CRM Configuration Migration Tool: Definition, Function, & How to Use

CRM Configuration Migration Tool: Definition, Function, & How to Use

What do you know about configuration data? It is a type of metadata that contains data from a data set. Generally, configuration data is used to define custom functions of Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement that are commonly stored in the form of custom entities. So, what exactly is a CRM configuration migration tool?

As an introduction, CRM or configuration migration is a solution that you can use to move the configuration data stored in an entity to all instances of Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement. Would you like to know more about a CRM configuration migration tool? If so, try reading this article all the way through!

Introducing to Metadata Entities

When it comes to CRM configuration migration tools, you will often deal with metadata entities. What are they? In theory, metadata entities are all the configuration data about your CRM organization that should be present in the CRM solution files. Typically, metadata entities are often known as data about data.

In practice, metadata entities are more often stored in their own custom entities rather than using a selection set. Why is that? Because it can provide varying degrees of flexibility in terms of the type of metadata as well as how much information you can store.

By storing metadata entities in custom entities, it can maintain a list of values without the need for you to perform customization updates. In addition, it can also filter the records available to end users through standard security roles as well as build dependency lists on forms through filtered search features.

Unfortunately, the use of metadata entities stored in custom entities cannot be packaged into a CRM solution. This is the problem. In other words, you need a tool that helps you get metadata entity records from one organization to another easily. Then, that is the task of the CRM configuration migration tool.

Definition of CRM Configuration Migration Tool

CRM configuration migration tool is a powerful instrument used to transport configuration and testing data from a single environment to another. Specifically, test data or sample data is data required and needed to conduct a test.

In other words, a configuration migration tool is a way for you to capture configuration data and then use it both in source control and in automating tests. After all, capturing configuration data does not occur automatically..

So, why should you use a CRM configuration migration tool in Microsoft Dynamics 365? Referring to the previous explanation, CRM is a highly useful utility for those who want to migrate configuration data from multiple entities in a repeatable and efficient way. 

Moreover, with CRM, you can easily transfer the configuration data of an entity from Development to Testing mode, from Testing to Production mode, and many other possibilities. In short, CRM is a utility that will move configuration data in a breeze.

CRM Configuration Migration Tool: Functions

As you already know, CRM configuration migration tool is an amazing utility that helps you to move configuration data of one entity to another environment in an efficient way. Apart from that, CRM also has other functions. What are they? Check out the points below!

  • Allows you to select the entity or field that you want to export configuration data 
  • Avoids duplicate records in the target system by determining the uniqueness condition of each entity based on the combination of the entity’s fields. This condition determination is generally used to compare the values of each target system. 

If there is no matching value, then a unique record will be created on the target system. Conversely, if there is a matching system, then the record will be updated on the target system.

  • You can use this migration tool to disable the plug-in before the configuration data export process. If so, re-enable the plug-in on the target system just after all entity import processes are complete.
  • CRM configuration migration tool has a function to validate the schema of a selected entity which is then exported. The goal is to ensure that all the important data and information you need is available.
  • This utility also allows the reuse of existing schemas to export data from a source system.
  • CRM can automatically move DateTime fields forward during the import process for a demo environment
  • You can use the CRM tool to embed exported modules that it creates in the form of schema or data files in other programs.

The above are some of the amazing functions you can get when using a CRM configuration migration tool. In short, this configuration migration tool is designed with the task of moving configuration data from one entity to another in a practical way.

How does CRM Configuration Migration Tool Works?

For those of you who are still confused about how the configuration migration tool works, here we will show the explanation. In general, there are three points about how this configuration migration tool works. Let’s take a look! 

First, you must specify the source data schema that you will export. This schema file is in the form of .xml which contains various information about the data you want to export. 

These data come in the form of entities, attributes, relations, definitions, and data uniqueness. It also contains information about whether you should disable plug-ins before the data export process.

Next, you can use the schema to export the data. To do so, you can start using the schema file to export the data into a .zip file. The contents of this file format usually contain the data along with the data schema that you have exported.

The third or last thing is to import the data that you have previously exported. You can use the exported data in .zip format to import it into the target environment. In this process, the base data will first be processed in several passes.

Once finished, the import process of the dependent data in the queue begins. The reason why the dependent data comes at the end of the process after the base data is to handle any data relations and ensure that the data import process is clean.

Have You Got the Point of a CRM Configuration Migration Tool?

That’s a short explanation about a CRM configuration migration tool, starting from the definition, function, to how it works. In conclusion, a configuration migration tool is an exceptional tool that will help you transfer configuration data from one environment to another in an efficient way.

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