Redesigned Excel Export From Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015

One of the headline improvements in Microsoft’s Spring 15 Update for Dynamics CRM Online is a redesigned export to Excel process.

In this post we've highlighted the main improvements for all users that need to work with CRM data in Excel.

Warning Dialogue Removed

Currently when you export a CRM list view to Excel desktop you’ll encounter in a warning alert stating the file format and extension of the file don’t match.

That’s because the file format that CRM uses isn’t consistent with the latest editions of Microsoft Excel. The file can still opened but it’s a frustrating step in the process...

With the upcoming release of CRM 2015 Update 1 exports to Microsoft Excel are completed without this message appearing.

One Click Download to Excel

This process can now be completed in a single click avoiding the need to follow an export wizard.

By default CRM copies the entire list to Excel when the Export command is selected in the CRM ribbon.

It's worth noting that this process remains subject to the usual CRM user security permissions so Export to Excel will only be accessible to users who are authorised to export CRM data.

For instances where there is a requirement to export a dynamic worksheet or dynamic pivot table simply click the drop down arrow from the Export command and select the appropriate option.

Preserves the CRM View

One drawback of the legacy export to Excel process was inconsistent data formatting, for example in some instances numeric data would be changed to text format.

This could present problems if numbers were prefixed with zeros in CRM but are removed during the export process and result in an unsatisfactiory experience when users need to work with CRM data in Excel.

In CRM 2015 Update 1 the export is converted as an Excel table which preserves the CRM view and each data format. As a result:

• The correct format is always retained ensuring that numbers stay as numbers
• The Excel tab name will automatically reflect the CRM view name
• Excel column widths are scaled from the CRM view definition for a consistent display

CRM data is now consistently presented in the correct format within Excel to support further analysis and reporting.

Open Exports in Excel Online

CRM data is now exported in .xlsx format so it can now be read by Office 365 users in Microsoft Excel Online.

Select Open in Excel Online frrom the export menu to complete this export in your web browser.

Bulk Edit in Excel Online

Thanks to the new export process users can carry out bulk edits of data in Excel Online and write these changes directly back to Dynamics CRM Online!

Because all CRM data is now exported as an Excel table the field behaviour is preserved.

This includes fields with drop down lists so these defined pick lists are shown in Excel Online when cells are edited.

This immersive Excel Online experience begins with an export from any CRM list view.

Select Export to Excel and then Open in Excel Online to begin analysing and editing your data in a web browser.

Once updates are saved in Excel Online these edits are processed in Dynamics CRM Online as an asynchronous workflow

Exports More CRM Records

Database administrators can now set a record limit up to as many as 100,000 for exports to Excel. This remains subject to a maximum file size of 32MB.

Learn more about the other improvements on the way in CRM 2015 Update 1