Some thoughts about Importing Outlook Contacts

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Technical Hints Tips and Tricks that cover customization and development using Sage CRM. API usage and coding are covered.

Some thoughts about Importing Outlook Contacts

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Sage CRM offers integration with Outlook.  Once the Outlook plugin has been installed you see the new CRM Synchronization buttons on the Outlook toolbar.   Depending on how the System Administrator has configured the system, Tasks and Appointments less than seven days old, and those with a future date specified, get synchronized automatically when you select the Sync button in Outlook.

Any CRM Person records that have been marked as being one of 'My Contacts' get automatically brought down to Outlook.  But the upload of Outlook contacts to Sage CRM is not automatic.  For individual contacts you can use the Contacts tab in CRM to select each contact in turn for synchronization with Outlook.

Try as you might you will not be able to add contacts in groups.

There is a sensible reason for why we have to import contacts from Outlook one at a time.  This is because Outlook contacts can have very minimal information which would not satisfy the requirements in CRM.  You'll see when you do import an individual contact you have the mandatory fields that must be completed as when you are entering an individual contact from the main CRM menu.  Another reason it is not fully automated is that people use Outlook for personal contacts in addition to those for work.  For example they might hold in Outlook their dance teacher or dentist. If the CRM database allowed those contacts to be added automatically it would gain contacts that made no business sense.
 
You can however easily import a set of company records outside of the Outlook integration.  Contacts can be added into CRM using the Data Import feature.  That works either with an Excel spreadsheet or a CSV file.
 
You can Export Your Outlook Contacts to a CSV File

To save your contacts from Outlook to a CSV file:
 
Select File | Import and Export... from the menu.
Make sure Export to a file is highlighted.
Click Next >.
Now make sure Comma Separated Values (Windows) is selected.
Click Next > again.
Highlight the Contacts folder.
Click Next >.
Use the Browse... button to specify a location and file name for the exported contacts. Something like "Outlook.csv" or "ol-contacts.csv" on your Desktop should work fine.
Click Next > (once more).
Now click Finish.
 
Once you have the CSV file you will need to check the data to make sure it satisfies the minimum data requirements for your system.  You may want to decide based on the quality of the data whether the contacts are Lead, Individuals or Company contacts and import them using the appropriate method.

For the Import of Custom Data into the system please see the article:

https://community.sagecrm.com/blogs/hints_tips_and_tricks/archive/2007/08/05/using-code-to-import-data-in-a-on-premise-installation.aspx

Comments
  • Jeff:

    Is it possible to sync a company to Outlook?  We have a customer that has companies in the system without contacts and they want these companies to be synced with Outlook.  The companies came in through an import.  I am aware that the data in "My Contacts" is what is going to sync to Outlook.  It appears that the data in My Contacts is associated with the table UserContacts and the data in this table is associated with a personID only not a companyID.  Therefore, is there anyway to sync a company to Outlook if they do not have an associated Contact?

    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!