Import Element

This defines downstream connection details, business rules, and data mapping for a particular data import.


<Import Name="Asset" 
        TraceAction="Rejected" TraceLifeTime="1 month"
        ConnectionString="Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0;Data Source=.\Data;Extended Properties='text;HDR=Yes;FMT=CSVDelimited'"
        Query="select * from [asset.csv]">
      <Log ... />
      <Object ... >


Child Comments
Log Optional. Used to direct logging output for this Import to a specific destination. Alternatively, logging may be directed by a command-line switch for the Business Importer (see Command Line for Business Importer). Where both the command-line switch and the Log element exist, and direct output to different locations, both logs are written.
Object Mandatory. Each <Import> must contain at least one database <Object> to which imported data is directed; and typically each will contain several <Object> elements. The ordering of the Object elements is important, as they are processed in the same order that they appear in the adapter XML file. Therefore (for example), if an adapter imports purchases that reference new vendors, it is important that the Object element for vendors appears earlier in its parent Import list than the Object element for the purchases. If this ordering is wrong, the overall processing may fail when a purchase (processed too early) fails to reference the vendor that has not yet been created.

Contained by


Supported attributes

The large number of attributes available on the Import element are divided by their purpose, as follows:

General purpose attributes

These attributes apply to all types of imported data.

Attribute Details
Mandatory. Boolean:
  • True when the ConnectionString to the downstream data source has been encrypted
  • False when the ConnectionString for this Import is interpreted as plain text.
For details about encrypting connection strings in an adapter XML file, see Command Line for Business Importer.
Note: The AccountIsEncrypted attribute is used by the Business Importer to determine whether the ConnectionString value is encrypted. Setting the value to false once the connection string has been encrypted results in a connection error when the Business Importer is run with this adapter file.
Optional. Sets the number of records transferred in a batch for the data loading to the temporary table (in connected mode) or intermediate data file on the inventory beacon (in disconnected mode). When the attribute is omitted, the default value is 1000. Special value:
  • 0 — Load all data in a single batch.
BulkCopyTimeOut Optional. Sets the number of seconds after which an incomplete data load to the temporary database table times out. When this attribute is omitted, the default value is 3600 (1 hour). This value may be increased for extra-large data sets.
Optional. A list of field names in the incoming data for which illegal characters (those with an ASCII value below 32) are removed and replaced with an underscore character. In typed data, the clean-up is applied only to text fields. If this attribute is omitted, no clean-up occurs. Notes for specifying the list:
  • Individual entries in this list must match column names returned by the query defined in Query attribute.
  • The list uses a semi-colon as a separator between column names.
  • The asterisk character (*) is supported as a wild card matching all text columns in the data set.
  • The caret character (^) is supported for specifying a single exception.
  • CleanUpControlCharOn="*" — Cleans up all text columns.
  • CleanUpControlCharOn="*;^Name" — Cleans up all text columns except the Name column

Mandatory. Defines the connection string for the downstream data source. This value may be plain text (when AccountIsEncrypted is False), or may contain unreadable character data when the connection string has been encrypted (AccountIsEncrypted is True). For details about encrypting connection strings in an adapter XML file, see Command Line for Business Importer.

This attribute is mandatory, but its format depends on the value of the Type attribute: each connection type has its own format for the connection string. For details, see ConnectionString Attribute.


Optional. Sets the name of the physical database table that first receives the external data during import. This value is used only when UsePhysicalTable=true. See the UsePhysicalTable attribute for more information.

Optional. An integer value to set the timeout used by the Business Importer for each SQL query run against the central destination database. Special value:
  • 0 — (Default value.) Do not set any timeout limit.

Mandatory. Uniquely identifies the name of the import in the adapter XML file. Special characters and spaces should not be used.


Mandatory. The query used against the downstream data source. The format of the query depends on the Type of this Import. If the Type is XML, the query must be a null string. For details, see Query Attribute.

Signature Optional. Database objects in the central compliance database have history properties that track who created the record and who last updated it. The properties are set by this attribute. Two case-sensitive keywords are supported in this attribute's value:
  • [IMPORT NAME] — Causes the history properties to contain the value of the Name attribute for this Import element.
  • [USER NAME] — Causes the history to contain the Windows login name (in the format domainName\userName) of the account running the Business Importer.

Plain text values may used as alternatives if you need special values.

If this attribute is omitted, the default values used is "[USER NAME] ([IMPORT NAME])".

Optional. Integer value that sets the maximum time in seconds that the Business Importer waits for the external query to execute against the downstream data source. The following special values apply:
  • -1 — (Default value.) Use the time out determined by the source data connection (such as a source database timeout).
  • 0 — No time out.
Optional. Set what action(s) will be recorded in the detailed log stored in the target database. Valid values are:
  • Creation
  • Deletion
  • Update
  • Rejected.
You may use a comma-separated string to list multiple actions:
If this parameter is omitted, no actions are recorded in the tracing (even though TraceField is declared). Both settings are required if you wish to generate detailed tracing of actions in ECMImportLog_Detail. (Independently, the trace of which import has run is recorded in ECMImportLog_Summary, and the objects updated, inserted, and deleted are logged in ECMImportLog_Object. For more information about this detailed logging, see Detailed Tracing.)

Optional. Identifies the input data property that is used to fill the description field in the detailed actions log stored in the target database. For more information about this detailed logging, see Detailed Tracing. Valid values are:

  • A best identifying column name, enclosed in brackets [ ], from the incoming data set
  • Combination of informative text and one or more column names, with each column name enclosed in brackets. For example:
    TraceField="Record [ColumnA] – [ColumnB] has been processed"
Note: Anything enclosed in brackets is treated as a column name while all else is simply text and appears as it is in the final RecordDescription field. In fact, if any SQL operators or functions are used above, they will appear as text in the resulting column and will not execute.
Tip: For an adapter running in connected mode on the application server, this field is set to the appropriate natural key for the chosen object. For business adapters in disconnected mode on the inventory beacon, the field is left blank for you to populate.
Deprecated from release 2015 R2. The lifetime of tracing records is now set through the web interface for FlexNet Manager Suite (navigate to the system menu ( in the top right corner) > System Settings, select the Inventory tab, and scroll down to the Activity logs section). The default value is 30 days.
Note: Trace records can multiply very quickly, blowing out the size of the target database. It is strongly recommended that where tracing is used, you specify the shortest convenient time for the tracing records to persist, consistent with your required business processes.
Mandatory. Specifies the kind of data source from which data is being imported. Valid values are:
  • SqlServer
  • Oracle
  • Excel
  • CSV
  • OleDB
  • ADSI
  • ODBC
  • WebService
  • XML.
Optional. Boolean:
  • true — External data is stored as a physical table in the database during import. Use this when you anticipate large data sets for this import. The physical table is created with the name specified in the DataTableName attribute if present, and is otherwise named ECMImport_ImportName (where ImportName is the value of the Name attribute of this Import element).
    Note: The table is dropped and re-created each time the import is run.
  • false (the default) — External data is stored as a temporary table in computer memory. The name of the temporary table is #ECMImport_ImportName. (The DataTableName attribute is ignored in this case.)

Attributes governing imports from Active Directory

Use these attributes to control collection of data using the Active Directory Service Interfaces. Note that where applicable, the same attributes may be used to control data gathering from other services, such as Novell eDirectory.

Attribute Details
Mandatory for eDirectory users (and otherwise ignored). An integer value to set the page size in a paged search. The default value is 0, which means do not do a paged search. If you are using Novell eDirectory, the PageSize attribute must be set to -1:

Otherwise, paged searches are not yet supported by the Business Importer. Reserved for future development.

Optional. An integer value to set the number of seconds that the Business Importer waits for the server to return results. Special value:
  • -1 — (Default value.) Wait indefinitely — no time out.
Optional. When this attribute is not specified, the default is an empty string. Specifies the path to the desired object within the hierarchy of the directory service, and may vary according to the directory services in use. Example:
PropertiesToLoad (synonym Properties)
Mandatory. A comma-separated list of properties to load from the directory service. Example:
Tip: Either form of the attribute name may be used. This is equivalent to the above example:
Optional. Sets whether and how referrals to other servers are pursued. Valid values are:
  • None — Never chase the referred-to server.
  • Subordinate — Chase only referrals that are in a subordinate naming context in a directory tree.
  • External — (Default value.) Chase external referrals that are outside the directory tree.
  • All — chase referrals of either the subordinate or external type.
Optional. Sets the scope of the search. Available values:
  • Base — limits the search to the base object. Only one object is returned.
  • OneLevel — Search the immediate child objects of the base object, excluding the base object.
  • SubTree — (Default value.) Search the whole sub-tree, including the base object and all its child objects.

Reserved for future development. An integer value to set the number of seconds the server searches for an individual page result. The default value is (-1) which means to wait indefinitely. Paged searches are not yet supported by the Business Importer.

Optional. Sets the maximum number of seconds the server spends searching. Special value:
  • -1 — (Default value.) The server-determined default is enforced (for Active Directory, this is 120 seconds).
Optional. An integer value to set the maximum number of objects the server returns in a search result. Special value:
  • 0 — (Default value.) The server-determined default is enforced (for Active Directory, this is 1000 entries).

Attributes for handling text files

Together, these attributes control how many lines from the start of a text file should be discarded in order to arrive at the data.

Attribute Details

Required in order to skip any rows (if the next attribute is included). Sets the name of the text file in which to apply the RowsToSkip attribute, and should be identical to the one used in the Query attribute.


Optional. An integer value to set the number of rows to delete from the beginning of the text file identified with the FileName attribute.

Attributes for handling web service queries

Together, these attributes control the handling of SOAP requests.

Attribute Details
Optional. A string containing the values to include in the web service request header. The values must be formatted as name/value pairs, separated by a semi-colon, as follows:

Optional. A string containing the name of the element to be read in the web service response. If this attribute is not included, the data is read from the Body element (if it exists) or from the name of the web service method (if specified as such in the Query attribute, with the string “Result” added at the end).