Our client has asked us to move them from a legacy MS Access based membership system to CiviCRM (on Drupal). Their existing system encompasses many years of memberships, accounts, academic records etc.

This will be the first time we will be importing a full system. Can anyone point us to any best practice advice or guidance?


Export the records from MS Access into a csv file and than import it into CiviCRM using CiviCRM UI import like Contact, Contribution, Membership etc. You map those contact using external identifier for reference.

  • Thanks Pradeep - so normal UI import process as per docs.civicrm.org/user/en/latest/common-workflows/….
    – Davy Ivins
    Apr 1 '20 at 9:23
  • 1
    Yes thats the one... You may need to create relevant custom fields, membership types etc before importing Apr 1 '20 at 9:25
  • I've done a lot of this from Access, Excel, etc. We just use the internal unique identifier as the "External ID" in CiviCRM. Then when you are importing information on a person, this can help tie some of their information together. Apr 1 '20 at 11:30
  • Many thanks Pradeep and Jenni. I'm holding thumbs for good clean data from Access and a smooth ride - otherwise I'm going to be begging your help again :-)
    – Davy Ivins
    Apr 2 '20 at 8:01

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