Import Data – Watch Out for the Hyphen and Dash

On a recent Data Migration project, I needed to trouble-shoot imports from various Excel and Word data sources into Microsoft CRM entities such as Account, Contact, Notes, etc.
I had used the new November Release (R4) of the Import Data Wizard for Microsoft CRM Online.  One of the import failures encountered was that it can’t resolve the Contact Lookup of a particular Note record’s Regarding field.  The contact name was "Jung-Chai Sung" and was a CRM Contact record so the Import Data Wizard should had resolved it for the lookup in the Note’s Regarding field, but it didn’t.
Here is what I found:
Your eyes are not playing tricks on you – the two dashes are different!  And they are two different characters with different ASCII Codes so therefore they don’t match.  As a reference, there are three types of "dashes" (ASCII Code) in the ASCII Code table:
–  (45 Hyphen)

–  (150 En dash)
—  (151 Em dash)

Microsoft CRM Online’s Import Data Wizard is performing as expected.  We need to clean-up the source file and replace all the dashes with a consistent dash "-" (45 Hyphen).  Mystery solved!


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About Frank Lee

Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM/xRM consultant in San Francisco, USA.  Awarded the Microsoft MVP (Dynamics 365/CRM) 12 consecutive years from 2006 to 2018. Actively involved with Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementations since Microsoft CRM v1.0 beta (2002). Super passionate about everything CRM, especially in the areas of Cloud Computing, A.I., Digital Transformation and Automation.
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