SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

2174088 - Internal System error encountered while importing record - Employee Central


  • When the system is unable to return a clear validation message, due to an unknown/unhandled error, the system will return the following error text for an Employee Central based imports (EC data and Foundation Object data): Internal System error encountered while importing record

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  • SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central - Import Employee Data

Reproducing the Issue

  1. Go to Import Employee Data
  2. Select the entity 
  3. Select the file 
  4. Validate/import the file
  5. System shows the error “Internal System error encountered while importing record” 


  •  When validating the import file:

The message “Internal System error encountered while importing record” is returned when the system encounters an error with an EC data import, where an unexpected error has been encounter with 1 or more rows of data contained in the import file. This could be due to invalid data on one or multiple rows in the file.

  • When importing the file:

If you encounter the error when importing the file but not when validating the file (for example the file passes validation with 0 errors) then this suggests that the issue is not with the data in the file, but with the users data already held in the system. Or, there is a failure when a secondary process such as Position Sync, Business Rule and such, run into errors whilst executing on import.


There are 2 routes that can be taken to further troubleshoot the issue and determine whether it is a User data issue, Import file data issue or a System issue.

  1. Reducing the size of the import file to identify the record(s) causing the import to fail. This is one method you can follow if the import file is not very big (under 1000 rows).
    1. Break the import file up into smaller files. For example there are 1000 rows of data in the file – split the import file into 5 separate import files of 200 rows per file and then import the files one at a time, waiting for system confirmation (failure or successful) for each file imported
    2. It is likely some of the files will import and others will not. Take not of which files fail, and then proceed to break them up into smaller files – for example break a 200 row file up into 4 files of 50 rows. Import the 4x 50 row files. Some will likely import successfully, one or more may fail.
    3. The main focus here should be to keep reducing the row count of each file that has errors and importing the data in smaller chunks, to identify the row(s) that you cannot import. You will likely end up with 1-2 rows that cannot be imported individually, and the rest of the data you were trying to import is then completed.
  1. We can manipulate the Batch size of EC data imports via Admin Tools > Company System & Logo Settings. There is a setting called “Batch size for Employee Central and Foundation data imports (maximum allowed is 100)” which reduces the batch size the system will break large imports up into. More information about this option can be found in following article: The EC related Batch Size setting in Company System and Logo Settings - Employee Central
    1. To change the Batch size, navigate to Admin Tools > Company System & Logo Settings and change the value in “Batch size for Employee Central and Foundation data imports (maximum allowed is 2000)” to 1.
    2. Then once saved navigate back to Admin Tools > Import Employee Data. Select you import mode and import file and then change the “Realtime Threshold” value to 11 (which is the minimum) and import the data again
    3. The system will import the file, splitting the file up into batches of 1 row.
    4. At the end of the job you will get a Job Response file which you can download from Admin Tools > Monitor Job, which will highlight the import files that failed, allowing you to determine which 1 row files failed, and in effect, which rows failed import

The next step is to then identify what is causing the row to fail on import:

  • Date Issues – Check whether an End Date has been included for this row. If so, remove the End Date value and try the import again. The system will calculate End Dates on import and via the UI, so the value is not needed. If this End Date has some impact on other data in the system and there is some kind of data issue here, including an end date could prevent the data from importing.
  • Import Data Issues – Possibly 1 or more values in the failing row are invalid/incorrect. Please be sure to check each value in each column and verify the value is correct/valid.
  • User Data Issues - The user which the failing row relates to will need to have his/her EC data checked. The main data to check is Biographical Info, Employment Details and Job Info and see if any data is missing. If the user is missing any of the above 3 data sets, then you will encounter import issues as needed data is missing.

If no explanation can be found for the remaining row(s) that cannot be imported, please raise an case with Product Support who can investigate the issue further.

FAQ - Additional Information

Q) Where can I get information on this from the Guide?

A) Guide: Managing Mass Changes in Employee Central

Chapter: Configuring Data Import Settings and Performance Benchmarks

See Also

  • 3090490 - e-mail Import Fails for employees. Unknown Error
  • 2346500 - How to Enhance System Performance During Imports in Employee Central
  • 3086787 - Centralized Services: Correct Components for Creating Support Cases - CS2H2021
  • 2266216 - How to Export Employee Central Data for Import Activities
  • 2315276 - Employee Central- Data Imports Useful Information
  • 2317955 - Correct or Remove Job Information record via Import in Full Purge mode
  • 2080869 - The EC related Batch Size setting in Company System and Logo Settings - Employee Central


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