Tips for Migrating Your On-premise CRM Data Into the Cloud

If you're looking for expert tips on how best to migrate your on-premise CRM data into the Cloud, you've come to the right place. Our Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementation expert and Scribe superstar, James Studer, regularly shares his tips and tricks on his popular blog, Living in Dynamics 365.

In his recent post, Getting Your Data Into Dynamics 365, he discusses the extremely common need to migrate data from older CRM systems when implementing a new CRM system. Getting the data you need into your new system can be quite complicated. In many cases you'll need to use a migration tool. But not all CRM data migration systems are created equal and identifying the correct tool can be really confusing. But fear not, James has shared a Pro's and Con's list that includes all of the major Microsoft Dynamics CRM data migration tools to help.


Microsoft Dynamics CRM Data Migration Tools: Pros and Cons of Popular Tools

Here are the CRM data migration tools that we will evaluate and compare:

1. KingswaySoft

2. SCRIBE Online

3. D365 Data Import Wizard

4. D365 Data Loader

 

    1.) KingswaySoft

    KingswaySoftLogo.png

    KingswaySoft is an integration toolkit built on SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS).  It is an on-premise solution (but can be cloud if installed on virtual machine in Microsoft Azure or Amazon AWS).  It can be used for integration, migration and replication.  In full disclosure I have not used KingswaySoft for a data migration yet, because of the reasons I list in the con's.  But, I have had clients that use it.  They offer a free download and developer license, so you can give it a try.

    PROs:

    • SSIS has been around for a long time and SQL developers are familiar with it.
    • Has starter packs that can be used to speed up development of mappings.
    • Easy integration with source control since development is done in Visual Studio.

    CONs:

    • Since its built on SSIS you need to know the disadvantages of SSIS as well.
    • Can be intimidating is the user is not a developer, since you have to develop within Visual Studio or SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS).

     


    2.) SCRIBE Online:

    ScribeLogo.png

    SCRIBE Online is a product offered by SCRIBE for data integration, migration and replication.  This is the tool I use the most when it comes to migrating data into Microsoft Dynamics 365 and integrating with other systems.  It runs in the cloud and has an on-premise agent you install to access your on-premise data / system. There is also a cloud agent, if all your applications are already in the cloud.  They offer a free trial that you can use to see if it will fit your needs.

    PROs:

    • User interface is easy to understand and clean.
    • Runs in the cloud and uses a small tool (agent) to access on-premise data.  If all systems are in the cloud already then a cloud agent can be used so there is no need for an on-premise system.
    • Multiple connectors.  Makes it easy to connect to other systems and migrate the data into CRM.
    • API - They provide an API so you can access your instance programmatically.
    • Fast Connector Framework (FCF) \ Connector Development Kit (CDK) - If a connector doesn't exist you can use the FCF or CDK to create one.
    • Provide starter kits to speed up you data mapping. 
    • They offer a Dynamics 365 app, so you can monitor status from within CRM.

    CONs:

    • Sometimes there are caching issues and you have to clear browser cache to fix them.
    • To get mappings into source control it is a manual process, since you have to export them and copy them into a local folder.

     

     

    3.) D365 Data Import Wizard:

    ImportWizard.png

    The Data Import Wizard is built within Microsoft Dynamics.  It allows for easy import of .csv, .xls, .xlsx and .zip files.  My very first data migration was done with importing .xls files into CRM using the Data Import Wizard (it was not easy).  If you are doing a large or complex migration, I recommend staying away from this approach and using a different tool.  Only use this for small occasional imports.

    PROs:

    • Built within Dynamics 365.
    • Mappings saved in CRM for later use.
    • Great for small non-complex mappings.
    • Can be used with the CRM SDK / Developer Guide.


    CONs:

    • There is a limit to the file size you can use for importing data.  This means you will need to split up your data into multiple files, which can increase the possibility of data duplication.
    • If there is relationships to other entities in your mapping, it can be difficult to set all these and have them work consistently.
    • Tool is vary inconsistent when importing data.

     

    4.) D365 Data Loader:

    D365DataLoader.png

    This is a new tool that Microsoft has release with Dynamics 365.  It was designed to help business move from CRM On-Premise to CRM Online.  This one I can not give a Pro's and Con's list to because it is still in preview. I will say that it is a viable option if you're considering moving from CRM On-Premise to CRM Online. 

     

     

     

     

    Conclusion:

    It can be really difficult to choose a tool for migrating your CRM from on-premise to the Cloud and say that it will work 100% of the time for all needs.  Every organization's needs are different and the system's strengths are diverse. All being said, If I did have to choose one to use, I typically choose SCRIBE Online. Why? It's it's the most user friendly, it's quick and easy for end users to learn, and it's simple to maintain.
     

    Need help picking the right tool for your organization or help moving your on-premise data to the Cloud? Our experts, including James himself, can help! 


     

     

    Dynamics 365, CRMAlex Quinn