to CRM again
  • Developer interface or third party applications to write custom code and edit

Every editing method has its own strengths and weaknesses. However, each of the features is independently controlled by Dynamics CRM security architecture.

Bulk Edit Feature:- This feature is considered as an ideal when a smaller number of records need to be edited. First of all, you need to ascertain the records of the customers which you need to edit. Once you select the records in Dynamics CRM, click Edit on the command bar. A new screen will display where a “Bulk Edit” form appears. Enter data in the field of choice. This information will apply to ALL customer records selected, replacing whatever the field contains.

Advantages associated with “Bulk Edit Feature” Method:-

  • Very quick and easy, available from the grid tool bar
  • Easy to see (double check) the change that is about to apply
    Limitations of this method
  • No good for clearing a field and making it blank (null)
  • You can only apply a single value to a field (data applies to all selected)
  • Not so good for large numbers of customer records where results ‘go onto the next page’ of the results grid.

Bulk Edit Using Work Flow:- Bulk Workflow Execution is a powerful way to update records. You can run On-Demand Workflow against a set of records pulled from a System or Personal View, all in bulk. You should create a workflow from the icon on the toolbar.

Steps are given below:-

  • CRM Main Menu > Settings > Processes > New
  • Create a Workflow (not a dialogue) in the Category
  • Keep the ownership of the workflow as ‘User’ and enter in the workflow logic required.
    Save and Activate the workflow
  • Run Workflow Icon on the Ribbon. If the icon is greyed out or your workflow is not in the list returned, check that your workflow has activated correctly.
  • Select your newly created manual workflow and press OK.

With this, the records will update ‘asynchronously’ and the changes appear over the next few minutes. You will have to refresh the view to see the changes in CRM.

Benefits associated with this method

  • You can wipe a field if you want to.
  • You can build logic and decide what fields should get updated with what information.
  • Workflow edit will remain consistent through. In case, you want to update 1000 records, with 250 records per page, you need to run workflow 4 times. The edit will remain the same in all 4 times.
  • You can take data from one field and apply it to another on a per record basis
    You can update the parent record using workflow.
  • You can also create associated records

Limitations

  • You need to take care of workflow logic. Otherwise customer data could be damaged.
  • Applicable only to current Records displaying in the CRM View. However, you can increase records maximum of 250 using personal options but this is still a small number.
  • Records with multiple child or parent relationships (One-to-many Relationship) cannot be updated.

Bulk Edit Using Online Excel
In case, you want to edit the batch of records but not willing to write a workflow, then Excel Online can help you with that. Excel enables you to update records (Account, Contact, etc.) Bulk edit function in advanced finds allows you to update multiple records at once. Following steps are required for the same. (Supposing you have a requirement to bulk edit of “Accounts” on Dynamics 365.)

  • Navigate to Dynamics 365 Sales > Accounts >
  • View > Active Accounts
  • Select all Accounts and click on “…” then click on the “Export to Excel”, you will get some options, select the “Open in Excel Online”
  • Once all the records are inside Excel Online. Update the changes on the records and the click on the “Save changes to Dynamics 365” Icon.
  • Once you have updated the records then all the changes will be effected inside Dynamics 365.

Then navigate to Dynamics 365 > Sales > Accounts >

The changes effective on the Dynamics 365 Accounts Records.

Benefits of using this method:-

  • You can update different values for multiple records.
  • Relatively easy to do and people tend to be comfortable with Excel.

Limitations

  • Duplicate records can be created.
  • Will not wipe a field and leave it blank.

Bulk Edit using Third Party Apps (Plugin)
There are Third Party Apps (XrmToolBox) that can connect with Dynamics CRM to ensure editing. However, this approach requires custom development as few things need to be done such as:-

  • Integration of External Systems with CRM is required.
  • Some good record logic must be performed.
  • Complicated business logic is required on record changes that the standard application won’t cater for.

Benefits

  • A multitude of complex rules and processes can be catered for
  • Can be used to update customer records in complicated relationships like Many to Many

Limitations

  • Requires specialist knowledge and experience to build
  • Needs a development cycle (slow, complex, testing required)
  • May not pass a business case to develop!

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