How to Easily Import Data into Dynamics 365 Business Central

Learn how to import data into Dynamics 365 Business Central, or modify existing records, using the Configuration Package. This blog discusses the areas in Dynamics 365 Business Central that you can use this import functionality, outlines step-by-step instructions on how to import data, and a video with instructions is included at the end of the article.

Importing Data into Dynamics 365 Business Central

There are many situations you are likely to come across where you have a lot of data that you would like to import into the system, rather than keying it manually one record at a time.

A benefit with Dynamics 365 Business Central is that it comes with an import tool out of the box. The tool is called a Configuration Package, which allows you to create an import package where, once created, you will be able to import data from Excel into any table in Business Central. Once the configuration package is setup, you will have Excel templates that can be used again and again to import data into Business Central.

The list below highlights some of the popular areas where the import function can be used:

  • New GL Accounts
  • New Customers
  • New Vendors
  • New Items
  • Sales Header
  • Sales Line
  • Purchase Header
  • Purchase Line
  • General Journal Line
  • Item Journal Line
  • Sales Price
  • Purchase Price

The list of tables that can use this function and the creative ways you can create import files, is numerous.

Modifying Data in Dynamics 365 Business Central

The configuration package can also be used to modify fields in existing records. For example, you can use it to mass block a group of vendors or put numerous invoices on hold. Instead of keying those changes one at a time, you can import those modifications from Excel into Dynamics 365 Business Central using the configuration package.

How to Import Data into Dynamics 365 Business Central

In this example, we will be importing new Customer records. The following steps will be the same for other records, the main difference is what the table number will be.

Click on one of the steps below to jump ahead to a specific section:

Step 1: Determine the Table Number

The first thing we need to determine is which table the data is going into. Navigate to your Customer window, then in the top-right corner of Business Central click ‘?’ and then select ‘Help and Support’.

D365 BC navigation, showing how to get to the help area

In the Help and Support window, scroll down and under Troubleshooting click ‘Inspect pages and data’.

D365 BC Help and Support window, clicking on inspect pages and data link

This will open the ‘Page Inspection’ side pane which displays information for the page you are on. The key thing to look for is the Table number. In our example, the Table number is 18, denoted by ‘Customer (18)’.

D365 BC Page Inspection area open, with Table area outlined

Once we’ve taken note of the table number, you can close out of the Page Inspection pane.

Step 2: Create the Configuration Package

The next step is to create the configuration package. In the search bar, type in ‘config packages’ and select ‘Configuration Packages’.

Once in the Configuration Packages window, click ‘New’. Now we will set up a new Configuration Package Card for customers.

D365 BC Configuration Package window, clicking on 'New' button

Type a name in the ‘Code’ and ‘Package Name’ area. In this example, the name will be ‘Customers’. Then further down, you’ll enter in the Table ID that was identified in the Page Inspection step. In the screenshot below, 18 was typed into the ‘Table ID’ area and then we tabbed over, which automatically populated the Table Name.

D365 BC Configuration Package car, with Table information outlined

Step 3: Review the Template’s Included Fields

Before exporting the template, we want to see which fields will be included. Remaining in the newly created Configuration Package Card, click ‘Table’ and then click ‘Fields’.

D365 BC Configuration Package Card, selecting Table Fields

That will bring up the main window that shows all the included fields for the table. By default, every table will have fields already included, shown by a grey checkmark in the Included Fields column. This means that those fields will be included and added to the exported template.

If you’re only looking to import into certain fields or columns, you can click ‘Clear Included’ at the top of the window and that will clear all the checkmarks. Then in the ‘Included Field’ column, you would manually click on the fields you want to include in your template. You may need to click the Edit List button before the page will accept clicks in the Include column.

Close out of the Fields window when you are satisfied with your ‘Included Field’ selections.

D365 BC Edit Configuration Package Window, showing rows and columns

Step 4: Export Excel Template and Complete with Data

Next, we want to export the Excel template so we can add our data to it. Back in the Configuration Package Card, click ‘Excel’ and then click ‘Export to Excel’. This will download an Excel file that contains all the fields that were checked off in the previous step and it will include all the records that are currently existing in the system in the table.

D365 BC Configuration Package, showing Import from Excel button

Open the downloaded Excel file. The next step is to delete the rows of your existing data in the exported file and then save the Excel file as an import template for the records you are going to import. In this example I’m importing Customers, so the next time we want to import customers the same Excel template can be used and then we will use the Customer Configuration Package.

Excel template export from D365 BC Configuration Package area

Once you’ve saved the Excel template, fill in your customer data that you want imported into Business Central. Below is the customer data we will be importing. Once all the data is filled out, save the Excel file, and navigate back to Business Central.

Excel template populated with test data ready for import into D365 BC

Step 5: Import Excel File and Apply the Data

When you’re ready to import the data, go into the Configuration Package Card you created in the earlier steps. Navigate back to the Customers Configuration Package, click ‘Excel’, and then select ‘Import from Excel’.

D365 BC Configuration Package window, with Import from Excel area outlined

Click ‘Choose’ and that will open File Explorer where you will select your Excel file with the data you want to import.

D365 BC interface with import from Excel window

Another window will appear after you’ve selected your Excel file where you will then click ‘Import’, as shown in the screenshot below.

D365 BC interface, Configuration Package Import preview window, with import button outlined

Now the data has been imported into the configuration package, but it hasn’t gone into the Customer Table yet. To do that, click ‘Functions’ and then select ‘Apply Data’.

D365 BC Configuration Package card, with Functions-Apply Data outlined

Then you’ll get a pop-up message that shows a summary of the processed data. In the screenshot below, it shows that the four customers were imported correctly. If there was an error, an error report will be generated, and you can review the errors and then troubleshoot accordingly.

D365 BC Configuration Package card, import data summary window

Step 6: Review Imported Data

Next, we’ll want to review the data in the Customer record itself. This example was done at a small scale with four customers, and we can see that they were imported and applied correctly.

D365 BC Customer Data

Video Instructions of How to Import Data into Dynamics 365 Business Central

The video shows how to import data into Dynamics 365 Business Central and shows some examples of other ways to use configuration packages.

In the video, we go over the following:

  • How to use the ‘Inspect pages and data’ function to find which table stores the data you are trying to import – 1:10
  • How to create a configuration package that will be used to import data from Excel into Business Central – 2:40
  • Demo of using the configuration package to import customer master records – 5:20
  • Examples of how to use configuration packages further – 7:25

Please reach out to us if you have any questions about importing data into Dynamics 365 Business Central.

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