SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

3263561 - Employee Central - General Import Troubleshooting

Symptom

This KBA contains basic information/Guidelines for General Import Troubleshooting while performing imports using SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central 'Import Employee Data' tool.

Environment

  • SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central - Import Employee Data

Resolution

Below are some tips and guidelines recommended by Product Support, which you should consider first before opening a Support Incident.

Please be sure that before you open a support incident with Product Support, you’ve performed the following sanity checks on your configuration/data - bearing in mind most issues are because of a configuration issue -:

General Import Troubleshooting

  • Is the import file correctly formatted?
    • Is it in CSV format?
    • Open the file in Windows Notepad or Notepad++ and verify that the text and format aren’t broken.
      • For example, if text is represented by Symbols or the columns are separated by TAB instead of COMMA, this would indicate that the file has been corrupted by the editor you’re using
      • You didn’t save the file in CSV format
  • Check that the fields configuration is correct, according to the Employee Central Master implementation handbook. If the field is a picklist or Object-related field, ensure that the related picklist/object is configured correctly (double check the configuration / compare it to a working one).
  • Has the configuration changed recently?
    • Have you downloaded a fresh import template?
  • Can the issue be reproduced for just 1 or multiple rows of data?
    • If the issue is reproducible for all rows, it’s still likely to be a configuration issue.
    • If it seems to be related to one row of data - the next step is to check and verify that the data is correct in each column
  • Are you sure the Object values are correct? Maybe:
    • A value for "Department" isn’t the value associated with the "Business Unit" defined in the import file
    • The picklist value isn’t correct?
    • Has the field limit been exceeded?
  • If importing a large file (many rows of data) can you take the first 50 rows and put them into a separate import file and try those?
    • If the error persists, can you take 1 row and try that?
    • If 1-row works, try 10?
    • Potentially an import could fail because of one row of data - it’s rare but not impossible

Partial Imports

  • Are you including all of the system required fields in the import file, such as:
    • user-id/person-id-external
    • start-date
    • seq-number
    • event-reason

Field Configuration - It’s always best practice to check and verify that the field you’ve enabled for a particular hris-element is valid for that element. Please refer to the "Data Model Field Information for Employee Central" handbook under the section "Reference Information", which details what fields are supported, and how the field should be configured. Some of the more common issues encountered are because trying to repurpose delivered fields to do something else. Please note - the following is a list of things you shouldn’t do when configuring fields.

  • Don’t configure a predelivered field to use a custom picklist > Always use the exact picklist that has been delivered. If the customer has other requirements - use a custom field instead
  • Don’t configure an Object field to use a picklist - for example don’t add a picklist to the field "company" in the jobInfo hris-element - this isn’t supported and not best practice
  • Don’t change an existing field from String to Picklist/Object or Vice Verse - this will lead to Data Inconsistency and possibly even unexpected behavior - for example you’re capturing data in custom-string16 with a picklist assigned to the field, and you decide to change approach and turn the field into an Object field - the best practice is always to use a new custom-string field for the new approach - don’t recycle fields, ever.
  • Don’t delete fields from the XML to "tidy it up" - use the visibility="none" switch to turn off the field - Deleting the field from the XML doesn’t disable the field - potentially it will still show in the UI/RBP/etc. Also when it comes to future configurations, you don’t want to accidentally reuse a field that was once a picklist, but now is an Object field. This would again lead to Data Inconsistency and potentially unexpected behavior

Working with CSV files

The following explains the best way to open CSV files with MS Excel. The thing to note here is that, when opening a CSV file MS Excel, it will most likely clip all of the leading 0's from fields (such as UserID, where some customers have UserID's in the following format - 000123). This will cause huge issues if not respected, as you can potentially export data from the system, open it in Excel (which removes the leading 0's) make some edits and import the file back into the system again. As the leading 0's were removed you can then encounter import errors or even worse, create unwanted users. The safest way to open a CSV file in MS Excel is by following the process outlined in this KB article - 2087490 - Data Imports & Exports: How do I open my User Directory in Excel without losing leading zero's in userids or usernames? - Platform

Windows Notepad: The other option (which is also a very good one when checking import files for various inconsistencies) is to open the file in Windows Notepad, which doesn’t manipulate the file in any way - here you can then check the file in its actual state, without any 3rd party application formatting. This is also useful when checking the correctness of non-English text (supported by other file encodings such as UTF-8). This can also be a common issue encountered by customers when they try to manipulate data via import.

Known issues to consider:

  • Leading 0's - will be clipped out (for example a value "012345" would be turned into "12345").
  • Non-English Languages - Characters can be turned into symbols if you don’t use the correct file encoding.
  • Tab Vs Comma Separation - It’s easy to accidentally save the file in Tab Separated format instead of Comma Separated - this usually results in the application considering each row as one column (as tabs aren’t treated as column separators).
  • Corrupted File - This is rare but can happen. The corruption is caused by some local anomaly and not by the SAP SuccessFactors application. Sometimes the simplest thing is to copy the content to a fresh import template and try again.
  • Import Template is Out of Date - Always download a fresh import template when working with the application day to day - you never know when a new field is added or one taken away.

NOTE: The issues mentioned above aren’t a result of the SAP SuccessFactors application, but the editing tools being used to edit CSV files. Many applications will auto-format a CSV file when opened, so always be careful when opening CSV files in editors.

When opening a support incident for Data Imports, please ensure the following information is attached to the incident

Realtime Imports (Imports processed in the UI)

  • Attach the Data Models related to the issue: Succession Data Model, country/region-specific Succession Data Model, Corporate Data Model, country/region-specific Corporate Data Model and HRIS Propagation Configuration XML.
  • Timestamp (Show version information) from the page where you submitted the import
  • If any Business Rules exist for the area/element in question, please attach a screen shot of the rule(s).
  • Please provide detailed steps to reproduce the issue you’re encountering - preferably including screenshots - Please make sure that the screenshot is full screen (meaning to show complete web page view)
  • Please provide the related import file(s)
  • When creating an issue, please answer following questions (answer whichever is applicable, if a question doesn't apply in a scenario then answer "Not Applicable"):
    • Did this issue start recently?
    • Was the same feature or functionality working before?
    • Is the issue reproducible for other users?
    • If the issue is related to a Picklist or Object field, then please attach an export of the Picklist/Object related data

Scheduled Imports (Imports processed "offline" and are seen in Monitor Jobs)

  • Attach the Data Models related to the issue: Succession Data Model, country/region-specific Succession Data Model, Corporate Data Model, country/region-specific Corporate Data Model and HRIS Propagation Configuration XML.
  • Screenshot from Admin Center - Monitor Jobs showing the job in question - also copy/paste the Submission Time and Job Name of the job as text into the ticket.
    • If you have access to Provisioning, please find the Submission Time and Job Name given in Provisioning > Monitor Jobs, as well as:
      • Provide a screenshot of the "Details" for the job
  • If any Business Rules exist for the area/element in question, please attach a screen shot of the rule(s).
  • Provide detailed steps to reproduce the issue you’re encountering - preferably including screenshots - Please make sure that the screenshot is full screen (meaning to show complete web page view)
  • Please provide the related import file(s)
  • When creating an issue, please answer following questions (answer whichever is applicable, if a question doesn't apply in a scenario then answer "Not Applicable"):
    • Did this issue start recently?
    • Was the same feature or functionality working before?
    • Is the issue reproducible for other users?
    • If the issue is related to a Picklist or Object field, then please attach an export of the Picklist/Object related data

For more detailed information on Import Employee Data please see Guide/Handbook: Managing Mass Changes in Employee Central

See Also

Keywords

General Import Troubleshooting, imports basics, how to import employee data, Employee Central, tips, FAQ , KBA , LOD-SF-EC-EDP , Import Employee Data (EC Core only) , LOD-SF-EC-EDP-BIO , Biographical Information Import , LOD-SF-EC-EDP-ADR , Address Information Import , LOD-SF-EC-EDP-NAT , National ID Information Import , LOD-SF-EC-EDP-CMP , Compensation Information Imports , LOD-SF-EC-EDP-EML , Email Information Import , LOD-SF-EC-EDP-GLO , Global Information Import , LOD-SF-EC-EDP-DPD , Person Relationship & Consolidated Dependents Import , LOD-SF-EC-EDP-DEL , Compound Delete , LOD-SF-EC-EDP-JOB , Job Information Imports , LOD-SF-EC-EDP-ECO , Emergency Contact Information Import , LOD-SF-EC-EDP-EMP , Employment Details Import , How To

Product

SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central all versions ; SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite all versions