Using data import to mass add, update, and delete data
Our data import feature allows you to mass add, update, and delete data from your Polaris instance by importing a CSV file you prepare.
Currently, the in-app data import feature can be used to import of the following data types:
- Groups (departments, employee types, locations, cost centers, etc)
- Business Costs
- User Skill Assignments
- Role Skill Requirements
- Task Assignments
- Resource Allocation
- Project Roles
- User Costs
- Billing Rates
- Initial Revenue
- Bill Plan
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.
Data imports cannot be reverted. Any changes an administrator makes – including deletions and updates – are permanent. Be certain administrators 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:
- Download the template for the import you want to carry out.
To do this:
- Go to Administration > Integration > Data Import.
- Select the type of import from the Data Type and Operation fields located at the top of the page.
- Click Download a sample file.
- 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 Polaris – for example, if you’re assigning a client, project manager, or billing type to a project – that data must already exist in Polaris, and the values you include in your CSV must exactly match the values in Polaris.
- Entries are not case sensitive.
- You can find the valid options for any fixed Polaris 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 Polaris 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.
- 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:
- Go to Administration > Integration > Data Import.
- 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.
- 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.
- Handle any validation issues that are already marked. Then click Validate, and fix any additional errors detected.
- 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 Polaris
- Data doesn't exactly match Polaris fixed values
- Data doesn't exactly match values you've set up in Polaris
- The data you're trying to import already exists in Polaris
- 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:
- Open the import's CSV file.
- Fix the issue and save the file.
- Re-upload the file so Polaris 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 Polaris 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:
- Right-click the cell and select Format Cells.
- Ensure the Number tab is selected, then choose Date from the Category list.
- 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.
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