Microsoft CRM Integration: Siebel E-Mail Attachments Import - C# and MS Transact SQL Example

Monday Jan 10th 2005 by Boris Makushkin

For those who need to migrate data from Siebel or another CRM to the Microsoft CRM, this article is for you. Discover how to use SQL to move the data.

Microsoft CRM is the CRM answer from Microsoft Business Solutions. It has aggressive pricing and the prices are going down, making it affordable for small companies. I see cases when Microsoft CRM replaces such traditional CRM systems as Siebel. It is not necessary that clients decide to replace it themselves; they may be victims of their systems. The example: Great Plains had an alliance with Siebel several years ago and you saw multiple clients with the Great Plains-Siebel tandem. Now, Great Plains is integrated with MS CRM.

This article is for the programmer who needs data to be migrated from Siebel or other CRM to MS CRM.

Today's topic is Siebel e-mails. They are stored in the files and then imported into a MS CRM database. Each message exists in the form of a separate file in the import directory. You will use a custom SQL table, created in MS SQL Server 2000:

if exists (select * from dbo.sysobjects where id =
   object_id(N"[dbo].[CrmAttachImporter]") and
   OBJECTPROPERTY(id, N"IsUserTable") = 1)
drop table [dbo].[CrmAttachImporter]

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[CrmAttachImporter] (
   [Id]  uniqueidentifier ROWGUIDCOL  NOT NULL ,
   [CrmActivityGuid] [varchar] (50) NOT NULL ,
   [MsgFileName] [varchar] (2000) NOT NULL

Comments about this table: Its goal is storing the MS CRM activity GUID relationship to a file name with an e-mail attachment (e-mail message) that needs to be attached to the activity. You will store the activity GUID in the CrmActivityGuid field and file name in the import directory of the attachment in the MsgFileName field.

The configuration file for the utility will be the following:

                     Initial Catalog=Albaspectrum;
                     Data Source=MSSQL1;
                     User Id=sa;Password=sa;</connectionString>

Here, you described the MS SQL Server connection string, the path to messages-files in the file system, the name of the table that stores the relations Activity GUID and file names, and table column names. These are required for the import procedure.

To control the import process, you will use a free logging library for .NET: log4net. You can get it here:

Now, look at the method of potential attachments catalog scanning:

public void scanFolder() {
   log = LogManager.GetLogger(typeof(AttachImporter));
   DOMConfigurator.Configure(new FileInfo("log.config"));

   try {
      DirectoryInfo dirInfo = new DirectoryInfo(msgFolder);
      FileInfo[] files = dirInfo.GetFiles();
      Hashtable emails = new Hashtable();

      foreach (FileInfo fileInfo in files) {
         log.Debug("Analizing file: " + fileInfo.Name);

         Guid activityId = GetActivityIdByFileName(fileInfo.Name);

         if (! activityId.ToString().Equals(new Guid().ToString())) {
            emails.Add(activityId, fileInfo.DirectoryName + @"\" +

            Console.WriteLine("Marked for import: " + fileInfo.Name);
            log.Debug("Marked for import: " + fileInfo.Name);
         else {
            Console.WriteLine("Not found in activity import list: " +
            log.Debug("Not found in activity import list: " +

   catch (Exception e) {
   Console.WriteLine(e.Message + "\r\n" + e.StackTrace);

The central place in this method checks on the relationship existence in the import table for CRM Activity GUID and file name in the import directory:

private Guid GetActivityIdByFileName(string fileName) {
   //create the database connection
   OleDbConnection conn = new OleDbConnection(connectionString);


   //create the command object and store the sql query
   OleDbCommand command = conn.CreateCommand();

   command.CommandText = "SELECT " + activityGuidColumn + ", " +
                         msgFileNameColumn + " FROM " + tableName +
                         " WHERE UPPER(LTRIM(RTRIM(" +
                                       msgFileNameColumn + "))) =

   log.Debug("Preview checking SQL query: " + command.CommandText);
   log.Debug("Using file name: " + fileName);

   command.Parameters.Add(new OleDbParameter(msgFileNameColumn,

   //create the datareader object to connect to table
   OleDbDataReader reader = command.ExecuteReader();

   if (reader.Read()) {
      Guid activityGuid = new Guid(reader.GetString(0));


      return activityGuid;
   else {

      return new Guid();

Importing the messages cache is transferred as a parameter to the method, which does an attachment import into MS CRM:

   private void ProcessMessages(Hashtable emails)
         log.Debug("Start importing process");

         CRMConnector crmConnector = new CRMConnector();

// Connect to CRM DB
crmConnector.SetCrmConfigPath(Environment.SystemDirectory +
crmConnector.SetCrmContentType(Environment.SystemDirectory +

         if (emails != null) {
            ICollection keys = emails.Keys;
            int attCounter = 0;

            foreach (Guid o in keys) {
            string attName = (string)(emails[o]);

            crmConnector.AddAttachmentToActivity(o, attName,
                         (new FileInfo(attName)).Length,


      catch (Exception ex)
         log.Debug(ex.Message + "\n" + ex.StackTrace);

All the required classes for working with MS CRM Activity are stored in the MSCRMGateway library and described in these articles:

Boris Makushkin is a lead software developer with Alba Spectrum Technologies, a USA nationwide MS CRM consulting company.

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