Dynamics 365 for Talent: Data Management

Published by Barry Francis on the 27 of June 2019.

Data within any system must have its own set of processes that govern how data is placed into a system as well as how it can be exported out. This post seeks to showcase the two different ways this can be done through Dynamics 365 for Talent.

A few assumptions upfront:

  • You have an administration account that have access to the System Administration tab within Talent.
  • You have an understanding of how data works within Excel and have worked with data exports/imports before.
  • You have explicit personalization permissions on your user account.

Content

Open in Microsoft Office

Export and Import – System Administration

Open in Microsoft Office

The first initial path that every user must check is if the data is available within the entity itself. To do this, navigate to one of the following entities:

Personnel Management –> Positions

Personnel Management –> Workers

Personnel Management –> Organizations –> Jobs

Once you’ve opened up one of the entities, have a look to the top right of your browser and locate the office icon.

By selecting this, if you see any Excel based documents under the Open in Excel heading, then these entities are available for export, bulk update and re-import.

Once selected, you’ll be prompted to download the entity Excel document selected or save the Excel document to a OneDrive / SharePoint location. If you wish to do a bulk import / bulk update for re-import, select the download button.

If this is your first time selecting this button, you should be prompted to sign in with your Office 365 user account. Once authenticated, it will begin retrieving all the details connected to just this entity (and data if there is already data).

The first part of this connector you need to pay attention too is the primary key field that is being used. In this case, I’ve chosen to export the Employee Excel data file which is using the Personnel Number field as its primary key.

The other buttons that you can interact with are:

  • New

When selected, will add another row to the data sheet that will allow you to populate as you see fit. All data within each new row will be pushed through to Talent as a record.

  • Refresh

Selecting this button will refresh all the data connected to the export.

  • Publish

This button will push through any data changes. These changes include:

  • Deletion of records – if there are no dependencies on the current data, you can delete any and all rows of data and publish this as a bulk delete.
  • Any updates – if there are any updates to the data itself, these changes will be pushed through.
  • New rows – if there are any new rows set, these will be pushed through as new records for that entity.
  • Filter

Once selected, you can set a filter to the data that can be set from any field on the entity you’ve exported from. Once set, select the Done button and refresh the data.

  • Design

If there are additional columns you need added to the export file, additional entity columns from another related entity or labels updated, then use the design button.

If you simply want to add/remove columns from a list of available columns within the entity you’ve selected, select the pen icon next to the table name.

There you will have a list of available fields against the selected fields. Add or remove the fields you wish to view on the export and, once completed, refresh to view the data under each column, update existing data under the column or delete the information.

Here you can see the following examples of what was discussed above.

I made a change to an employees title within Excel, which when published, was updated in Talent.

Here is an example of when I selected New and added in the new record.

NOTE: I had to remove Name as the name field is a combination of both the first and last name fields. Once these fields were added and refreshed, I could publish the new record. I found this because when I published, I received the following error that pointed me directly to the row and affected column.

Unfortunately, it does not give you solutions to the errors you are experiencing and will need to plug and play different paths in solving these errors.

Export and Import – System Administration

If you need to import a set of records against an entity that does not have an office Excel option, like Reports To under positions, then you will need to follow the steps below to achieve this bulk import.

Firstly, you must find out the name of the entity table BEFORE you can start.

To do this, try this path before manually scrolling through the list of data entities.

Navigate to the related entity you wish to import from and select the Option button on the top of the screen.

For example, I’d like to import the Reports To managers for each position, i.e. the position the current position will report to. To initiate this step, I’ll navigate to positions as I know Reports To sits within positions.

Then I will select the Personalize this form button and choose to add a field. Then hover over the Reports To section of the form until a mouse icon appears to the left of the section. Select this mouse icon.

A small window to the right of the screen should open up. Scroll through the list until you see the fields under the section appearing, this is the entity table name you will need to export and or import against.

If no entity name is shown, navigate to System Administration à Data Management à Data Entities. Then scroll through the entity list and try find the entity you are looking for. To validate the entity, tick the entity and click on the Target Fields button and see if the fields on the entity match the requirement.

Now that you have the entity you need to export for importing, you can continue with the alternate step.

Start by navigating System Administration à Data Management à Export.

Enter all the required fields, specifically setting the fields to the following:

Group Name:

Description:

Data project operation type: Export

Project Category: Project

Click on the Add entity button and add the entity name to the form that shows up.

Make sure you set the

Entity Name:

Target data format: Excel

Skip Staging: No

Default refresh type: Full Push Only

Once you’ve set the entity, click on the Add button to add the export list. Close the Add entity form once its been set in the background.

Click on the Export button on the top of the form to get the excel document.

Once it’s done, click on the Download package to get the excel document.

Save the file to a location you know you can find at a later stage. Open the Excel document within the package.

Update the Excel document with the relevant information required. Keep in mind that:

  • Date formats must remain the same as the export list.
  • No additional columns can be added to the export list that doesn’t already exist in the export document.
  • If you change a row, the update will be pushed through.
  • If you delete a row, the record will remain. The import will only be an update insert, never a delete.

Save the document as a different version to another location in preparation for import.

Now for the importing, navigate to System Administration à Data Management à Import.

Create a new import project by enter all the required fields, specifically setting the fields to the following:

Group Name:

Description:

Data project operation type: Import

Project Category: Project

Click on the Add file  button and add the entity name to the form that shows up.

Make sure you set the

Entity Name:

Source data format: Excel

Use sample file: No

Skip Staging: No

Default refresh type: Full Push Only

Once set, click on the import file to start the import.

Once the project has completed, you can view both export and import projects under System Administration à Data Management à Data Projects (sits on the right of the data management tiles).

Clicking on the project will allow you to export the same Excel document or run another import file.

You can use the projects to:

  • Override any imports you’ve done AFTER that project.
  • Export Excel import files at any point in time.
  • Open the project and view the job execution  details to see where the issues on the import could be.
2019-06-27T10:44:24+00:00