Knowledge Base

Implementing Custom Imports

Implementing Custom Imports

If you are like a lot of companies, you likely have a situation where not all of your data originates in Quick Base, or it comes from outside your company. Take an example where you work with a vendor that sends you orders each week via an excel file. They send you a list of new orders via email, and you’ve set up a Quick Base application to store all of those orders and then you’ve set up your application to handle them once imported.

Given Quick Base’s import abilities, you can import a flat file into Quick Base with ease. But what if that file has data points the represent different tables in Quick Base? What if its not just as easy as importing ‘Orders?’ Imagine that a single row in that file has information about the customer, where to bill, where work is performed, each service / product requested in that order, dates, financials etc. In Quick Base, that may point to tables such as Clients, Purchase Orders, Purchase Order Lines, Services, Employees, Addresses etc etc.

Excel files/tabs are flat – your Quick Base applications are not.

If you’re like a lot of people I’ve seen, you are likely manually taking that file, splitting it out and creating several different imports in excel and then importing to each table one by one with the right information in pieces. This might look like importing new Customers, then importing new Orders for those Customers that were just created, then finally importing the Services needed on those Orders just created. 3 steps to import one file.

An alternative that we’ve used to great success for our clients is to combine Quick Base DB Pages with a little custom code to create a custom import to accomplish this with ease. Doing so means that you let the code do all the work. You define the process and a developer writes the process to absorb that data in the file and manipulate it to meet your business need. Setting this up means your users just copy and paste their file into a screen similar to below – then hit submit, and let a custom process eliminate your manual one. No more manipulation in excel.

Why use methods like custom imports?

✓ Reduce manual intervention to a matter of seconds by only having to copy and paste

✓ Build in error checking in order to see if the file has any missing information or issues

✓ Add additional logic or conditions to make your import ‘smarter’ – such as assigning orders automatically, replacing bad data, removing duplicates etc.

Removing human intervention by adding things like custom imports not only reduces time, it also ensures accuracy and consistency from person to person. Training becomes a matter of minutes to show someone how to do your imports. For more information about Custom Imports, send us an email to get more information about next steps or how we can get you moving in the right direction.

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