Importing contacts and linking to accounts

Posted on 2009-04-20
Last Modified: 2013-11-24

I have followed this URL to upload a contacts list and link to the respective accounts:

The one thing the article didn't say to look out for was inactive accounts with the same name. I had some and the import failed. Anyway, my question is if I am importing say 200 contacts and linking to 20 accounts, I would like one of the contacts to be imported as the primary contact for the account. Is that something I can do easily as part of the contact import or is it a post import manual task?


Question by:Lee Savidge
    LVL 10

    Accepted Solution

    Hmm, I haven't tried it, but I think you could add a column called Primary Contact to the import file - leaving it blank if it is not the primary, and possibly putting an "X" in the column if it is.
    You would have to create the same attribute in CRM (or map it to an existing attribute) making sure to follow the rules in the blog about using the auto-matching for the import.
    You could then create a workflow that runs whenever a contact is created.  It would test to see if the Primary Contact column is checked.  If so, it would run an Update Record to update the parent Account record, placing the newly created contact into the Primary Contact field.
    LVL 25

    Author Closing Comment

    by:Lee Savidge

    Hmmm, an interesting method. Dynamics support also said it wasn't possible simply because the import tools that come with it are insert only and not update. Your method would work but I foresee an issue whereby the primary contact changes. It would require 2 changes to alter the primary in this instance. One to undo the marker on the person record and the second to update the account. I lik the idea though. Without a 3rd party product like scribe I think this won't be possible in a clean way. I will award you the points for the idea though as it will work in a fashion.


    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    Actually, you don't really need to worry about the marker (in fact, just hide it with respect to the field).  When you import another record with the same marker, it will simply overwrite the primary contact in the account to be the new contact.  SImple enough.  The only reason for the marker is to make this work on the initial import.  This is exactly the kind of task that Workflow was made for.

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