Particularities of CRM Migration: API vs Files
Changes are always painful due to the unknown stage. Yet we have a choice to stay where we are locking up our progress, or go ahead and face the success or failure. So it is all about the choice. The same story is about selecting CRM migration mode. In general, there are 2 options. You can backup your data and import it into a targeted CRM via CSV files or make a use of current technology and transfer your records via API-based migration service. Looks quite simple, you just need to choose the suitable variant. When you approach to selecting, raises a set of questions that determines your decision. What is the cost of the process? Will my data be secured from side interference? How long will it take to migrate? For answering these issues, you need to get an insight into how both options work, as well as be down on pros and cons of CRM migration API vs files.
CSV Import: Efficiency Taken with A Pinch of Salt
Recently business owners get interested in CRM data migration and look for the cost-effective, fast and secure mode. In so much they considering the CSV file import as a practical option, but it isn’t a newly-coined thing. CSV file can be defined as ‘Comma Delimited File’ or ‘Character Separated Values’. The last description is more specific since not only comma can be used for delineation of every piece of data. This document allows storing data in a unicode, textual format with a specific organization where each record can have multiple pieces of data (fields). Usually, it is used for data importing in CRM if you have stored your database in spreadsheets, or your source CRM system has disabled API but supports data backup. To cut is short, here is the list of characteristic features of CRM migration using CSV import:
- You need a template for each CRM module that will contain the fields headings, some standard fields, as well as custom fields, must coincide in your existing and targeted CRM systems. Besides, the fields should be put in the corresponding order they have in the desired CRM
- The backups of your database in CSV files should be stored in the cloud, for instance in Google Drive. Some importing tools require download not from a desktop but the URL. Just as you select file for importing, you may be asked to specify the character encoding (which is usually UTF-8) and delimiter (comma or semicolon)
- Even if your headings are the same, the importing tool of your target CRM will require confirming the match of records fields
- It is important to preserve the order in importing your modules for saving the existing relations on the targeted CRM. (Many vendors have advanced options that automatically connect relations after getting data into the system.) The following order is the most optimal: organizations (companies) > contacts > opportunities > projects > tasks.
At a glance, this process looks like simple and fast, yet in practice, it takes a considerable amount of time for importing each module. Quite often appears challenges due to
1) the CSV file errors in
- missing required field
- unidentified record type
- invalid field length
- unsupported encryption type
- invalid numeric/date value, or
- invalid heading
2) the tool used for creating CSV file 3) the number of API request offered by a CRM vendor (if you use the built-in data importing tool) 4) the number of records you want to download doesn’t correspond to the limits set up by CRM vendor.
API-based CRM Migration: The Cost of Speeding Up
Being one of the innovations, API technology is used in different areas for securing data, speeding up and facilitation of the software process. In the data migration, various API methods allow to retrieve and import more records from source CRM to the targeted one, as well as make it coding-free, exclude mapping out and side interference. So what is hidden by the abbreviation API? Application Programming Interface is a kind of language and message format used by a program to communicate with operating system/database management system/communication protocol. They (APIs) are written function calls in the program for linking the subordinate for accomplishment. The automated migration services, based on this technology, require your source and targeted CRMs authentication tokens for accessing your accounts and admin credentials for API-based CRM migration. As a rule, such services use various API methods for retrieving data, automating fields mapping out to ensure that these records include all fields, attachments, relations, ID, and owners. The peculiarities of this migration mode are the following:
- Data transfer process is streamlined, and supports records switch between on-premise and on-demand CRM systems equally quickly and effectively
- The disruptions of the business flow and interactions are minimized
- Time and human resources are saved, and company may use them for strategy improvement. Also, the IT team can get another high-value tasks for workflow automation, reports creation and custom dashboards building
In a nutshell, the CRM migration is a fast, direct and secure mode of data transfer. Yet there are few clouds on this happiness that disable this option for business vendors. The first one is that not all CRMs offer an open API access, the second one is there some limits in API requests (if you don’t know the exact number, your migration will be stuck).
Summing Up Points
Each of these migration modes has strong and weak sides. CSV files import definitely takes much more time, requires fields mapping out, as well as preparation of data heading in the files. Automated migration excludes any side interaction and enables automated mapping out and restoring the relations between the entities; thus, if there is no open API access, you can’t take the vantage of this CRM data switch. So, it the choice of migration mode depends on your CRM type, time and money resources. P.S. Feel lost at what type of CRM migration to choose? If you have no technical background and your CRM has closed API access, you may use Trujay and migrate to any CRM solution. In case, your CRM vendor enables you with open API, and you want to save time and suffer from no business interruptions, request a free demo to switch your data with this web-based service.