But what options do you have in the absence of such tools in cases where the update is beyond the complexity of the simple tools provided by CRM without having to resort to programming techniques to achieve the objective?
One alternative is to combine the power of workflow with the "re-import from Excel" technique.
CRM workflow is pretty powerful these days providing a lot of capability of manipulating CRM data using standard workflow actions and freely available codeplex solutions. So assuming your update requirement can be constructed via a workflow all you need to do is to "trigger" that workflow to run against all the records you want it to run against.
This can be achieved as follows:
- Create a custom text attribute called something like "Temp Workflow Update"
- Create your workflow to trigger off the "field change" of this field
- Construct an Advanced Find query that retrieves the subset of records you want to update and include the "Temp Workflow Update" field in the columns
- Export the rows for re-import
- Go into the Excel file and add some text value to your "Temp Workflow Update" field, copy down, save and re-import
- This re-import should now trigger the workflow which will carry out the update that you configured it to perform.