Employee Central: Importing Data FAQ
How do you track the status of an import?
You can track status of imports using the Admin Tool. Note that this is currently possible only
in the Old Admin Tools. To view the report, navigate to the Process Job Monitor section and select Monitor Jobs.
In what format does data need to be uploaded?
In SuccessFactors, data is uploaded using a CSV(Comma Separated Values) file. CSV files stores records in text
format, generally separated by a delimiter like a comma or tab. Files in this format can be opened by any spreadsheet
For each type of import, a unique CSV template exists to help you with the different columns required in the file.
Does the uploaded CSV file need to follow a naming convention?
No. SuccessFactors only uses the content within the file and not the file itself. So, the name does not matter.
Why does the basic import not include records for inactive employees?
By default, records for inactive employees are not processed. To include records for inactive employees, make sure
to select the Process Inactive Employees checkbox when specifying settings for the Basic Import.
What’s the difference between an effective dated field and a non-effective dated field?
Effective dated fields have a history associated with them while non-effective dated fields do not have a history. For
example, compensation-specific fields are effective dated while fields like Name and National ID are not effective
What's the difference between the synchronous and asynchronous mode of import?
In the synchronous mode, the import process is triggered immediately and the results of the import process are
displayed on the Import page soon after the import process completes. For the asynchronous mode, the import
process is performed in the background and the results of the import process are sent through email.
How do you invoke the synchronous mode of import?
You cannot specify the mode in which the import process will run. The type of mode invoked is determined by the
number of records in the file. If the number of records exceeds the Real-Time Threshold specified, the asynchronous
mode of import is triggered. The asynchronous mode of import is also invoked if any of the records in the file has the
Can the Real-Time Threshold value be changed?
Yes, the Real-Time Threshold value can be changed to specify a lower threshold value. However, the threshold value
specified cannot be changed to exceed the default value already displayed in the field. Depending on the element
being imported, the maximum real time threshold is either 200 or 3000. The maximum real time threshold value
for each field is automatically displayed when the element is selected.
Can all imports be performed in the synchronous mode?
With the exception of the Basic, Extended and Background imports, all other imports run in the synchronous mode
if the number of records in the file does not exceed the Real-Time Threshold value specified or if the records in the CSV
file do not contain the &&NO_OVERWRITE&& value.
What type of import is triggered when the Real-Time Threshold value is changed to a lower value but the number of
records in the file does not exceed the Default Real-Time Threshold value?
Once the default Real-Time Threshold value is changed to a lower value, the default Real-Time Threshold value is no
longer honored. So, if the Real-Time Threshold value is changed to 100 from 200 and 105 records are uploaded, the
asynchronous mode of import will be invoked instead of the synchronous mode of import.
Why do you see errors displayed on the Import page when the number of records in the import file exceeds the Real-
Time Threshold value?
To save you time, the system performs a sanity check on the first ten records before starting the asynchronous
(background) import process. In case an error exists in the first ten records of the file, an error is displayed. Correct
the errors and upload the file again. The asynchronous import process will start only when the first ten records do
not have an error.
It has been more than 20 minutes but the results of the import are not being displayed on the import page even
though the number of records in the import file does not exceed the threshold value specified?
Typically, all synchronous imports should complete within 5 minutes. In case your import is taking longer, it is possible that the UI is not displaying updated results. To view the report, navigate to the Process Job Monitor section and select Monitor Jobs. In such a situation, capture the time stamp and open a support ticket.
What’s the difference between a Full Purge and Incremental Load?
When a file is uploaded in the Full Purge mode, all existing records in the system are overwritten with the records in
the file uploaded.
When a file is uploaded using the Incremental Load option, the records in the file being uploaded are added to the
records already in the system. The Incremental Load also supports a Partial Import, where only some fields of the
record are updated.
What are business keys?
In SuccessFactors, each record is identified by a unique identifier combination known as the business key. For
example, for the Address import – the unique combination of person_id_external, effective_start_date and
address_type make up the business key.
Based on this business key, when the system encounters a partial import, it verifies the uniqueness of the record
and then accordingly updates only those fields that do not have the &&NO_OVERWRITE&& value or are not part of
the business key.
Note: If even 1 record has the &&NO_OVERWRITE&& value, the import will be performed asynchronously.
What is a Partial import?
A Partial Import is a type of Incremental Load update. In case of a Partial Import, only some part of the record is
updated. This type of import is useful when only one specific field needs to be updated for all employees. For
example, uploading email addresses for all new employees. Email addresses are generally created once the new hire
has been added to the system. With Partial Import, the rest of the record can be left intact while only the email address
Note that an option for Partial Import does not exist on the UI. See “How do you prepare a file for partial import” for
information on using the Partial Import feature.
How do you prepare a file for partial import?
To indicate that a partial import is intended, the &&NO_OVERWRITE&& keyword is used in the different fields of the
row. Consider the following example.
Notice that the value for most fields is set to &&NO_OVERWRITE&&, except for user-id, end-date, start-date and
With the exception of business keys and fields marked with &&NO_OVERWRITE&&, all other values in the row will
be overwritten with the new values.
In case any of the rows in the file has an error, none of the rows will be uploaded. Also note that imports for
files including the &&NO_OVERWRITE&& value are always performed asynchronously.
How do you do a partial import?
The steps for uploading the data remain the same. All you have to do is upload the file in the Incremental Load mode.
Unlike the other modes of import, if any of the records being uploaded is incorrect, the upload will fail. In
case of Incremental Load or Full Purge, only the rows with errors are not written to the database.
How do you know if the import completed successfully?
After the file uploads, you will receive an email notification. This email contains the results of your upload, including
any errors that might have occurred. Errors will also be written to the CSV file as follows:
Correct the errors and upload the file again. We suggest that you validate the file for errors before uploading the file.
This is a best practice that’ll save you time!
Where did the history disappear?
When importing data, if an object has a history attached to it, it is important to keep all those rows in the file. When
uploading a file in Full Purge mode, if only one row is uploaded, the rest of the records will get wiped out.
SuccessFactors cannot retrieve this data. We recommend that you keep a backup copy of the file before uploading
the new file.
What are the different file encoding types supported?
To view a list of supported encoding types, on the Import page, click the File Encoding dropdown menu. This will
display a list of supported encoding types.
Which object information cannot be uploaded using the Partial Import (&&NO_OVERWRITE&&)?
The following objects cannot be updated using Partial Import.
● ADDRESS : The default Address Entity does not support NO_OVERWRITE
○ Because the Location FoundationObject and the EmergencyContact also refer to this address, these two
columns will not support Partial Import.
● DYNAMIC_ROLE Foundation Object
● WF_CONFIG Foundation Object
● WF_CONFIG_CONTRIBUTOR Foundation Object
● WF_CONFIG_CC Foundation Object
What can you change in the picklist?
You can add your own picklists, as well as modify the value of existing picklists with the exception of Employee Status, where you can change the label but not include additional status types.
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