Using data import to mass add, update, and delete data

Looking for help with this feature in Polaris PSA or Polaris PPM? Check out Using data import to mass add, update, and delete data in the Polaris help.

Our data import feature allows you to mass add, update, and delete data from your Replicon instance by importing a CSV file you prepare.

Refer to Data import fields and formats for a list of all data types the import feature supports.

If you need to import other types of data, you may be able to carry out your import using the Replicon Import Add-in (RIA). RIA supports import of time, time off, expenses, and certain system-level settings.

Changes you make using the data import feature cannot be reversed. Therefore, use caution when working with this feature, as it allows you to easily make changes to large amounts of live data that cannot be undone.

Enabling access to the import feature

If the Import Data link isn’t available at the bottom of the Administration page, you’ll need to enable the feature.

To do this, enable Data Imports permission in all Administrator permission sets assigned to users who need access to the data import feature.

If you're allowing access for a project manager and they shouldn't have any other administration permissions, you can assign them an Administrator permission set with only Data imports permission enabled.

Users can only import data they can access based on their assigned permissions

For example, an administrator without activities permissions won't be able to use the Activity import. And, if they're missing certain user settings permissions, the corresponding fields won't be available in the import template. For example, if an administrator lacks permission to assign supervisors, they won't be able to import the Supervisor field when using the User import.

Data imports cannot be reverted

Any changes a user makes – including deletions and updates – are permanent. Be certain users know the consequences of using this feature before you grant them access.

Setting up CSV import files

The biggest part of importing data is setting up your CSV import files.

Each type of import is carried out using a separate CSV file, so you can’t create and update items during a single import, for example. You can, however, import multiple items using a single file. For example, you can add many users during a single import.

To set up templates:

  1. Download the template for the import you want to carry out.

To do this:

    1. Go to Administration > Integration > Data Import.
    2. Select the type of import from the Data Type and Operation fields located at the top of the page.
    3. Click Download a sample file.
  1. Enter the data you want to add or update in the template.

When creating an import CSV, note that:

      • If you’re referencing existing data in Replicon – for example, if you’re assigning a client, project manager, or billing type to a project – that data must already exist in Replicon, and the values you include in your CSV must exactly match the values in Replicon.
      • Entries are not case sensitive.
      • You can find the valid options for any fixed Replicon field, and required fields for each import, here or in the templates downloaded from the links above.
      • When creating data, if you exclude a field that isn't required, it will be set to the Replicon default for that field.
      • If you attempt to delete an item that is in use (for example, a user who has timesheets), that item will be disabled instead of deleted.
      • Fields that support effective dates will overwrite any existing dates; they will not add a new effective date.
      • In your import CSV, you only need to include required columns and columns for data you want to add or update. If you’re not adding or updating a given field, you can omit it from the file.
      • Columns can be listed in any order, and you can leave blank rows and columns – unassigned columns and blank rows will be ignored.

Take advantage of Excel's Autofill feature to easily copy data from one row to the next.

  1. Save your CSV file with a name and to a location you’ll remember.

You might want to reuse the file in the future, so give it a meaningful name.

Carrying out an import

You can use the data import feature to create (add), update, or delete (remove) data.

To carry out a data import:

  1. Go to Administration > Integration > Data Import.
  2. Select the data you want to import from these fields:
      • Data Type - the type of data you want to import
      • Operation - what you want to do to that data, either create it, update it, or delete it

If the type of import you’ve selected supports date fields, a File date format field will appear. The date format you choose must match the format you used for date fields in your import CSV. You can select the format now, or after you’ve uploaded the CSV file.

  1. Click Upload CSV file, and find the completed CSV import file you prepared.

Once the file is uploaded, the file name should display next to the Upload CSV file button.

Ensure the First row contains column names check box is set appropriately, so the import knows whether to import or ignore the column names.

  1. Handle any validation issues that are already marked. Then click Validate, and fix any additional errors detected.

You will need to re-upload the file after fixing issues detected after clicking Validate.

  1. Click Import.

You’ll see the row by row import of data, with each successfully-imported row turning green.

Import of rows may not happen in order, since the import identifies data dependencies, importing parent data before child data.

The import is not all or nothing – some rows may be imported while other might fail to import. 

When the import is complete, you’ll see a message showing how many rows were successfully imported at the top of the page.

Click Download Log to view a summary of what was imported, and more details about why some rows failed to import.

Some data can only be validated once the import is underway, therefore you may see additional validation messages after you click Import. Refer to Handling validation issues for more information.

Handling validation issues

Data you include in your import CSV file is checked to ensure only valid data is being added to your system.

Issues with column headers, dates, and cell formats display before you click Validate. Errors involving your existing data are detected and marked after you click Validate. Any row that includes an error will be shaded red.

Refer to the sections below for information on fixing different types of issues.

Fixing data validation issues

An icon displays beside rows that include error data. Hover over the icon to see details about the error. Or, if an issue displays during import, you can download the log file for more details.

Common errors include:

  • Required fields are missing from the import
  • Parent data for a field included in the import is missing from Replicon
  • Data doesn't exactly match Replicon fixed values
  • Data doesn't exactly match values you've set up in Replicon
  • The data you're trying to import already exists in Replicon
  • There are formatting errors (e.g. spaces between pipe separators)

Refer to the Import fields and formats section below for information on fixing and avoiding these issues.

Issues detected prior to import must be fixed before you can carry out the import.

To fix a data error:

  1. Open the import's CSV file.
  2. Fix the issue and save the file.
  3. Re-upload the file so Replicon can read the changes, and click Import.

You don’t need to delete rows that were already imported successfully.

Fixing column header validation issues

When you first upload an import CSV, the names of its column headers will be checked by Replicon to ensure they match fields supported by that import, and to ensure all required columns are present.

If a column in your file doesn’t include a heading, or includes a heading not supported by the import you chose, the heading will show as Unassigned on the import page, and an error message will display at the top of the page.

If you hover over the header, you’ll see the name you included in the CSV file.

You can click the small arrow inside the header box, and a list of columns that are supported will display for you to choose from.

Note that you can carry out an import that includes unassigned columns – they will just be ignored.

Fixing date validation issues

The format of any date fields in your CSV file must match the format selected in the Date Format field at the top of the import page.

Date format mismatches will be marked as soon as you upload your file.

You can fix these by choosing the matching format from the Date Format field, or by updating the formats in your CSV.

To change a cell's date format in Excel:

  1. Right-click the cell and select Format Cells.
  2. Ensure the Number tab is selected, then choose Date from the Category list.
  3. Select the format you want from the Type list that displays.


Can I roll back change I made?

No, the data import feature has no roll-back capability. Be certain you know what you’re doing before making changes.

Do we have to use the csv format?

Yes. That’s the only format that’s currently supported.

Can we use the data import feature to update names of required fields?

No, you’ll have to do that manually from within the application.

What is RIA? How does it differ from this import feature?

The RIA import utility is an Excel add-on that currently supports import of more types of data than the web-based import. But, its downsides are that it's an external add-on that must be installed before it can be used. This is an issue since some companies have restrictions the prevent installation of add-ons, plus it can't be used on Macs.

Related links

Data import fields and formats
Integrating with Replicon
Understanding how third-party tools integrate with Replicon
Introduction to the Replicon API
Exporting time data using the Time Workbench