Import data into Adobe Workfront using a Kick-Start template

Kick-Starts are specially formatted Excel workbooks that you can populate with data you want to import into Workfront. Adobe Workfront provides a Kick-Start template you can use to do this, as explained in Kick-Starts data importer.

This process is broken up into 3 main tasks:

  • First, you export a Kick-Start template as a spreadsheet file
  • Second, you populate the spreadsheet with your data
  • Finally, you import the populated spreadsheet into Workfront

Each of these procedures is outlined in the proper order in this article.

IMPORTANT

If you use Legacy Workfront Fusion or Workfront Fusion, you must turn off your FLOs or scenarios before you can import data via Kick-Starts.

For information on how to turn off FLOs in Legacy Workfront Fusion, see the Legacy Workfront Fusion Getting Started guide.

For information on how to deactivate scenarios in Workfront Fusion, see Activate or deactivate a scenario in Adobe Workfront Fusion.

Access requirements

You must have the following access to perform the steps in this article:

Adobe Workfront plan Any
Adobe Workfront license Plan
Access level configurations

You must be a Workfront administrator.

NOTE: If you still don't have access, ask your Workfront administrator if they set additional restrictions in your access level. For information on how a Workfront administrator can modify your access level, see Create or modify custom access levels.

Limitations

You can import large numbers of objects into Workfront using a Kick-Start template. However, consider the following limitations:

  • Importing data this way doesn’t update information on records that already exist in Workfront
  • You can import only new records and their information
  • Import no more than 2,000 records at a time to ensure that the import does not time out

Export a Kick-Start template as a spreadsheet file

When you export a Kick-Start template you receive a blank Excel spreadsheet workbook. In subsequent procedures in this article, you will populate the workbook with your information and then import it back into Workfront.

To export a Kick-Start template:

  1. (Conditional) If you are using Workfront Fusion, turn off active FLOs or scenarios.

    For information on how to turn off FLOs in Legacy Workfront Fusion, see the Legacy Workfront Fusion Getting Started guide. For information on how to deactivate scenarios in Workfront Fusion, see Activate or deactivate a scenario in Adobe Workfront Fusion.

  2. Click the Main Menu icon in the upper-right corner of Adobe Workfront, then click Setup .

  3. Click System > Export Data (Kick-Starts).

  4. Click More Options, then select the types of information that you want to include.

    Each option that you select represents a collection of multiple tabs in the exported spreadsheet. For example, if you select the Report option, all the necessary objects for creating a report will be included in the spreadsheet (views, filters, groupings, reports).

    You can use all of the object types listed below to import data into Workfront. (The only exception is the Access Levels option. The Access Levels data sheet in an export is provided for reference purposes—it allows you to assign an access level to a new user account by ID.)

    The template for each of the object types can be exported in the following file formats and contains the following sheets:

    Object

    Exports as

    Sheets in the exported spreadsheet

    Dashboard

    All dashboards in the system are available to export. You can select up to 100 specific dashboards in a single export.

    Exports as ZIP file

    Parameter

    Parameter Option

    Parameter Group

    Category Parameter

    Category

    Report

    Portal Tab Section

    Dashboard

    Preferences

    Report

    All reports in the system are available to export. You can select up to 100 specific reports in a single export.

    Exports as ZIP file

    Parameter

    Parameter Option

    Parameter Group

    Category Parameter

    Category

    Report

    Preferences

    Approval

    Exports as Excel file

    Step Approver

    Approval Step

    Approval

    Approval Process

    Preferences

    Custom Data

    Exports as Excel file

    Parameter

    Parameter Option

    Parameter Group

    Category Parameter

    Category

    Preferences

    Expense Type

    Exports as Excel file

    Expense Type

    Preferences

    Hour Type

    Exports as Excel file

    Hour Type

    Preferences

    Team

    Exports as Excel file

    Team Member

    Team

    Preferences

    User

    Exports as Excel file. To see the full list of options, click More Options.

    User

    Preferences

    Access Level Exports as Excel file

    Access Level

    Preferences

    Assignment Exports as Excel file

    Assignment

    Preferences

    Company Exports as Excel file

    Company

    Preferences

    Email Template Exports as Excel file

    Email Template

    Preferences

    Expense Exports as Excel file

    Expense'

    Preferences

    External Page Exports as Excel file

    External Page

    Preferences

    Filter Exports as a ZIP file

    Filter

    Preferences

    Group Exports as Excel file

    Group

    Preferences

    Grouping Exports as a ZIP file

    Grouping

    Preferences

    Hour Exports as Excel file

    Hour

    Preferences

    Issue Exports as Excel file

    Issue

    Preferences

    Job Role Exports as Excel file

    Job role

    Preferences

    Milestone Path Exports as Excel file

    Milestone

    Milestone Path

    Preferences

    Note Exports as Excel file

    Note

    Preferences

    Portfolio Exports as Excel file

    Portfolio

    Preferences

    Project Exports as Excel file

    Queue

    Project

    Routing Rule

    Queue Topic

    Preferences

    Resource Estimate Exports as Excel file

    Resource Estimate

    Preferences

    Resource Pool Exports as Excel file

    Resource Pool

    Preferences

    Risk Exports as Excel file

    Risk

    Preferences

    Risk Type Exports as Excel file

    Risk Type

    Preferences

    Scorecard Exports as Excel file

    Scorecard Questions

    Scorecard Option

    Scorecard

    Preferences

    Task Exports as Excel file

    Task

    Preferences

    Template Exports as Excel file

    Queue

    Template

    Routing Rule

    Queue Topic

    Preferences

    Template Assignment Exports as Excel file

    Template Assignment

    Preferences

    Template Task Exports as Excel file

    Template Task

    Preferences

    Timesheet Exports as Excel file

    Timesheet Profile

    Timesheet

    Preferences

    View

    Exports as ZIP file

    View

    Preferences

  5. Click Download.

  6. Continue with Populate the spreadsheet template with your data to populate the template with your information.

Populate the spreadsheet template with your data

About the tabs (data sheets) included in the spreadsheet

TIP

To better understand how you will need to format the information in each column when you populate the Kick-Start template, consider doing a practice run by exporting a Kick-Start with existing Workfront data on the objects you are trying to import. For instructions, see Export data from Adobe Workfront via Kick-Starts.

When you open a blank Kick-Starts template, a number of tabs (data sheets) are available. They depend on the objects that you selected for download. Each one represents an object in the application, such as project, tasks, hours, dashboard, and users:

When you open one of these tabs, row 2 displays the fields for each object that can be set during an import. In a column header, after the word “set,” the name of the field displays as it appears in the database. These fields act as column headers.

IMPORTANT

To avoid errors, make sure of the following:

  • Do not delete or modify these fields in any way. For example, don’t change their order or their names.

  • Populate every field with a column header displayed in bold. These represent required fields.

    However, if a required field contains a default value set in the system preferences, you don’t have to populate it.

    For example, on the PROJ Project tab, the setCondition and setConditionType fields can be left empty, but the setGroupID and setName columns cannot.

Import a record

Each row of the sheet corresponds to a unique object.

  1. Complete the cell in the isNew column:

    • If the object you are importing is new, type TRUE to import the data in the row.
    • If the object is already in Workfront, type FALSE to ignore the row.
  2. Complete the cell in the ID column in one of the following ways:

    • If the object you are importing is new (and you typedTRUE in the isNew column), specify any number for the ID. This number must be unique in the spreadsheet.

    • If the object you are importing already exists in the Workfront system (and you typedFALSE in the isNew column), the ID must be the alpha-numeric GUID that exists in Workfront for that object.

      Example: For a project, the value displayed in the setGroupID column must one of the following:

      • The GUID for an existing Group in your Workfront instance

      • The value (number) in the ID column on the GROUP Group sheet if you are creating a new Group during the import

  3. Input values for the required fields and any other fields you want to populate during the import.

  4. (Optional) To add custom data:

    • Create a new column for each custom field that you want to include in the import process.

    • Name each new column for its corresponding custom field as follows: DE:[Name of Custom Field as Appears in Workfront].

    • In the column setCategoryID, type the GUID of the existing custom form on which this custom field resides. This field is required when importing custom data.

    • If you need to add multiple data values in the custom field, (such as radio buttons, check boxes, or lists) use the vertical bar custom data delimiter “|” listed in the Preferences tab to separate the values.

      Example: Type A|D under the DE:Departments column to populate department A and department D in your custom form.

Include dates

Workfront can process most date formats. However, you must ensure that the date column in the spreadsheet is formatted as a date. The import will fail if the column is formatted as general, a number, or text.

TIP

Most people find it easiest to use the MM/DD/YYYY format (for example: 07/10/2022).

Workfront also accepts time values as part of the date (for example: 07/10/2022 01:30 or 07/10/2022 1:00 PM).

If you omit a time in the date, Workfront does one of the following:

  • Assumes 12:00 AM. In order to see the date result you expect, the system timezone must match your time zone.
  • If it is on an object that is associated with a schedule, the time defers to the earliest time that the schedule allows.
NOTE

When using a UNIX time stamp you must include three additional zeros at the end of the value.

For example, if your time stamp is 7336899000, you would input 7336899000000 in the cell.

Use wildcards

You can use the following wildcards when populating your Kick-Start template spreadsheet:

Wildcard

Behavior

$$TODAY

When used on a setDate field, this wildcard sets the date as midnight on the day when you import the Kick-Start.

You can modify the wildcard using the standard syntax allowed with the wildcard on a filter.

Example: If you want a project to start on the Monday of the week it is imported on, regardless of the day you actually perform the import, you could use $$TODAYbw. This sets your project's planned start date as 12:00 AM on Sunday. Since the schedule for the project probably doesn't allow work at that time, it will start at 9:00 AM Monday morning.

$$NOW

When used on a setDate field, this wildcard sets the date according to the moment when you create the record during the Kick-Start import.

You can modify the wildcard using the standard syntax allowed with the wildcard on a filter.

Example: If you want a project to start 3 hours after it is imported, you could use $$NOW+3h.

$$USER.ID

When used on a setAssignedToID or other userID based field, this wildcard assigns the work or otherwise associates the record with the individual performing the import.

$$CUSTOMER

This wildcard was added specifically for Kick-Start user imports. When a Workfront account is created, a user with the System Administrator access level is created. The username assigned to the default administrator can be used as a prefix when creating other users in the account.

Because usernames must be unique across all customers, this is useful when you have several individuals with very common usernames such as John Smith, who might have a username "jsmith." By prepending the username assignment with the default administrator username, you guarantee that each username is unique (for example: $$CUSTOMER.jsmith).

Tip: A more elegant way to ensure that usernames are unique system wide is to input the individual's email address in the setUsername field.

Attribute name substitution for IDs

Though it is a best practice to use IDs whenever possible, sometimes it’s inconvenient to cross-reference IDs from one sheet to another when setting a setAttributeID value. You can reference values by name simply by changing the column header.

Examples:

  • (project import)

    When importing projects, set the setGroupID of the projects by going to the GROUP Group sheet, making note of the respective Group IDs, and pasting them in the correct cells (setGroupID column) on the PROJ Project sheet.

    This is feasible when working with only a few groups and projects, but if you are working with several of each, it’s not practical.

    To do the Attribute Name Substitution for the example described above, you change the setGroupID column header to #setGroupID GROUP****name. You can then reference each project’s group by name.

    NOTE

    The option to use Attribute Name Substitution is limited to references for existing records only. You cannot use name substitution for objects you are creating in the same import.

  • (user import)

    When importing users, fill in the setRoleID from a list of roles on the ROLE Role tab.

    Some of the Role IDs are for records that already exist in the account, and others are being created during the import.

    For the new user records assigned to existing roles, you can use name substitution. For the new user records assigned to newly imported roles, you cannot.

    Here is how you can use both methods on the same import file:

    • Add a column in the spreadsheet to the left of the setRoleID column.

    • Name the new column #setRoleID ROLE name.

    • For role assignments to existing records, input the role names in the #setRoleID ROLE name column.

      For role assignments to new role records, input the ID you assigned on the ROLE Role sheet in the setRoleID.

Import the spreadsheet data into Workfront

After you populate the Excel template with your data, you can upload it’s data into Workfront.

The Kick-Start import supports the following file types:

  • XML-based Excel (*.xlsx)

  • Legacy Excel (*.xls)

  • Zipped (*ZIP) xlsx or xls file

    NOTE

    You must use a ZIP file when importing Excel spreadsheets that reference reports; documents; avatars; or view, filter, or grouping property files. When using a zipped import file, the *ZIP file must have the same name as the *.xlsx or *.xls file, and all contents must be at the same file structure level (no folders).

To import the template spreadsheet data into Workfront:

  1. (Conditional) If you are using Workfront Fusion, ensure that your FLOs or scenarios are turned off.

    For information on how to turn off FLOs in Legacy Workfront Fusion, see the Legacy Workfront Fusion Getting Started guide.

    For information on how to deactivate scenarios in Workfront Fusion, see Activate or deactivate a scenario in Adobe Workfront Fusion.

  2. Click the Main Menu icon in the upper-right corner of Adobe Workfront, then click Setup .

  3. Click System >Import Data (Kick-Starts).

  4. In the Upload data with Kick-Start spreadsheet section, click Choose File, then browse to and select the populated spreadsheet.

  5. Click Upload.

    If the Excel file takes longer than 5 minutes to upload to Workfront, the application times out and the file cannot be uploaded.

    Try importing your data in smaller batches of objects.

  6. (Conditional) If you are using Workfront Fusion, you can now turn on your FLOs or scenarios.

On this page