One of the enhancements hinted at for the pending update to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2012 is improved integration with Microsoft Office. While Dynamics CRM support for Outlook is already solid, some are expecting new capabilities for working with CRM records in Excel and possibly Word. Obviously this will be welcome news, but many Dynamics CRM users overlook some of the powerful existing capabilities for viewing and editing CRM records using Excel spreadsheets.
Excel spreadsheets are a natural fit for Dynamics CRM records. Many managers and others outside the sales area will find the Excel format convenient for viewing and sharing Account, Contract, or Opportunity records.
This particular data integration with Excel has been around since Dynamics CRM 4.0 and has been refined over the years. You can quickly export the data you’re interested in– either from a list view or advanced find– by clicking on the Export to Excel button in the ribbon bar.
A dialog box option then appears giving you the option of doing a straightforward “static” download. Make sure to click on “Make this data available for re-importing” checkbox.
Dynamics will then create an Excel file in .XML format on your local workstation. You’re then free to edit the spreadsheet in Excel. For example, you can adjust address information in different columns or even add a row to create a new Contact record.
When you’re done, return to Microsoft Dynamics CRM and click on the Import Data button on the ribbon bar to select the file you just edited for uploading.
And that’s it. Currently there’s a limit of 10,000 records you can upload. But this may change in the new update.