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How do I import data into the various modules in OpenCRM?

Rated 5.00 starRated 5.00 starRated 5.00 starRated 5.00 starRated 5.00 star Updated: 13 March 2019 15:38:28 OpenCRM::Leads OpenCRM::Contacts OpenCRM::Companies OpenCRM::Settings

To import data into OpenCRM you will need to have the import data in a compatible format. This is easy to do using a spreadsheet program, such as Microsoft Excel or OpenOffice, normally saving the file format as a CSV file. This is a common file type that is easy to manage and import.

First: Prepare the Data File

1. Ensure the data file is in CSV format (Note: for Mac users: Below the field showing the file name, you have a menu where you can select the file type. Here you should select the type CSV for Windows and this should ensure that the file is in a format recognised by the CRM import tool.)

2. Address fields (Building name, Address 1, Address 2, Address 3) need to be imported into one single field; use CONCATENATE formula in excel and you also need to insert line breaks. Click on the following link to see how to do this FAQ

3. Check telephone fields (excel has a habit of formatting as a number and removing the preceeding “0”)

4. Add a field called “Import Source” and populate this field with something that relates to the data “e.g. Bought Data October”. This is to help you identify where the data has come from.

5. Check data formatting

a. Date fields should be in the format yyyy-mm-dd (or) yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm

b. For tickbox fields data should be 1 or 0 (yes or no)

c. If wishing to assign import data to a particular user, add a field called USER ID

    i.      The user ID should be the USERNAME (login name) from OpenCRM (note this needs to be an exact match as the field is case sensitive)

    ii.      OR the externalid of the user, if users have been imported from an external system (e.g. sales force)

Next: Prepare OpenCRM

1. Add a custom field to the entity to import into called “Import Source” (if one doesn’t already exist)

2. Add custom fields for any fields present in the import source that are not in OpenCRM (even if they don’t seem relevant as they can easily be hidden/turned off)

Time for the Import

1. Go to the module that you wish to import into (remember to apply some logic, in other words, if you are importing Contact Data, then go to the Contacts module, similarly with Company Data, this should be done through the Company module).

2. Select the Module

3. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and select the "Import" option

4. Follow the steps on screen, which include:

  • Select the Type of file to import - generally this would be a CSV file so select CUSTOM - Click NEXT
  • Select the CSV file to import using the BROWSE button

Note : Has Header means that the spreadsheets first row contained the data describing the columns details, this row is displayed, to help with the field mapping, but not imported. Click NEXT.

5. This will upload the data onto the server in a temporary area to help speed up the import process so may take a short while.

6. The next screen contains two columns, the left column allows you to select the OpenCRM Field that you are going to import into, the right column displays a sample of the data that is due to be imported, this helps with the field mapping.

7. When you have completed this field mapping, you can select the IMPORT NOW button to start the data import.

8. Saving as Custom Mapping - this allows you to see the field mapping that you have set up in case you need to use the same structure again. For details please see this FAQ:

Troubleshooting problem areas concerning data import


There are various reasons why a data import into OpenCRM doesn't work as you would expect it to. Please refer to this FAQ article which identifies some hotspots and presents solutions to these issues:

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