Schoolboy errors and a solution

Feb 29, 2012 | Daylite

Daylite has some really powerful importing tools. One feature is a field called ‘Source Input ID’ that can be used to link objects together, such as linking a contact to an organisation. This acts as a unique identifier so, for example, will automatically link Mr John Smith with Smith’s Business Ltd. Without this, you’d have to link objects in the database together manually, which could be very time consuming and impractical.

We have a client who has offices around the world. We visited their UK office in December and imported all their data through the ‘Now Contact’ importer that uses this Source Input ID to link contacts and organisations – all good so far…

Today, we went to add their European offices data to the database. We needed to merge two Now Contact databases into one Daylite database. We used the the built in importer again, giving us a total of around 100,000 contacts.

However, when we arrived at the clients’ office to deliver a training session, we checked the data with the client and… OH DEAR! Schoolboy error!
Data from the other offices and separate Now Contact files used the same Source Input IDs as the UK database – so all the data was mixed and things were linked to the wrong place!  People in Paris had London phone numbers and addresses, wrong roles, etc. In short, it was a mess!

Luckily, we have backups and can work to put the data right but, if you are about to do this – please STOP! Make sure the unique identifiers in the Source Input ID are different or else you could have a completely mixed up database too. And if you don’t keep backups, it could be a total disaster!

(This won’t only happen when you have offices in different countries – this could happen when any two databases are being merged)

Solution: We’ve created a script to erase Import ID before so we can import the other files without problems.

If you think you could have trouble, contact us, and we can give you advice, or our script tool.


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