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Automatically purging records from Microsoft Dynamics CRM

I was recently asked about purging records from Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The company that asked the question wanted to use CRM to store sensitive information, but they wanted the records to be purged out once they reached a certain age, mainly to mitigate risk of e-discovery. Once a record was 18 months old or greater, they wanted the records to be automatically deleted from the system.

Their expectation was that this was going to be something that required custom development or costly configuration. However, they were pleasantly surprised to see that it can be done using the standard bulk delete

In CRM, go settings—>Data Management and select “Bulk Record Deletion.”

Click “Next”

The Bulk Record Deletion wizard is based on an advanced find query. Define the query that will retrieve the records that you want to delete. In this case, we want to delete any cases that are more than 18 months old, so we will select Cases for the entity and Created on, Older Than X Months, 18, then click “Next.”

Finally, on the options screen, check the box to run the job every X days, and enter the desired recurrence interval. This will make the job run on a repeating basis.

Now your deletion job will run as a scheduled job, and any records returned by the advanced find query will be deleted.

But let’s say that you forgot to set the job to re-occur, and you want to have a job you already ran once become a recurring job. You can do that by selecting a record from the Bulk Record Deletion menu, and selecting “More Actions” and “Modify Recurrence.”

A word of caution

Remember, deletions are permanent in CRM 2011. Be sure that in your record purging strategy that you are not diluting the effectiveness of your CRM system by deleting records that users need to do their job. The best approach is to take a balanced approach that meets your legal requirements as well as the requirements of end users.