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Is it possible to convert a free text field to a drop down list from the current data it has ?

Posted on 2007-11-21
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I have a filed in the crm for contact source. since we upgraded from ACT! this field is a free text one so everyone can write what he/she wants. Now I need to convert this field into a dropdown without loosing it's data so that the drop down will contain the text from this field.

thanks
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Question by:Biju708
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Biffster007 earned 500 total points
ID: 20330925
Hi,

There's no out of the box way of converting this to a drop down box as far as I'm aware.

What I would do, which is a bit long winded but will work, is:

1) Extract a list of all the distinct contact source text values for this field.  Store these in a table in a temporary database.
2) Extract a list if the contact GUID and it's associated contact source and store in another table in the temporary database.
3) Remove the Contact Source field from the contact form in CRM.
4) Delete the contact source field.
5) Create the contact source attribute again with the same name as a picklist.
6) Add the distinct values of the contact source extracted in step 1 as picklist values.
7) Add the values to each item in the picklist to the table created in step 1 so each name has an associated value.
8) Join the table created in step 1 with the values to the table created in step 2 on the contact source field.  This will give you a contact guid and contact source value combination.
9) Then you could do 1 of 2 things:
   a) Supported - You could write a DotNet assembly to update the contact source field of the contacts with the new picklist value.
   b) Unsupported - You could update the database directly.

As I said long winded but it will work.
Hope this helps.,

Che,
MH
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