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Get Started with Imports

You can import data from spreadsheets, databases or other accounting and reporting systems to populate and update your Anaplan models. Import is typically performed using flat files that are tab separated or comma separated (.csv) but you can specify a different separator, such as a semi-colon (;) or a pipe (|).

Lists and data can be imported. When importing into lists, you can import the hierarchical structure and all the properties and subsets. Non-administrator users can also import flat files into Anaplan, which is useful if you're not an administrator but need to update items or properties in an existing list.

If production administrators need the ability to configure imports, you can mark certain import data source (IDS) definitions and their associated imports as production data. For more information, see Production Imports.

For details of the different kinds of import, with examples and instructional videos, see:

When you import into modules, you can exploit various options to control how existing items in the target will be updated with respect to the source items that will be mapped in. For details of the options available for clearing the target before mapping, see Clear the Target.

You can also use other mapping options to control how the timescale in the source is mapped into the target. For details see Map the Timescale.

This introductory topic provides some key points and examples as background information to prepare you for using the Anaplan import feature to populate and update your models:

Check import file formats

Before you attempt to import data into Anaplan, make sure you have your files or data in the correct format:

  • Double-byte characters are not supported. Replace these characters before uploading files.
  • Carriage return and line feed characters are supported, but any text string containing one or more of these characters must be delimited by double quotes.
  • If you are importing dates, an upper date limit of 31st December 2399 is imposed. If any date values in the import source are past that date, the import gives errors for those values and they are not imported. Other data will be imported as normal.

Import from Text Files, .txt, .csv, tab separated or flat files

If importing from a spreadsheet, first save as a .txt file (on the File menu point to Save As then click Text (Tab delimited)). You can only import one sheet at a time from spreadsheets. Virtually all databases, accounting, and reporting systems will have the facility to produce any selection you want and save it as a text file.

Accelerate the upload using zipped files

Anaplan can read a zipped file (file with .zip extension), which can dramatically improve the upload speed.

The program will automatically unzip the file on the Anaplan server. Browse for the .zip file (instead of the .txt or .csv file) and upload.

Make sure the .zip file contains exactly one (1) file. Anaplan does not support multiple files inside a zip for import.

The speed of the upload depends on your connection speed. The more the file is compressed by zipping it, the less data there is to transfer. A 1 Mbps (megabits per second) connection will upload at 60/8 = 7.5 MBytes per minute.

Multiple column files are quicker to load than single column files because there is less repetition of the labels, so the files are smaller.

Anaplan Connect zips the source text files as part of the upload process. Referring to .zip files in the source file is not supported.

Change the number format for imports

When importing from an external source, such as a text file, a number can be ambiguous depending on the thousand separator and the decimal separator.

For example 1,234 means one thousand two hundred and thirty four in the UK and US, but one point two three four in France. The interpretation of the number can be controlled by each user individually because it's dependent on the language setting in each browser.

To change the language setting for your browser, go to Preferences or Settings. If you're not sure check the browser help.

End user list import

Not an administrator? Don't worry, you can still upload files to import new items into a list. It's useful if you need to create new items in a list based on existing items in the list combined with a new parent. Once configured by your Workspace Administrator (the list is published to a dashboard and role-based access is granted to both the list and the action), you'll be able to select Import on the context menu to import items or properties into a list.

Before you start, make sure that your administrator has granted access to the list you're importing into and that the list has been published to a dashboard that you have access to. You also need to know the source of the data you're uploading — if this is a new data import, you'll be prompted to upload the new file.

  1. Open the dashboard that contains the list that you want to import items or properties into.
  2. On the context menu, point to Data then click Import.
  3. The Run Import dialog appears and shows any previous imports.

  4. In the Run Import dialog box, select the data source — either a previous import or select Browse to upload a new file.
  5. Navigate to the file that you want to import. Click Select, then Run.

Import from another Anaplan model

You can import lists or data from another Anaplan model that:

  • Belongs to the Workspace where you are currently working.
  • Belongs to another Workspace in the same customer environment and to which you have access.

See Import from Another Anaplan Model to find out more.

Import from a button on a dashboard

From a button on a dashboard, end users can choose files to execute a process or an import (you don't have to be a Workspace Administrator to do this). It's a flexible way to import data from an external data source into a list or module to save time and improve workflow. See the End user file import from a dashboard page to learn more.