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Sample Data in CRM 2011

Post Author: Joe D365 |

Sales people rejoice! The days of painful imports of sample data into your demo systems is over!

In the upcoming release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 there is a built in mechanism to import sample data into your system. This will undoubtedly be a blessing to a lot of folks (sales folks running demos, consultants who want to show system customizations prior to a data migration, etc) who have had to rely on less than 'ideal' ways of getting sample data in a system.

Until now, we have had 3 options for bringing sample data into our systems:

  1. Manually add sample data (time consuming, boring and inefficient)
  2. Create CSV file(s) of sample data and use the built-in Import Tool (can be tricky for a non-technical user.)
  3. Download the 'Dynamics CRM 4.0 Sample Data' extension from Microsoft (contains a set of CSV files of data and an XML data map. Requires use of the DATA MIGRATION MANAGER. Does not work with CRM Online)

While there are numerous options available for importing sample data, each of the above options has various drawbacks that many have found limiting. These limitations have given rise to the new SAMPLE DATA feature that is present in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.


A utility that can be ran from the CRM website that automatically populates sample data into your system without use of the DMM or Import tools.

What Data is Created?

When executed, the sample data feature creates:

  • 14 Accounts
  • 14 Contacts (related to the above Accounts)
  • 7 Opportunities (related to the above Accounts)
  • 10 Cases (related to the above Accounts)
  • 10 Leads
  • 1 Sales Goal (and Metric)
  • 8 Campaigns
  • 24 Activities (due dates are based on when the sample data was imported; creates a mix of overdue and upcoming activities)

Note: All of the above records will be assigned to the user who started the Sample Data import process. Also, each record will have (sample) appended to the 'name' of the record

How Do I Get This Sample Data In My System?

The best part about the built-in sample data in CRM 2011 is that it is easily brought into the system by clicking one button! No CSV files or XML map files! No need to install the Data Migration Manager!

  1. Navigate to Settings > Data Management > Sample Data
  2. When Sample Data is clicked, the following screen will display. Simply click the 'Import Sample Data' button and the import process will begin (after a few seconds)!

How do I remove the Sample Data?

Removing the sample data is as easy as adding it (no need for manual deletion via Advanced Find!). To remove the data, navigate to the Sample Data section again and click the 'Remove Sample Data' button. The process will start automatically and will remove all the sample data in the system.

Will the sample data import tool populate my custom fields?

Unfortunately the Sample Data tool will not populate data into your custom fields. You will still need to manually add data into any custom fields.

The sample data tool loads 'basic' information for each record type (name, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, etc).

As always the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Experts at PowerObjects would love to help you out – just ping us.

Happy CRM'ing!

By Joe D365
Joe D365 is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 superhero who runs on pure Dynamics adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe D365’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics 365 and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.

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