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Using Imports/Exports and CSV Files
Last Updated: Feb 15, 2019 08:35AM EST

This article applies to:  Echo360 Admins

Echo360 has always had the capability of creating (and in some cases updating) objects in the system using CSV file imports. However, bulk updates were limited to only user enrollments and those imports were cumbersome to generate and maintain.

The Admin CSV Functionality now ties into the Echo360 API, allowing for bulk create, update, and for many objects, delete of items in the system. The reason we can do this now is because we now provide CSV Exports of system items that include the object IDs. Scheduler CSV Functionality is identical except that their access is limited to only importing Terms, Courses, Sections, and Schedules. See Imports/Exports for Schedulers.

Since the use of object ID for update or delete ensures that the correct object is being changed or removed, allowing broad-stroke changes to the system significantly reduces the possibility of user-error where the change cannot be undone. Even for V2 Imports (currently available for Schedules but coming soon for other objects), you can create items using Name and not IDs, but you must use the ID to Update.

Support for Delegated Administration: If delegated administration is enabled for the institution, institution-level admins can see all imports and exports that have been performed on the system through the Imports/Exports tab. Organization and Department level admins can only see the imports/exports THEY initiated.
If delegated administration is not enabled for the institution, all admins can see all imports/exports run through this tab.

We suggest using the following workflow for Export/Import CSV changes to Echo360:

  1. Generate an Export job for the item type you want to change.
  2. Download the export file once complete.
  3. Open the file in Excel or other spreadsheet program that allows for sorting.
  4. Use Sort or Find in Excel to identify the items/rows you want to change. This is also useful for finding the system IDs for an item to use in a V1 Create-action import.
  5. Copy those rows/the ID data into a NEW file.
  6. Change the fields whose values you want to change, or generate all (and only) the rows needed to create the items you want to create.
    Delete-action imports only require object IDs, although you can choose to keep or remove other identifying fields as desired.
  7. Save the file as a comma separated values file (*.csv).
  8. Run an Import for the object Type and Action you want to perform.
  9. After the import is complete, check the system to see that your changes appear.

Large imports can take some time to process. For this reason, your imported CSV file should contain only the rows being created or that require updates. Every row in the file must be parsed and validated, even if it makes no changes; having unnecessary rows in the imported file will needlessly increase processing time.

Most create-action imports do not require an export to be generated first, however some of the create-action imports do require the use of a system ID for the value in one or more fields. For example, Create Section import requires a Course ID and Term ID for the new sections. Use a course and term export to find the IDs you need to use and copy them into the Section import fields.

Version 2 imports use Names instead of ID for the objects, and the V2 Exports are formatted identically to their corresponding Import files (same fields, same order) making it much easier to generate an export, make changes, then import the file.

You may also find it useful to generate an Export if there are system items with similar/identical fields to the ones you want to create. Use the export to copy the values you want. For example, creating an Intro to Biology section in a new term might use all the same fields as the old Intro to Biology section did, with the exception of Term ID (new term/new ID).

Delete-action imports do not require any fields other than ID because the values in the other fields don't matter if the item is being deleted. The only validation we have is to see that the ID given matches the object type you have selected to delete.

You may want to, however, retain one or more other fields in the Delete-action CSV file, to do your own validation that the listed items are the ones you want to delete, or to confirm those items have been deleted once the import is finished.
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