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Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Bulk import and delete of Subject data – Part I

This post is the first of the two-part series that deals with bulk import and bulk delete of Subjects in CRM 2013. Here I will explain how to bulk import Subject data.


The Subject lookup is very unique in Dynamics CRM due to the fact that it is the only lookup that is formatted in a hierarchical tree structure. The typical use, at least in the out of the box scenario, is around incidents and knowledge base articles. Recently I was working with a customer who wanted to leverage the Subject lookup, and had a whole bunch of Subjects (both active and inactive) that needed to be imported. Here are a few things I learned along the way which might prove useful to you!


Subject Bulk Import


Similar to other entities, Subject has a data map that can be downloaded from Settings/ Data Management/ Data Maps. Once downloaded, the data map looks something like this:




Most of the fields are self explanatory - so I will focus only on these 2 fields:


Parent Subject - this row needs to be filled only if your current Subject is a child Subject. Note that the Parent should either already exist in the system, of should be up above in the list so that it is created first.


Feature Mask - This row, when set to 1, will display the Subject in the Subject tree. When the row value is zero (0), the subject is imported, but not visible to the user. Think of it as "inactive" subjects that might be needed due to legacy data, but is not being used currently.


Bonus Tip: If you are looking to set the feature mask to zero to import an "inactive" Subject, make sure there is no Parent Subject value filled out. If you do, the Subject automatically becomes active, meaning it is visible in the subject tree.


Enter the needed values into the file and save it as a csv file.


Go to Settings/ Data Management/ Imports and select Import Data.





Browse to the csv file that contains the list of subjects to import.




Map to Subjects entity and map the fields in the csv file to the Subject fields.




Import the data. Once import is complete, the Subject tree should be populated with the data from the csv file, as shown in the screenshot below:




Notice that the only way to remove the newly added subjects is to select them individually and choose delete. There is no “advanced find” option where you can search for multiple subjects and delete the search results.


In the next part of the series, I will provide a solution to bulk delete the imported subject data. Thanks for reading, and please leave your feedback in the comments section!


For more Microsoft Dynamics CRM tips, check out my other blog posts.



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CRM enthusiast, avid techie

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