Three Excel Tricks for Lining up Data for Import into Dynamics NAV, GP, AX

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Recently, I have had to import lots of different data for clients.  They give me Excel worksheets that are full of names, numbers and telephone numbers.  If you are working with Dynamics NAV or GP, you know that some of the fields can be very fussy in the import.  Dynamics AX is more forgiving.  I clean up the data, and get it ready. 

Most clients ask me how I clean up columns, especially phone numbers. If you use Excel a lot, you will know these formulas or tricks.  This post is for those who do not have to do this very often, and need some help.

1. Using Excel to change Words from All CAP to All lowercase, or to PROPER

    • you can use the UPPER, LOWER, or PROPER functions to automatically change the case of existing text to uppercase, lowercase, or proper case.
    • First, insert a temporary column next to the column that contains the text you want to convert
    • In the temporary column, for example,  cell B2, type =PROPER(A2)
    • The other choices are  =UPPER(A2) or  =LOWER(A2)

Now, all of the names, countries, states, provinces, etc. can have standardized type.

2. Removing spaces and symbols in a phone number

    • Often we get a list of telephone numbers that look like this

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    • To get rid of the (, ), –, Ext. 0000, use the find and replace function
    • To get rid of the space, use the find and replace, using the space bar
      1. Press Ctrl + Space to select all cells in a column.
      2. Press Ctrl + H to open the “Find & Replace” dialog box.
      3. Press Space bar in the Find What field and make sure the “Replace with” field is empty.

3.  Filling in the extension on a phone number

    • Now  you want to add trailing zeroes to make all the numbers with a fixed length, such as 14 digits for a telephone number in Canada and the US
    • Create a blank column right of the existing phone number
    • Use the EXCEL function =A2&REPT(“0”,14-LEN(A2)) where “A” represents the column with the telephone number in it
    • The results are

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      And, the number now becomes easy to import.

Dynamics AX 2009 Support Ends in October 2018

 

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There are several different articles in different blogs that talk about the looming date of October 2018 which brings the end of Dynamics AX 2009 support.

Well, lots of Microsoft software have pending dates when support will be ending. Windows 7 is one of the software packages that no longer has support. Yet people still use it.

You wonder, then, why there is so much concern over Dynamics AX 2009. The answer, for me, is in Henrik Marx Larsen’s article https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/dynamics-ax-2009-out-support-2018-you-ready-henrik-marx-larsen.

I think the main idea presented is that companies are going to need to start thinking about their short term and long term strategies for business infrastructure. The questions are:

Do we prepare for moving to the cloud now and get ready for the change before October 2018? Or, do we wait until into 2018, and see what the organizations in our industry are doing, and then make a decision?

It is a tough set of questions. What is your organization going to do?