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Tools to migrate data

There are several ways to migrate data into Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013. You will choose the method depending on what is to be migrated and whether any additional processes need to be carried out on the provided data to meet Dynamics NAV requirements.

We’ll go through the different tools available in Dynamics NAV to migrate data. We’ll also explain how to write our own tools if the ones provided out of the box do not meet our requirement or expectation.

RapidStart Services

RapidStart Services is a new feature of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013. It allows you to configure your company using out of the box configurations. Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 also allows streamlined importing of opening balances into journals and active documents with dimensions.

Typically, a Dynamics NAV implementation project can go on for a great length of time. With RapidStart Services, Dynamics NAV 2013 delivers a new way for partners and customers to speed up implementations. RapidStart Services is a tool designed not only to shorten deployment time but also to improve quality, to introduce a repeatable approach to implementations, and to automate and simplify recurring tasks.

With RapidStart Services, you can set up the tables often involved in the configuration process of new companies. You can create a questionnaire to guide your customers through the collection of setup information. Your customers have the option of using the questionnaire to set up application areas, or they can open the setup page directly and complete the setup there. Most importantly, RapidStart Services helps you, as a customer, prepare the company with default setup data that you can fine-tune and customize. Lastly, when you use RapidStart Services, you can configure and migrate existing customer data, such as a list of customers or items, into the new company.

The RapidStart Services tools can be found under the Department menu, Departments/Administration/Application Setup/RapidStart Services for Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

The following components can be used to set up a new company:

  • Configuration wizard

  • Configuration packages

  • Configuration worksheet

  • Configuration templates

  • Configuration questionnaire

We will explain how these components work by following a step-by-step example of each of them. Before starting with the example, you need to create a new company, and we also recommend that you change your role to that of the RapidStart Services implementer. Follow these steps to do both these things:

  1. Open Microsoft Dynamics NAV Development Environment.

  2. Click on File | Company | New. A window opens; in it, you can enter the name of the new company.

  3. Click on the OK button and wait for a few seconds until the system finishes creating the company.

  4. Open the Windows client. Click on the the Dynamics icon found on the upper-right corner of the page. Then, click on the Select Company option. On the Select Company page, choose the company called New Company. Then click on the OK button.

    You have now entered in the New Company section. Follow the ensuing steps to change your role.

  5. Open the User Personalization page, found via Departments/ Administration/Application Setup/RoleTailored Client/ User personalization.

  6. Select your user ID and click on the Edit option.

  7. In the Profile ID field, select RAPIDSTART SERVICES.

  8. Close the Windows client and open it again. Your Role Center now looks like the following screenshot

    Now that we have a new company and we have selected the RapidStart Services implementer role, we are ready to use all the components of the RapidStart Services tool to set up our company.

Configuration wizard

The configuration wizard is used to quickly configure a new company. Click on the RapidStart Services Wizard option found on the ribbon bar.

A new page will open where you will be able to enter basic information about the new company.

You can go through all the tabs of the page entering the required information. The Select Package tab will be explained in the Configuration packages section, next.

Configuration packages

There are more than 200 tables that could be considered configuration tables. You will need to fill them in when you create a new company.

First of all, you will find almost 50 tables with the word setup as their description, but there are many other tables that could also be considered as setup tables. Here you can see a list of some setup tables:

  • Posting groups: There are 10 tables located here

  • Journal batch tables and journal template tables: More than 20 tables are located here

  • G/L accounts, account schedules and VAT statements: Almost 10 tables are present here.

  • Payment terms, payment methods, currencies, languages, countries and regions, post codes, series, and so on are the other setup tables without the word setup in their description.

Having to edit all those tables manually on each implementation could take forever. Many companies can use Dynamics NAV with the same data or almost the same data on those configuration tables.

The best approach will be to create a configuration package for the data on the configuration tables and then apply it on each new implementation, like a template.

You can create one configuration package per functional area, for example, you can create one package for the manufacturing functionality. Another approach would be to create one package for each type of data, for example, you could create one package with data related to all the posting groups found in the application.

In this section we will see how to create a configuration package and also how to apply it to a new company.

Creating a configuration package

In this section we are going to create a new configuration package with all posting groups tables found on the application. Since posting groups refer to general ledger accounts, we are also going to include the chart of accounts in our package.

Follow these steps to create the new configuration package:

  1. Select a company containing the data that you want to include in your configuration package, for example, we have selected the demonstration company CRONUS International Ltd.

  2. From the RapidStart Services implementer Role Center, click on the Packages option.

  3. Click on the New button on the ribbon bar. The Config.Package Cardpage opens. Fill in the fields in the General tab, as shown in the following screenshot:

  4. Add tables to the packages by creating new lines on the Tables tab, as shown in the following screenshot. You will only have to fill in the Table ID column.

  5. When you insert a table on the package, all table fields are included by default. In some cases, you may want to exclude certain fields from the package. Select the G/L Account table and click on Table | Fields. On the Config. Package Fields page, uncheck the Include Field column for the Global Dimension 1 Code field and the Global Dimension 2 Code field.

  6. Click on the Export Package option on the ribbon bar. This will create a RAPIDSTART file that you can save.

Applying a configuration package

In the previous section we created a new configuration package. In this section we are going to apply this package to the company New Company, that we created earlier in this article.

Follow these steps to apply the configuration package:

  1. On the Windows client, open the company New Company.

  2. From the RapidStart Services implementer’s role center, click on the RapidStart Services Wizard option.

  3. On the Select package tab, select the configuration package that you created in the previous section.

  4. Click on the Apply Package option found on the ribbon bar.

  5. Click on the Configuration Worksheet option if you want to edit the applied data check errors found during the importation. The configuration worksheet is explained in the next section.

The data contained in the configuration data has been imported to the new company. You can also import packages from the packages page we saw while creating the configuration package.

Configuration worksheet

The configuration worksheet is the central location in which you can plan, track, and perform your configuration work. For those of you that have used previous versions of Dynamics NAV, the configuration worksheet is the old migration tool with some new features.

You use the configuration worksheet to create the structure of tables that need to be imported with the company data. You will be able to export this structure to Microsoft Office Excel, fill in the data, and then import it b ack to Dynamics NAV. This makes it easy for companies to copy and paste informa tion from another ERP system.

We’ll explain how the configuration worksheet works by creating a migration structure for the sales area and then importing some demo data into the customer’s table.

Creating the migration structure

To create a migration structure, you need to use a company that is already configured. We will use the demo company CRONUS International Ltd.

Follow the steps described in this section:

  1. Open the configuration worksheet.

  2. Create a line for table 18, Customer. You only need to fill in the Line Type field and the Table ID field.

  3. Now, we have to put the tables into a configuration package. Click on the Assign Package option from the ribbon bar.

  4. The Config.Packages page opens. Create a new package and call it Customer. Then, click on the OK button.

  5. Now we have to define which fields will be included in the migration process.Click on the Fields option on the Actions tab of the ribbon bar.

  6. The Config. Package Fields page will open, showing all fields available in the table. In this list, we will have to place checkmarks on the Include Field column for all the fields we want to be part of the migration process. By default, all fields are checked. Click on the Clear Included option to uncheck all the fields.

    All primary key fields must be included in the migration process. The Include Fields checkmark cannot be unchecked for these fields.

  7. Select the following fields to be included. Then, click on the OK button.

    When importing the data into the table, fields will be validated according to their processing order. You can use the Move Up and Move Down options to change the default validation order.

    You can also uncheck the Validate Field column for a field if you don’t want to run the OnValidate trigger of the field. If you do so, you will have to validate the data consistency on your own.

  8. We will now add a filter to determinate which records will be included in the template we are going to create later on. Click on the Filters option on the Actions tab of the ribbon bar. We will add a filter to the No. field to only include customers with a blank No. field. Since this is the primary key of the table, all customers should have filled up this field. No records will match the filter, so no records will be included while exporting the template. Add the filter as shown in the following screenshot:

  9. Back at the configuration worksheet; the Related Tables FactBox shows the tables that are related to the Customer table.

    The first related table is Payment Terms. We will not be able to fill in the payment terms code for a customer unless it exists on the Payment Terms table. Therefore, we need to include related tables in the configuration worksheet. Use the Get Related Tables option found on the Actions tab of the ribbon bar to add new tables to the worksheet.

  10. The system has included all the related tables. However for this example, delete all tables, except the ones shown in the following screenshot:

  11. We are now going to group the tables by adding areas and groups. Create a new line and select the Area option on the Line Type field. Write Sales Area in the Name field. Use the Move Up option from the Actions tab of the ribbon bar to move the new line to the first position.

  12. Create three new lines for the Master Data, Secondary Data, and General Settings groups. Use the Move Up and Move Down options to rearrange the tables as shown in the following screenshot:

  13. Now, we have to put the tables into a configuration package. Click on the Assign Package option from the ribbon bar.

  14. The Config. Packages page opens. Create a new package and call it Customer. Then, click on the OK button.

  15. Back at the configuration worksheet page; you can see that the Package Code field is now filled for all the rows.

  16. Click on Package Card, and then click on the Export Package option to save the package file for the migration structure we have defined.

Now that you, as a partner, have defined the migration structure, it’s time for the users to complete the migration by providing their data.

Migrating your data

The partners are responsible for creating the migration structure according to company’s needs. We have done that in the previous section. Then, the rest of the work can be done by the end users. Therefore, you will need to train the end users on the steps explained in this section.

To provide data for the new company, you can follow the ensuing steps:

  1. Open the company named New Company that we created earlier in this article.

  2. Open the package page and click on the Import Package option. Select the file created in the previous section. The data included in the package is stored in special tables. It will not be applied to the database yet.

  3. Open the Configuration Worksheet page. The system has created the configuration structure of the new company while importing the package file.

  4. Select the line for the table with the table-ID 3, Payment Terms. The Package Table FactBox shows us some information, as shown in the following screenshot:

    For instance, we can see that 6 records were included in the package.

  5. Click on the Package Data option on the ribbon bar. A page opens showing all the data included in the package.

    Before applying it to the database, you can delete or insert lines or modify the existing ones.

  6. Go back to the Config. Worksheet page and click on the Apply Data option. Now the payment terms are created on the database. You can repeat this action for the Payment Method table.

  7. Change the Status column for both tables and select the option Completed.

  8. On your Role Center page, you will be able to see the level of completion of the migration tasks.

  9. To migrate data for the Customer table, open the Config. Worksheet page and select the line for the Customer table. Click on the Export to Template option on the ribbon bar. The system will export the template, and will open the Excel file.

  10. We will use the information extracted from the old system to fil l in our Excel template. We are going to import the customers shown in the following screenshot:

  11. In the configuration worksheet, click on the Import from Template option and import your customers’ file. Use the Package Data option to check the data and then click on the Apply Data option.

  12. Click on the Database Data option to see the records that have been created in the Customer table.

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