Introduction to Importing

Introduction to Importing


Take a considered view before importing data from a legacy system - do you really need all your old data?

If you have existing data in other CRM systems, databases or spreadsheets, you can import it into Workbooks from a CSV (Comma Separated Value) file. CSV files are a standard way of exchanging data between systems.

Our import tool is extremely powerful and allows you to carry out various types of import. You can:

  • Carry out a 'simple' import of new data of just one record type.  For example, importing new Organisations or new Sales Leads or new Products, and so on;
  • Import new records and 'link' them to existing records on your database.  For example, you might want to import new People records and link them to existing Organisation records (because the person is employed by that Organisation), or you might want to import Activities (Tasks or Meetings) that are linked to existing People records;
  • Extend the type of import you're carrying out so that you can import more than one record type at the same time.  For example, importing new People records with associated Activities at the same time;
  • Update the fields on existing records.  For example, data that has been taken out of Workbooks for cleansing can be imported and the amended data overwrites the existing information.  When using the update mode you can choose between simply updating existing records or updating existing ones AND, if a record doesn't already exist, creating a new one.

Each import type is based on a specific record type. Below is a list of the types of records that Workbooks can import:




Customer Orders

Activities (Tasks)


Activities (Meetings)

Credit Notes


Supplier Orders

Sales Leads






Campaign Membership
(click here for worked example)

API Data

As already mentioned, when importing some record types  it's possible to create additional related records at the same time by extending your import to include a different record type.  For example, when using the People import, Notes, Tasks, Meetings, and Organisations related to the Person can also be created at the same time as the Person record; and when importing Opportunity or Contract records you can also import the Line Items applicable to those records.  Click here for a list of the record types that can be imported showing which other record types can be imported at the same time, together with information on which fields are mandatory when importing.

To help make your imports successful, follow the steps below:

  1. Cleanse the data;

  2. Map the fields from your source data against your Workbooks fields and run the import;

  3. Review the imported data;

  4. Approve the data (thus making it available to users).

The first step doesn't involve Workbooks. From step 2, Workbooks provides an easy to use Wizard to guide you through the process.

To help you with preparing your data you can create Import Templates relevant to your database from Workbooks. The Import Template contains columns corresponding to fields of your chosen record type enabling straight forward one-to-one field mapping at the mapping stage. The Import template can also include additional columns for any record types you chose to extend to. For more information about Import Templates, click here