Microsoft Dynamics CRM Data Archival Strategies

One common question asked during CRM implementation is what are best practices around data archival for historical data?

My first recommendation is remember that the value of CRM is directly related to the data in CRM. Having historical data in CRM and discovering relationships between that data can give you valuable insights into your customer base. if you archive too much data, you limit the usefulness of CRM.

So if disk space is not a premium, and there are no overriding business policies that dictate data be removed from CRM, my recommendation is to leave archival data in CRM, but deactivate it so it does not appear in your active record views. Inactive records can be found by viewing the inactive records view or using Advanced find, but they will not appear in standard active record views.

However, maybe you are on CRM online and have a limit to how much storage is available, or you have corporate policies that dictate that data over a certain age cannot be accessed, it is possible to archive data from CRM.

Using tools like Scribe insight or SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS), you can copy data to an external data warehouse. CRM also includes a bulk delete engine, which can be used to periodically delete any data from an entity that is over X months old. Bulk delete is located in the Settings—>Data Management area.

So the combination of exporting archival data and periodically deleting exported data can be used together to satisfy most data archival requirements. Just be sure before removing the data that it won’t be needed for any other purposes inside of CRM.

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