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AdamV
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Another way to get a second window open for Outlook is to right click the part of Outlook you want to see and choose "Open in New Window". I often use this to open one window for my calendar with another for my inbox when I am doing lots of scheduling stuff (check emails for who wanted me where for which project, versus calendar of booked work). This works fine for the CRM bit too. On Windows Vista and 7 you can also hold Shift and click on the Outlook icon (or any other) in the taskbar to get a second window of the same program open.
If you download an Office 2007 Open XML file eg .docx .pptx .xlsx etc, and your OS 'converts' this to a zip file, this is just because it recognises that it is in fact a zip file format. Some AV programs do this too, to try and help you by making sure you don't have a file of one type that you think is another. Simply renaming the file from .zip to .pptx (or whatever is appropriate) will do the trick. You may have to configure Windows Explorer to show file extensions to make this easier. Hope this helps everyone
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The problem with Excel is on opening CSV files, not saving them. It makes assumptions when you open CSV files, and treats data that looks like numbers as numbers, dropping leading zeroes as it goes along. Another related problem is if you have fields with long numbers in them (such as serial numbers or product codes) which may get truncated as Excel only supports 15 significant digits (strictly "truncated" is the wrong word because they are padded to the right length/order of magnitude, but you lose the detail at the end, which is the point). To get round this, you need to force Excel to let YOU choose what data type is in which column. The easiest way I have found to do this is change the file extension to .txt, open the file with a file>open and you get the data import wizard. Explicitly declare any possible problem fields as TEXT (or just do this for all fields if that works for you). Another option I have seen discussed is to add a dummy row of data to your CSV where every field has a text entry such as "DELETEME" - Excel won't treat your columns as numeric if even a single entry is text. This is more annoying (for me anyway) because you need to edit it in and out in a text editor.
Joel, you make an interesting observation about export/import. Of course, the data can be transferred separately, but you are right to highlight that this will not be part of normal customisations. On the flip side it is much easier to delegate control of the list to a non-admin user so that requests for change don't have to go via "the CRM guy". For fixed lists (eg all US states) picklists do seem to make more sense. For non-fixed lists (eg job titles) a lookup can make more sense. An additional important point is that the same lookup entity can be linked from various other entities and more easily mapped as well, eg Lead / Account might use same industry sectors, Lead/Contact can use same job titles. I understand CRM 5 will introduce picklists which can be shared in a similar way, but this won't be for a while and some may not upgrade immediately. It will make the choice even harder though, as the differences are reduced.
Toggle Commented Jun 14, 2010 on Beware Of The "Others" at Hitachi Solutions CRM Blog
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Jun 14, 2010