Importing Data Into an Existing Form

This article covers how to import data into an existing form. You must be at least an Administrator to use the import feature. In order to learn how to create a form by importing data, please see Building a Form Via Import.


If you have been collecting data from another source and would like to migrate this data into your Zengine workspace, you have the capability to import this data.  Several steps must be taken in order to ensure that the data is formatted properly and that it matches the structure of the existing data in your workspace.

Preparing Your File for Import

BEFORE YOU START! Please be aware that there is a limit to the number of rows you can import at one time (2000 records). Check out our Limits Article to learn more.

The format of the file to be imported is important and the data in the columns and rows must be consistent.  Before importing your data, read these guidelines below to make sure your data will import successfully.  

  1. Header Row: The first row of your spreadsheet should contain the names for every column. 
  2. Column Names: If the names of your columns match the names of fields in your workspace exactly, you will not have to manually map the columns to fields after import. Therefore, it is in your best interest to name the columns as the fields are named. Note that automatic mapping is case sensitive. In other words, if your field is called "email" and your column is "Email" the system will not automatically map them, but "email" will auto-map to "email."
  3. Mapping columns to fields: Please ensure that you have one column for every field on your form and no extra columns. 
  4. Order of columns: It is easiest when you order the columns in the same order as they appear on your form, although that is not necessary. 
  5. Consistent columns: Make sure the formatting is the same within any given column. A date column, for example, should only contain formatted dates. 
  6. Date Formatting: Dates should be in yyyy-mm-dd format. 
  7. State and Country Formatting: If you wish to import into Zengine state or country fields, then you must use these values. Otherwise, you should plan to import those fields into text fields or custom dropdowns where you provide the state or country names. 
  8. Format: Your file must be saved in .CSV format.
  9. Files: At this time, you cannot import files as part of a data record.

Importing Your File

Once you have prepared your file and saved it as a .CSV, it's time to import into Zengine.  

Start your Import

  1. Navigate to the Data tab on the navigation bar and go to the form into which you would like to import data.  
  2. In the top right corner, you will see a "Form Tools" button. 
  3. Clicking this will bring up a dropdown which includes the option "Import."

Clicking this will bring up a page where you will select your file.  Choose the .CSV file you have prepared.

At this point, the system will process your file. This will take a few moments. When this is done, the system will notify you, "We've got your file!" Press Continue to proceed.

Map your Data

At this point, you will need to map your data.  The system will automatically map any columns that have the exact same names as fields. So if you have a field "email" and a column header "email," the system will have mapped these for you.  You will have to manually map any in which the names differed.

The first column contains the names of the headers, the first row in your imported data, while the second column contains a sample of the other rows in your imported data. The third column contains a series of dropdowns where the existing fields in your workspace are listed.  At this point, you must map each of the imported fields to an existing field in the workspace by selecting the appropriate field from each dropdown.

For any fields where there is not a matching column header, the system will automatically set the field name dropdown to "--Do Not Import--."  This means the system will skip this column and won't import any data into this field. You can override this if you want by clicking the dropdown and manually choosing a field.

When you have completed this, click the blue "Continue" button at the bottom of the page.

At this point, your import will be processed. This can take several minutes or longer, depending on the size of the file. You will receive a system notification when the import is completed, and you do not have to stay on the same screen to wait for it to complete.

Importing Into Linked Form Fields

When importing information into a linked form-field, you must use the Zengine ID corresponding to the field you're trying to link it to. To retrieve this ID, follow these steps:
1. Open your workspace and navigate to the form containing the linked records. (For example, if you have a Submissions form and Applicant form and are importing information into the Submissions form, the parent form, then you'll open the Applicant form to start)
2. Now we want to show the IDs for the linked records. To do so, use the Hide/Show columns button to show 'ID'.
3. You'll see the IDs as the first column of the record. Please note, the ID will only show up in the Data view, not within the record.
4. At this point, in order to prepare your file for import, you'll want to export your linked form. Once exported with the Zengine ID, you can use Excel or similar spreadsheet program to match the ID on the linked form, to the parent form you're importing. Once you do this, import your document and correct any errors you encounter.
5. Once imported, Congrats, the information will automatically link together.


If ALL your records/rows meet the criteria established they will all get imported.

If some of the records/rows fail in some manner you will get an error message about which row(s) failed. For instance, if the last name is required and one of your rows does not have the last name, that will fail. Or if one field is supposed to be a date and something else is in that cell or the date is not formatted properly in your spreadsheet, it will fail.

In that case, we will display which rows failed. You will then have the option to (a) cancel the import, fix what is wrong, and rerun the import OR (b) import the good rows (and then fix and import just the others at a later time).

If you continue to encounter problems, Zengine provides migration assistance. Contact us if you need guidance.

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