This entry is part of our Feature Review Series. These short, to the point blogs strive to provide a quick snapshot of information to a user looking for a quick overview of a feature, how it's managed or configured, some insight into how a business / organization would use it, and provide links to resources or tutorials for a deeper dive.
One of the often overlooked but powerful features of Dynamics 365 is the ability to bulk delete records. This can be particularly useful to clear out unnecessary records that might be increasing your overall storage footprint.
Additional storage can become costly very quickly, so staying on top of keeping system record counts down is important.
For example, perhaps users keep track of their activities with customers, but your company has agreed that any activity over 5 years old does not need to be retained. A bulk delete job can be used to clean these records out.
Before we get into how these are created, there are a couple of important considerations to make here:
When data is deleted, it's gone. As in, gone for good and you will not get it back. Read that again, it's important to understand.
Always get approval from the company's decision makers before embarking on a quest to delete records. Every company should thoroughly consider and understand any regulatory or compliance items that might require record retention before formulating a plan to delete records.
Bulk Delete jobs are just what they sound like - a job that deletes records in bulk. These can be run as one-off efforts to clean out a specific set of data, or scheduled to run on a recurring schedule.
These jobs are query based. The records to be deleted are identified by setting parameters of a query ("advanced find").
At time of writing this entry, the bulk delete job can be found via the Admin portal (admin.powerplatform.com). However, it will push the user to the legacy interface.
As Microsoft continues sunset the legacy experience, it's likely that this entire experience will exist only in the admin portal at some point in the future. At that time, the process may change, in which case we'll provide an updated entry outlining this new experience.
Once you navigate to the bulk deletion area, the user will find a grid of data representing bulk delete jobs. There is a view selector on this grid, allowing the user the ability to select a variety of views.
To create a new job, click the New button to launch the bulk delete job wizard.
The wizard makes the creation of a new bulk delete job rather straightforward. After clicking Next on the first screen, you will specify the criteria to locate the records to be deleted. The logic here is up to the user. There is a preview records button in the lower left.
Think carefully about the records you’re deleting and how to locate them via a query. Use the preview records to ensure the right ones are showing up.
In this example we're looking for any phone call records created on or before 31-Dec-2017.
Once you've selected the correct records, click Next.
The next screen will provide a selection of options regarding the naming and scheduling of the bulk delete job.
It is wise to name the bulk delete job something intuitive. While the details of the job can be reviewed afterward, a well-named job will give the admin team quick and easy insight into what the job was for.
You can identify a date and time for the job to run. Note that while bulk delete jobs will run in the background and generally don't have a significant system performance impact, large jobs are best scheduled during off-peak hours.
Note: the inclusion of the Run this job after every: is where recurrence can be set.
The user also has the ability to be notified when the job has completed, and can specify other system users as well.
Clicking Next will provide a summary of the job and details. It is wise to carefully review the settings. Once the details are confirmed, click Submit to execute or schedule the job.
That's it! These records will then be quietly removed from the system, freeing up space in the system.
Do you have questions about how to best proceed with Bulk Delete Jobs? Contact C5 Insight today to discuss!
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