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"legacy" action items and ownerids

We are a new salesforce customer, and I'm currently working the the sforce data loader to import data from our current CRM system into salesforce. I'm having an issue with importing activities: large numbers of old, completed activities are assigned to employees that no longer work at our company. It's important that I preserve this historical information on who these activities were assigned to, but since the old employees won't have logins or ownerids in salesforce, I can't import directly to the ownerid field in the task object.

I'm sure I'm not the first person to need to import "legacy" activity data like this - does anyone have a suggestion for how I tackle this problem?


I haven't imported legacy tasks, but I can offer some some possibilities:

  > You could make a temporary user (while you're importing). Import the tasks, assigning them to the temporary user, then inactivate the user.  If feasible - based on the number of former employees and the organization of the information - you might repeat this per person.

  > If that's not feasible ... you may still use a single temporary user ("Former Employees") to provide a task owner, and record the person who did the original task by:

 a> Adding the original owner into the comments on the task, or
 b> Storing it in a custom field on the task

The first may be preferable if you want the information available on an individual record (for reading by a user), but it's no good if you want to generate summary reports ordered by the task owner.

The second gives you reporting capabilities and separates the prior task owner from the rest of the body, but leaves you with the awkwardness of a field that's only completed for the legacy records and the need to deal with two fields (the legacy owner and the regular owner).

Thanks - I had thought of option #2, but you're right - it's awkward, although it's looking like that's going to work out best for me, at least in the short run.