Import data

If you want to import data into Common Data Service, you can use the data import feature. Data import lets you upload data from various customer relationship management systems and data sources into Common Data Service. You can import data into standard and customized attributes of most business and custom entities. You can also include related data, such as notes and attachments.

Common Data Service includes a web application tool called Import Data Wizard. You use this tool to import data records from one or more comma-separated values (.csv), XML Spreadsheet 2003 (.xml), or text files.

For more information about the Import Data Wizard, see Common Data Service Help.

The Common Data Service web services provide the following additional capabilities that aren’t available in the Import Data Wizard:

  • Create data maps that include complex transformation mapping, such as concatenation, split, and replace.

  • Define custom transformation mapping.

  • View source data that is stored inside the temporary parse tables.

  • Access error logs to build custom error reporting tools with improved error logging views.

  • Run data import by using command-line scripts.

  • Add LookupMapXML tags in the data map to indicate that the data lookup will be initiated and performed on a source file that is used in the import.

  • Add custom OwnerMetadataXML tags in the data map to match the user records in the source file with the records of the user (system user) in Common Data Service.

  • Use optional validation checks.


    Validation isn’t optional in the Import Data Wizard.

    To implement data import, you typically do the following:

  • Create a comma-separated values (CSV), XML Spreadsheet 2003 (XMLSS), or text source file.

  • Create a data map or use an existing data map.

  • Associate an import file with a data map.

  • Upload the content from a source file to the associated import file.

  • Parse the import file.

  • Transform the parsed data.

  • Upload the transformed data into the target Common Data Service server.

    You can import data from one source file or several source files. A source file can contain data for one entity type or multiple entity types.

    Parsing, transforming, and uploading of data is done by the asynchronous jobs that run in the background.


By default, all custom entities are enabled for import. To determine if a business entity is enabled for import, see the entity metadata for the specific entity. If an entity is enabled for import, the entity metadata property IsImportable is set to true. The value of this property can’t be changed for the out-of-the-box business entities.

See Also

Prepare source files for import
Create data maps for import
Add transformation mappings for import
Configure data import
Run data import
Data import entities
Sample: Export and import a data map
Sample: Import data using complex data map