Why should you use scheduled imports?
Automating imports can be quite useful if you import contacts regularly in Dialog Insight, as it will ensure recurring imports and a contact list always up-to-date.
For instance, if you plan on importing every day all the new contacts that were added to your CMS, scheduling automated imports will greatly improve your operations.
The configuration and execution of a scheduled import requires some preparation:
- have set an FTP site where you can retrieve imported files
- have prepared the file to import so that the file's data is imported in the proper fields in the project
- ideally, have named a contact person to be informed of errors
|Access Path|| > Configuration > Imports / Exports|
- In the page showing the import and export features, select Scheduled imports.
- In the list of existing imports, click on Create a schedule import.
- Name you import and specify where you want to import data, either in the active project or in a custom table. If you choose to import data in a custom table, you will also need to select the table.
- Click on Continue.
- Once you are on the edit page, you will need to provide all the import related information.
The configuration information is split out on multiple pages:
This page basically groups all the information to be provided about the import, such as the basic parameters, which file to import et where it is located, the different import options, when to perform the import and how to manage errors.
- In the Parameters section, the name of the import is already shown, but you change it if needed.
You can also provide a description of the import, for information purposes only, and most importantly, the type of import to perform, whether you want to update contacts or just add new ones. The available import types are:
Normal Existing records will be updated, and new records added. Add only New records will be added, and existing records ignored. Update only Existing records will be updated, and new records ignored. Complete replacement This import will first perform a normal import. Once migration is completed, all contacts who have not been affected by the import will be deactivated. As a result, only contacts who were in the imported file will remain as active contacts. Use with caution, and only when importing a complete list of contacts.
- In the File to import section, select the FTP server where you will get the file to import. If the desired server is not in the list, this means that it has not been configured yet. You will need to do so beforehand. Refer to the Configuring an FTP Server.
- It is important to indicate if you want to import a specific file, or new files added to a given folder, and to also specify the exact path of the file or folder.
- If your import is to be performed each week for example, and a new file is to be imported each week, you might want to be informed if this file is not found where it should be. If this is the case, you will want to enable the option to consider the absence of file as an error, and choose a user to be notified under the Alerts page.
- You must then specify how to process the file.
- If the file to import is encrypted or compressed, it is important to specify the type so that the file data can be imported correctly.
- You must also indicate the file format, that is the Excel file type, as well as the encoding and separator used if the file is in CSV format.
- In the Launch schedule section, specify the frequency and the time of imports, as well as the date when they should end, if this is the case.
- To complete the configuration, you must specify which situation can generate errors when the file is read or when the file is copied from your server to Dialog Insight. In both cases, the import will be placed in error and interrupted. If you want a user to be notified of these errors, make sure to select one under the Alerts page.
- Once all configuration sections are completed, click on Save, and go to the next page to mapping file columns to project fields.
This page is where you indicate which data in your file will be imported in which project field, and how. There are 2 types of mappings, dynamic and by using a static file format.
- Start by selecting the type of mapping.
- To do a dynamic mapping, the file to import must include a special header line that indicates where to import the data. To read all about this procedure, refer to the How to configure dynamic mapping.
- If you choose to use a static file format, a new page entitled File format displays to let you define in which field each column should be imported. See Defining a Static File Format for a Scheduled Import
- If you want to make sure a value is provided in a field, even when the import file has none, you need enable the Add static values option in the section of the same name.
- Click Save.
- Go to the new page that will display, called Static values, to define the static values you want to assign.
Assigning a static value to a field allows you to make sure that there will always be data in a given field in the project or in the custom table, even if the source file has no value. For example, if the project had a language field but this information is not found in the source file, you could decide to automatically assign the value Englishin the Language field if you know that all the imported contacts speak English.
Assigning static values must be done BEFORE performing the mapping as once mapping is completed, the system brings you directly to the import validation.
- In the field Assign a static value for the following fieldis listed all the fields in the project or in the custom table that have not been mapped.
- Select the field to which you want to assign a static value.
- Click Add.
- Enter the static value you want to be entered in this field, for ALL the imported contacts.
- Once you are done, click Save.
This page lets you select users to be informed when the scheduled import fails or succeeds, depending on the selected option.
This page lists all the import executions and shows the name of the imported file, its status as well as the number of errors, additions and updates were done in this import.
Multiple functions are possible from this page:
- View - To display details about a specific import execution - its definition, results and processing sequence.
- Retry - To redo a specific import execution, with the status of the file at this specific moment. This execution does not affect the regular schedule of imports.
- Ignore - To remove a line from the list, for reducing the number of import executions in the history list.
- Launch now - To launch a new execution of the import, at the current date and time; here, it's not necessary to specify which execution as the import is done as of the launch time.