SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

2087487 - Data Imports and Exports: How Are User Import Files Encoded and Treated on Import?


  • Character Encoding
  • How are User Import files encoded and treated on import?
  • This article explains how the system handles imports of encoded data.


  • SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite
  • SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central


  • The SuccessFactors application will automatically check the user file to see what encoding should be used when importing the data.
  • If the system recognizes an specific non UTF-8 encoding, it uses it for the import.
  • If the system does not recognize a special encoding, it looks for the --encoding value in the import setup.
  • If it finds that, it uses it. 
  • If none of the above are true it defaults to UTF-8.
    • Some imports have special characters may cause the system to use encoding other than UTF-8, such as Windows-1252.
    • If this is incorrect, then special characters may then be displayed to the end users as a question mark "?".
    • If a client is having issues with characters not being imported correctly, it is up to them to ensure the file is properly set as UTF-8, so the system does not need to attempt to automatically set the incorrect encoding set.
    • For manual imports it is possible for the admin to manually set the character encoding.
    • Please be sure to select the correct encoding type based on the data you have in the file.
    • For example use Chinese only if your file contains only Chinese characters and is not mixed with English records.
    • For mixed records, UTF-8 is typically used.
  • You may need to perform multiple imports for different data sets using different encoding types to produce the needed results if you are seeing bad characters when trying to import mixed data. 
  • If the incorrect encoding is selected on import, you will not see the changes made on exporting the data.

Encoding Types

  • The following encoding options can be set for each manual import.
  • Be sure to select the correct one for the data that exists within your file.
    • Western European (Windows/ISO)
    • Unicode (UTF-8) 
    • Korean (EUC-KR) 
    • Chinese Simplified (GB2312) 
    • Chinese Simplified (HZ) 
    • Chinese Traditional (Big5) 
    • Chinese Traditional (EUC-TW) 
    • Japanese (EUC) 
    • Japanese (Shift-JIS)


SF , success factors , EC , EP , Biz X , KBA , sf bizx system/platform , LOD-SF-PLT , Platform Foundational Capabilities , How To


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