Import Preparation Checklist

We are seeking a volunteer to create the "Import Preparation Checklist".

If you are just getting started, the first document to read is our Import Help section here.

If you decide not to use the services we provide for importing your legacy data, here are some things you will want to be aware of if you try to import the data yourself. The good news is that with version 1.0 the process is easier than before.

1) With Version 1.0 you still need to manual concatenate issue codes.

Say you have tracking codes in your old database, for Ambulance committee, Beekeeping council, Choir, and Doorknocking. You will have to generate ODB codes for these and then use software like Excel to generate a concatenated string, and then import that concatenated string into the 'Activities' field of ODB. So someone who was involved in the Choir and Doorknocking would end up with an activities code of "C1D1". The process of creating the proper format in Excel is described in detail in an email post that is archived on the Importhelp page.

2) Since version 0.9.5 it has been possible to match up imported donations with donors previously imported, using an "OldID" field from your legacy database.

3) If you have zip codes in New England, New Jersey, or Puerto Rico, be aware that Excel will sometimes strip off the leading zero, however you may format a column as a "zip code format" to resolve this problem.

4) ODB fully supports titles and salutations, and makes them very easy to manipulate for the end user. ODB makes the assumption that if you provide a title, then someone will always be addressed using the title in reports generated by ODB. If you do not provide a title, then ODB will always refer to that person informally.

5) ODB provides 20 characters for First Name and Last Name. It may be necessary to edit records that have a last name such as "Goldberger and Jason Schilling"; you can put Jason Schilling on Line2. ODB 1.0 provides 40 characters for the address lines.

6) It is possible to modify some of the field lengths in Excel and then ODB will automatically allow you to fit more text in those fields.

7) ODB 1.1 will provide an optional extra address line (line3) however version 1.0.1 does not yet support this. The extra field is present but the program will not use it for a few months after testing is completed.

8) ODB 1.0 provides an automatic address parsing capability that can be set up to separate out Suite or Apartment numbers when data is entered. This can be used to make it easier to generate "walk lists."

9) As always, if you decide you do want to edit, or just view the information using Access2000 or AccessXP, please DO NOT accept the option that will convert the database file to a newer version of Access. Even if you upgrade to a version of ODB that can handle the Access2000 format, we recommend you do not upgrade the data file without first contacting user support, as this is a conversion we have little experience with as of December 2006.