Use templates to import data

After you set up your connections using the discovery tools described in Discover assets, you can import data from files in tab-separate-values (TSV), comma-separated-values (CSV), or Excel formats.

Web Help Desk uses templates to ensure data files are formatted correctly. The first data row in the file must match the appropriate template, which you can download from the Setup > Data Import menu.

SolarWinds recommends downloading the appropriate template, importing the template into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, and then entering your data into the spreadsheet. When you are finished, you can convert the Excel file to a TSV or CSV file, and then import the file into Web Help Desk.

For all but the ticket import format, the import file format matches the TSV downloads formats available for each entity.

TSV templates

A typical TSV template contains column headings. The following example shows a client TSV template.

When you click Download Template in the Import Clients screen and download the template file, you can re-import the file into the Clients importer template.

Because ticket TSV downloads are typically used for reporting instead of bulk changes, the columns in the ticket TSV download match the columns in the selected column set rather than the columns in the ticket import template.

If you are using an Excel spreadsheet to format the data and your data file contains Unicode characters, deselect the MS Excel Unicode (UTF-16) file encoding option—both in Excel and in Web Help Desk.

Data import types

You can import several types of data into Web Help Desk. These include:

  • Companies
  • Clients
  • Assets
  • Purchase orders
  • Tickets
  • FAQs
  • Inventory

The following table provides an example of the import types and corresponding fields required to import a list of locations into Web Help Desk:

Type of import Required fields

Location

Location Name

Companies

Company Name, Manager Tech Username

Clients

Last Name, User Name, E-Mail

Assets

Asset Type, Manufacturer, Model

Purchase Orders

PO Number, Vendor

Tickets

Open Date, Request Type

FAQs

Category, Question, Answer

Parts

Part Number, Manufacturer, Our Cost, Customer Cost

Inventory

Part Number, Location, Count

Before you begin

Define the import types in Web Help Desk before you download and populate the template. For example, if you want to import your customer information, define all customer fields in Web Help Desk so your template contains all required data fields for your imported data.

Download and populate the template

When you populate your template, use the following conventions:

  • To prevent failed imports, do not change the data order or delete columns in any import.
  • If the tickets implement request sub-types, enter the type and sub-type in the Type column and separate the type and sub-type with a semicolon.
  • Do not use commas or currency symbols in your template.

The following example describes how to download a template and add your client data using an Excel spreadsheet.

  1. In the toolbar, click Setup > Companies & Locations > Data Import.
  2. Under Data Import, click a category.

    For example, Import Clients.

  3. Complete the Import menu options. For this example, the File Type is Microsoft Excel.

    Click the tooltips for details about each option.

  4. Click Download Template and save the file to a local or network directory.
  5. Double-click the template.

    The template fields are parsed to column headers in the Excel spreadsheet.

    If any customer headers are missing, go back to Web Help Desk and enter the missing fields. When you are finished, re-import the template.

  6. In row 2, enter the that applies to each column header for the first customer.

    All fields highlighted with an asterisk (*) are required fields.

    If you are completing the fields for a Ticket template, you can customize the content for the Request Detail and Notes fields. See Customize tickets, notes, instructions, and emails with BBCode for details.

  7. In the remaining rows, enter the information for each remaining customer.

  8. Save the spreadsheet.

Import the template file into Web Help Desk

The following procedure describes how to import your spreadsheet data into Web Help Desk as an Excel template.

  1. Return to the Import Clients page.
  2. In the Import Data file field, click Choose File.
  3. Locate and select your Excel spreadsheet.
  4. Click Import.

    The customer data is imported into Web Help Desk.