Understanding: Library Import Export

SD Elements Import/Export feature allows users to export library content (Problems, Tasks, How-Tos, Amendments and Glossary Terms) into an Excel or CSV file.  Files can be edited and re-imported to update corresponding Library content in the system.  Note that library content items can not be deleted through a library import.  Indeed, new items can be created, existing items can be changed when appropriate, but existing items can never be deleted.

Process - Exporting Content

This is a high level overview of the process of exporting Library Content in SD Elements.  Several exporting options exist for the user.

Exporting File Format

Users can choose to export data in either .xlxs or .csv formats.  SD Elements recommends exporting files in an .xlxs format whenever a user wishes to open a file in Excel.

File Contents

Users can choose to export files containing either an empty template or the contents of the SD Elements library.  By default, the 'all data' radio option is selected which will export the appropriate library content.  If a user would simply like to export a file containing the appropriate headers but void of data, they can choose the 'empty' template option before exporting.  The resulting empty file would resemble the one below. 

Multiple Places to Export Files

Library content can be exported from the main 'library/import-export/' page or from the side-bar on each library content's page.  When a user exports files from the main Import/Export page (below) a zip file will be downloaded containing 5 files - one for each type of library content.

If a user instead exports templates from the sidebar of a particular library content page, only files relating to that page will be exported.  More explicitly, exporting directly from the Tasks page will export only content related to tasks, namely amendments, how-tos and tasks.   The Problems page exports only the problems library content and the Glossary page exports only the glossary terms content.  


Process - Importing Content

This will be a high level walk through of how to import library content. 

1 - Uploading Files

The SD Elements Import/Export page allows users to upload multiple files for importing. Each file should be uploaded by clicking on the 'Choose File' button.  Notice that each time this button is clicked, a new one appears allowing up to 5 files to be imported at once.

Acceptable File Formats

The importer currently accepts .xlxs and .csv files for importing.  All other files types (including zip files) will result in an import error.  SD Elements recommends both importing and exporting in .xlxs if Excel is going to be used at any point to open or edit files.

File Names

The names of the files to be imported is completely irrelevant.  Any file name can import any type of content. The importer distinguishes the kind of content that is being imported by the item id column.  For instance, if the file contains a header labelled 'problem_id', then the importer will determine that the file contains problems content

 2 - Import

Once all of the files for importing have been uploaded, the yellow 'import' button should be clicked to begin the importing process. 

 3 - Errors Page

At this point if the user has uploaded a file that does not match the importers requirements, an appropriate error will be displayed.  For example: 


Once the user has read the errors and made appropriate amendments, the 'Close' button will navigate the user back to the previous page, where they can try again.

4 - Diff Page

If the uploaded files match the import criteria then the user will be redirected to a diff page.  Here, users can review their changes before applying the import and updating library content.  

  • New content will be displayed in green, and any old content (that will be over written) is displayed in red. 
  • Only new or updated rows will be displayed.

5 - Accept Diff or Cancel

After the user has reviewed the changes they can either abandon the current import by pressing 'Cancel' or they can apply the changes by pressing 'Accept'. 

Please ensure that users review their changes carefully; Once an import has been applied it cannot be reversed!

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