How Complex is the Mapping of Field Data Types from Salesforce to Dynamics CRM (Part 1)

During a data migration activity from Dynamics CRM to Salesforce (or vice versa), one can assume that the field data types in Dynamics CRM and the ones in Salesforce are somewhat similar and that the mapping will somehow be straightforward.

Is it really that easy? And how difficult are the transformations if any are required in order to move the data to Dynamics CRM?

In order to import Salesforce data, you need to eventually define Data Maps.

It’s true that you can leverage the Data Maps for Salesforce provided in Dynamics 365 or some other predefined Data Maps that you can find in the market for mapping your data from Salesforce to Dynamics CRM. However, these Data Maps are only available, obviously, for some Salesforce OOB objects (entities are called objects in Salesforce) such as Account, Contact, Opportunity, Lead, etc…

Now what will you do in case your client extended those OOB objects by adding custom fields?

What will you also do if your client created new objects that you will also need to migrate?

If this is the case, how difficult and complex will the data migration activity be?

In the table below, I am attempting to address the way data types should be mapped between both platforms and I describe any required transformation (if any) is needed.

You can find the list of Salesforce Data Types as per the Spring 2017 Release (v39) here.

You can find the list of Dynamics CRM Data Types as per the Dynamics 365 (Dec 2016) Release here.

SFDC Data Type Dynamics CRM Mapping Dynamics CRM Workaround Workaround Complexity
Auto Number Data Type: Whole Number
Field Type: Simple Field
Format Type: N/A
You need to implement a custom solution in order to have the equivalent of this feature. Complex
Checkbox Data Type: Two Options
Field Type: Simple Field
Format Type: N/A
N/A Simple
Currency Data Type: Currency
Field Type: Simple Field
Format Type: N/A
N/A Simple
Date Data Type: Date & Time
Field Type: Simple Field
Format Type: Date Only
N/A Simple
Date/Time Data Type: Date & Time
Field Type: Simple Field
Format Type: Date and Time
N/A Simple
Email Data Type: Single Line of Text
Field Type: Simple
Format Type: Email
N/A Simple
External Lookup Relationship N/A You need to implement a custom solution + integration with the external data source(s) in order to have the equivalent of this feature. Complex
Formula Data Type: Single Line of Text or Option Set or Two Options, Whole Number or Number or Decimal Currency or Date and Time
Field Type: Calculated Field
N/A Simple
Geolocation Data Type: Decimal Number
Field Type: Simple Field
Format Type: You can specify the level of precision and the maximum and minimum values
You need to implement a custom solution in order to have the equivalent of this feature. Moderate
Hierarchical Relationship Data Type: Lookup
Field Type: Simple Field
Format Type: N/A
Hierarchical: Yes
N/A Simple
Indirect Lookup Relationship N/A You need to implement a custom solution + integration with the external data source(s) in order to have the equivalent of this feature. Very Complex
Lookup Relationship Data Type: Lookup
Field Type: Simple Field
Hierarchical: No
N/A Simple
Master-Detail Relationship Data Type: Lookup
Field Type: Simple Field
Type of Behavior: Parental
N/A Simple
Number Data Type: Whole Number
Field Type: Simple Field
Format Type: N/A
N/A Simple
Percent Data Type: Decimal
Field Type: Simple Field
Format Type: You can specify the level of precision and the maximum and minimum values
N/A Simple
Phone Data Type: Single Line of Text
Field Type: Simple Field
Format Type: Phone
N/A Simple
Picklist Data Type: Option Set
Field Type: Simple Field
Format Type: N/A
N/A Simple
Picklist (Multi-select) N/A You need to implement a custom solution in order to have the equivalent of this feature. Moderate to Complex
Roll-Up Summary Data Type: Single Line of Text or Option Set or Two Options, Whole Number or Number or Decimal Currency or Date and Time
Field Type: Calculated Field
N/A Simple
Text Data Type: Single Line of Text
Field Type: Simple Field
Format Type: N/A
N/A Simple
Text (Encrypted) Data Type: Single Line of Text
Field Type: Simple Field
Format Type: N/A
See Part2 of this post Simple to Complex
Text Area Data Type: Multiple Lines of Text
Field Type: Simple Field
Format Type: N/A
N/A Simple
Text Area (Long) Data Type: Multiple Lines of Text
Field Type: Simple Field
Format Type: N/A
N/A Simple
Text Area (Rich) N/A You need to look into ISV solutions options in order to have the equivalent of this feature. Moderate
URL Data Type: Single Line of Text
Field Type: Simple Field
Format Type: URL
N/A Simple

Keep in mind that this can also be helpful when estimating the total migration effort. Both the number of custom fields to migrate and the data types of the custom fields that are involved will have a direct impact on the complexity of the data migration activity.

In the 2nd part of this post, I will provide some more detailed insights about the Dynamics CRM implementation workarounds that will be needed to migrate part of the SFDC field data types.

Hope you find this useful!

Happy CRM’ing!

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