How to Use the Import Template to Determine Fields When Customizing Entities in Microsoft Dynamics 365

When you customize entities in Microsoft Dynamics 365, you want to be extremely thorough in determining which fields you want an entity to have, so that when you import data, you import all of the necessary data, and don’t have to go back and make lots of changes later. Updating fields and forms in one clean sweep sounds tricky, but with the right approach, it can be quick and painless. Let’s go over one aspect of that approach that’s going to get you going on the right track.

Each entity includes a data import template that you can download. Not only can you download it, however, you can also edit it. The reason this is so useful is that the template for each entity includes a column for every single field within that entity as it comes out-of-the-box, which, essentially, provides you with a simple list of the fields the entity contains. What you can do with this is download the import template, review the fields it contains in comparison to the fields you need it to contain, and then edit the template, removing the fields you don’t need and adding the ones you do.

Remember, though, after editing the template, you need to actually go back into Dynamics 365 and customize the fields and forms for the entity to match the ones you outlined in the template. We have a bunch of easy-to-follow videos available for free in our Success Portal, including this one that will teach you how to do basic customizations, including customizing fields and forms; if you don’t have an account, get a free account just by setting xRM as your Partner of Record.

Let’s walk through the steps for downloading, reviewing, and updating the import template now.

First, log in to Dynamics 365 and click the down arrow to the right of the current app name, then choose the desired app. Within that app’s menu, click the name of the desired entity to open. Note: If you want to customize the entity name, check out this video and blog post for a simple how-to.


Within the desired entity, click the down arrow to the right of Import Data, and choose Download Template for Import from the dropdown list.


Click the file name to open it in Excel after it downloads (where the file appears will vary based on your browser; if you’re using Google Chrome, the file will be available to click in the bottom left corner of your browser window after it downloads).

Click Enable Editing along the top of the screen.


If you scroll to the right within the spreadsheet, you’ll see that there are quite a few columns. Each of these columns represents a field within the entity. You may find it useful, at this point, to open up a similar record within your old system, or be viewing your exported data in some way when customizing the template, to ensure you think of all necessary fields.

Go through the template, column by column, and determine if each field shown is relevant. As you go, make note of which fields should be removed from the template (and, thus, the entity), and which fields should be added.


Once you have created a comprehensive list, go through and use the list to make the necessary changes to the template, deleting and adding columns as needed.


Finally, when you’ve updated all desired fields, click File, choose Save As, and save the template to your computer.


Remember, before you import the data, you need to customize the fields and forms within the entity itself to match the fields you just determined the entity should contain. Use this template as you make these customizations to ensure you add and remove the desired fields.

After updating the entity’s fields and forms, check out this video for step-by-step instructions on how to upload the completed template back into Microsoft Dynamics 365.

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How to Customize an Entity Name in Microsoft Dynamics 365


One of the great things about Microsoft Dynamics 365 is that nearly everything can be customized to meet the needs of your organization, including entity names. For example, if you use the term “prospect,” not “lead,” you can easily change the Leads entity to Prospects to avoid confusion.


First, note that not all entities can be customized. All custom entities you create yourself can be edited, but some system entities and managed custom entities are not customizable.

Let’s get started.

Click the down arrow to the right of the current app name, then choose the Settings tile and click Customizations within the Customization column.

Click Customize the System.


Click the white triangle to the left of Entities along the left side of the screen to expand the menu, then click the name of the desired entity.



You can also get to this screen by simply clicking the ellipses within the menu bar for any entity, then choosing System Views.


Enter desired text for both the Display Name and Plural Name fields, and rephrase the Description field if needed. Click Save.


After saving, find the new entity name in the menu along the left; its menu will have automatically expanded, but you may need to scroll to find it, as the name will have changed.


After changing an entity (or field) name, you’ll need to ensure that you update applicable system messages. These are messages used in interface text and error messages within the system. Click Messages within the menu for the entity along the left side of the screen, and change the text for each message to reflect the new entity display name.


Either double-click the desired message, or click the check mark to the left of the message, then click More Actions and choose Edit.



Replace the old entity name with the new entity name in the Custom Display String section, then click Save and Close.


Back in the Solution window, repeat this process to customize the rest of the messages. Then click Publish All Customizations to activate the changes you just made.


Now, when you click the down arrow to the right of the app name and choose the appropriate app tile, you’ll see that the entity name has been updated based on your changes.


That’s it! Changing an entity name is simple, and only takes a few minutes. Check out for our 5 newest videos; new videos are added weekly! Plus, visit for a free Success Portal account where you can access hundreds of how-to videos on Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM completely free!

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How to Create a New Email Server Profile in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Server Side Synchronization

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to manage email mailboxes and profiles, configure users and queues, and track errors, as well as synchronize appointments, contacts, and tasks right from Microsoft Dynamics 365? With server side synchronization, you can.

Your instance of Dynamics 365 comes with a default Exchange server set up, but if you have another email server, you can make use of server side synchronization by creating a new email server profile for one or more Exchange servers or POP3 servers for incoming email, and one or more SMTP or Exchange servers for outgoing email. If you want to learn how to use server side sync with an Exchange server, check out the Server Side Synchronization in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Enterprise video on the Success PortalClick here to designate xRM as your Partner of Record to get a free Success Portal account and access to hundreds of instructional videos on Microsoft Dynamics 365).

First, let’s walk through creating a new email server profile. Click the down arrow to the right of the current app name along the top of the screen, then choose the Settings tile. Click Email Configuration within the System section.

Click the down arrow next to New. There are three options here: Exchange Server (Hybrid), Exchange Online, and POP3/SMTP Server. Let’s walk through setting up a POP3/SMTP Server.

Within the General section, name your email server profile something that will help you remember, in case you set up multiple email server profiles. Next, enter text in the Description field, then complete the Incoming and Outgoing Server Location fields. If you don’t know server information, check your account settings, or search online. For example, if your email address ends in, you could search “ email server settings” to find the information to set up that email server profile.

Next, within the Credentials section, choose how to authenticate. For this example, I’ve chosen Credentials Specified by a User or Queue. This means that the email credentials have been entered within the user’s mailbox profile.

Choose the appropriate radio button for whether or not to use the same credential settings for incoming and outgoing connections.

In the Advanced section, check the incoming and outgoing server port information, and change if necessary.

You can choose to complete additional fields, if desired, otherwise simply click Save. If there are any errors, you won’t be able to save.

Now, you’ll see the new email server profile in the email server profiles list.

Make sure to go back into the mailbox and select the new email server profile in the Server Profile field, then click Save, and Test & Enable.

That’s it for setting up a new email server profile in Microsoft Dynamics 365! Remember, you can have totally free access to hundreds of short how-to videos on Microsoft Dynamics 365, just by setting xRM as your Partner of Record. Our 101 page details additional training and customization packages as well; we have something for literally every budget to help you and your company get the most ROI on your instance of Dynamics 365 or CRM, and can even set you up with a free 30-day trial of Dynamics 365, Office 365, and/or Azure!

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How to Add and Remove Sample Data from Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365, out-of-the-box, comes with sample data installed, to help you get a feel for the product and its functionality, without affecting your actual data.

You probably won’t want this sample data to be there forever, though, since you’ll eventually have your own data to use. At the same time, though, you may, at some point, want the sample data to be there, such as to train new employees on the platform.

Lucky for you, adding sample data back in is just as easy as removing it.

First, check to be sure you have System Administrator privileges; you’ll need them for this. To do this, start by clicking Settings (the gear icon) in the upper right corner of the screen, then selecting Options from the dropdown list.

Scroll down in the window that appears, and click View your user information.


Along the top of the screen, click the down arrow to the right of your name, then choose Security Roles.


If System Administrator is not already shown, click Manage Roles, find it in the list and check the box to select it, and click OK.


Click the Save icon in the bottom right corner of the screen.

Please note that depending on your current roles, you may not have the appropriate privileges to change your role; if this is the case, contact your system administrator.

Close the window, then click OK in the window that remains open.


Now, let’s remove that sample data.

Click the down arrow to the right of the current app name along the top of the screen, then choose the Settings tile and click Data Management within the System column.

On the page that appears, click Sample Data.


Next, click Remove Sample Data in the window that appears, then click Close.

That’s it! You’ve successfully removed sample data. If you ever want to add it back, just follow the same steps, clicking Sample Data, and then clicking Install Sample Data instead of remove. Close the window when finished.

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