Test the Data Transfer

Previously, we discussed creating the migration integration scripts for migration/integrating data into Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The next step in the process is to test the data transfer.

Testing the data migration or integration helps ensure that when the data is transferred, all required data is included and it is in the correct format. When utilizing a tool such Scribe or SSIS for your data migration and integration process, it is best practice to have a testing environment to ensure your scripts/connections work as planned. Testing uncovers a few things:

Time it takes
It is necessary to determine the amount of time it will take for the integration or migration so that you can plan accordingly. For integrations, testing will help determined whether the appropriate triggering mechanism (create/update/delete) is being used and how often the data should be transferred (immediately, nightly, weekly, etc.)

Quality of Data
Even with the best of plans and documentation, the quality of the data can significantly affect your risk. A test migration is one of the best ways to identify data quality issues. Once any data integrity issues are identified, reevaluate your migration and adjust your plan. Examples of poor data quality would be partially filled records. Other examples would be for when one system requires data missing for the other.

Testing Processes
Seeing your real date in Microsoft Dynamics CRM will help you determine whether your processes and design is on target.  After the data has been transferred, be sure to do some basic queries of the source and target system to ensure the data matches.  Then have an intensive user acceptance testing to validate the data.

If any problems are found in the test, they can be corrected before the final migration is done or the integration is started. It is harder to fix problems once you are live in production.

Next up: Finalize and deploy your data migration.