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Copying Configuration Data between Blackbaud CRM™ Environments

Whether you are converting your current data system to Blackbaud CRM™, or you’ve been using it for a longer period of time, you’ll know that it is best to create or change system settings in the relative safety of a test or staging environment before you deploy them to Production. Once you have your settings established, and are confident that they are working correctly, you can then begin the process of moving them across into your Live environment.

Not everything you set up in Staging can be moved across with just a few clicks. There are some items that may require the help of a technical consultant; but Blackbaud have included a tool with which to export and then import certain configuration items. These include things like code tables, batch templates, fiscal years, and many more.

My personal favorite among these is the ability to export an export definition. Creating an export definition can be a time-consuming process, from deciding which nodes to use, to setting criteria and filters, renaming fields, and organizing order and layout. Once you have perfected your creation, it’s a magical moment when you import it successfully into one of your other environments, realizing that you didn’t have to re-create it line by line.

So how do we do it?

In the database that you wish to export from, go to the Administration functional area, and select Configuration data. To set up an export, choose Configuration export, and then click the Add button. Enter a Name and a Description, and then scroll down the list until you find Export definitions. Double click this line item.

When the add export instance window opens click the magnifying glass, and then in the Selection search window, click Add (unless you’ve come prepared for this step you probably don’t already have a query of export definitions ready for use). Choose Export Definition as your query source view.

Drag the Export Definition record to the right-hand pane as the criteria you wish to include.

The apply criteria window will open asking you which export definition you are looking for. Use the magnifying glass to search for your export definition, selecting it when found. Complete the relevant fields in the Set save Options tab of your query and Save and Close. Click OK and Save to subsequent windows.

In the Configuration Export window, click the chevron alongside your export, and choose Export data. When the process has finished running, click the Download data file button, and save the XML file to your downloads folder.

Once the export has been saved to your computer, open the database environment that you wish to import the export definition to, and click on Configuration data in the Administration functional area. This time choose Configuration import and Choose file. Locate your XML file, upload and Save.

Your export definition will now be available for use in the new database.

It’s a simple process, and after you have added one, you can edit its information as necessary; so, when you want to export another export definition, update the query, and the process is ready to run again.

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