Update Existing Entities within Import from CSV Files | Targetprocess - Visual management software

Update Existing Entities within Import from CSV Files

It is possible to batch update existing Targetprocess entities (User Stories, Tasks, Bugs, Features, Epics, Requests) from CSV files. You can batch change states, business values, custom field values, add or change assigned tags, estimated effort, assign users and teams. This article describes how to perform the import.


Here's how a basic CSV file with a list of the entities and fields to be updated looks when opened in a spreadsheet editor:

Update Existing Entities within Import from CSV Files. Image 2

Files in CSV (Comma-separated values) format are commonly used to transfer data between spreadsheet editors (such as Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice, LibreOffice, Google Sheets) and other software systems and tools.

Import from CSV files is one of the possible ways to update existing entities in Targetprocess. It is also possible to update them with Batch Actions, Drag-n-drop Cards in Batches on Board and Timeline views, and using REST API calls.

Supported Entity Types and Fields

The list of entities and fields that can be imported from CSV files is available in the dedicated article: Entities and fields supported for import from CSV files.

The Targetprocess Import wizard does not support reassigning existing entities to different Projects. It is also not possible to change the type of an existing entity.

Update Entities of Multiple Types

This guide describes a basic use case where all the entities you import have the same entity type. For example, you import list of User Stories or list of Bugs. The Targetprocess Import wizard has the advanced capability to update entities of multiple types in a single CSV. You have to fill in and map Entity Type column in your CSV file for this purpose.

Required Permissions

The user who performs the import should have Edit access permission for a selected entity type and Project. Administrators can import entities to any Project and team, even to the ones they are not members of. More information: Permissions for Access to Work Items.

How to Perform the Import

Upload a CSV file with data in the Settings > Import page. Then customize settings and map columns.

Find the basic principles of importing CSV files in the dedicated article: How to import entities from a CSV file.

How to Prepare the CSV Data File

You can create a source CSV file manually. Use any available spreadsheet editor such as Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice, LibreOffice, Google Sheets. All of them support saving data to the CSV file format.

Alternative option to generate the file is to use Export to CSV file action in Targetprocess.

Export Data, Make Changes, and Import Updates

Export Data, Make Changes, and Import Updates

Export data to the CSV file from Targetprocess. Once you receive the file, you can open it in an external spreadsheet editor. Make the intended changes, save the file, and import updates back into Targetprocess. During the Import steps, map only columns you'd like to update, Skip all other columns to preserve them non-modified.

Required Columns

To update an existing Targetprocess entity you have to fill in and map properly at least two key columns in the CSV file: ID and Project.

ID12345Numeric ID of the entity you want to update.


Numeric ID or Name of the Project that contains the entity.

Update Entities in a Single Project

The Project column is not required when all the entities you update belong to the same Project. You can exclude the Project column from your CSV file. Instead, select this single Project in the list of Projects displayed on the Step 1 of the Import wizard.

Otherwise, you have to specify Projects for your entities. The Project column is required in your CSV file and should be mapped properly. In this case you may select none, or two and more Projects on the Step 1 of the Import wizard.

Columns Mapping

Your source CSV file may also contain the columns with data for import to Targetprocess. For example, you may have the State column in order to batch change states for the entities listed in a file.

In order to prevent data losses, we strongly recommend mapping only the required columns and the columns you would like to update. Use the Skip option for all other columns. For example, when your aim is to update the states of entities, please map only State column and skip mapping for Name, Description, and other columns if the CSV file you import contains them.

Update Description

Markup of the text in Descriptions of entities is imported to Targetprocess in HTML format. It means, <br> (<br />) tag is used for line breaks, and other HTML tags are used for bold, italic, colored font, and advanced elements such as lists and tables. Plain text line breaks are ignored during import.

In order to prevent data losses during updates, we strongly recommend to using the Skip option for the Description column in column mapping settings. Otherwise if the source CSV file has descriptions in plain text format then the rich-text formatted descriptions of your entities will be rewritten with plain text ones.

Convert Entities using Export & Import Actions

Convert Entities using Export & Import Actions

Additionally, you can perform entity type conversions. Say, to convert User Stories to Features, Epics to Releases, and vice versa, you would export list of origin entities from your system to a CSV file. Adjust the columns in the file, for instance, change values in "Entity Type" column properly. And then import the file back so that new entities of the target type are created from the same CSV file. Reassign related entities manually from old items to new ones and then delete old items from your system. Keep in mind however that not all fields available on the original entity type will necessarily be available for the new entity type.

See Also

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