CSV files and the Import tool

To import comma-separated values (CSV) files using the Import tool, the CSV file must follow a format and include information for each type of entity. These files can be imported from an Excel spreadsheet.

Minimum information required in CSV files

The information in the CSV file must be coherent or it will not be accepted by the Import tool. When required information is missing, the Next button in the Bindings page is disabled. Each type of imported entity has a minimum information requirement, as described in the following table:

Entity type Minimum information required
Credential: Card You have the choice of two credential keys:
  • Complete all fields required by a given card format.
  • Supply the Credential card data.

If you choose a custom card format, all fields required by your card format must be bound to a column in the CSV file. Otherwise, the CSV file will be rejected.

When credentials are being imported, one of these two keys must be present. If both keys are missing values, the line will be discarded. If both keys are present, only the card data is imported.

Credential: License plate Enter a cardholder's license plate number. Use this method if a Sharp camera is being used to trigger a vehicle access barrier. In this case, the cardholder's vehicle license plate can be used as a credential.
Credential: PIN PIN credentials can be used with cards or as standalone credentials. Make sure that each cardholder's PIN is unique if you plan to use your readers in Card or PIN mode.
Cardholder The default cardholder key is the combination of the cardholder’s first and last name. One of these two fields must be bound to a CSV column if cardholders are to be imported.

When cardholders are being imported, all CSV lines must have a value in at least one of these two fields. If not, the line would be discarded.

Cardholder group Only the cardholder group name is required. Missing the cardholder group will not cause a line to be discarded.
Partition Only the partition name is required. Missing the partition name will not cause a line to be discarded.

Format of the CSV file

Here is an example file called EmployeeData.csv, containing three new cardholders to import. It can be created from a spreadsheet by saving it as a .csv file in Excel.

The sample file contains the following four lines of text:
#First name,Last name,Picture,Cardholder description,Cardholder email,
Cardholder group,Cardholder status,Credential name,Facility code,Card number,Credential status,Cardholder_activation,Cardholder_expiration, Credential_activation,Credential_expiration

Abdoulai,Koffi,D:\Tools\Import\WithPics\Koffi.jpg,Market Analyst,akoffi@genetec.com,Marketing,Yes,82968378,102,8,active,10-10-2018 7:00:00,10-20-2018 17:00:00,10-10-2018 7:00:00,10-20-2018 17:00:00

Andrew,Smith,D:\Tools\Import\WithPics\Smith.jpg,Sales Representative,asmith@genetec.com,Sales,Yes,82748590,101,12,active,10-12-2018 8:00:00,10-14-2018 17:00:00,10-12-2018 8:00:00,10-14-2018 17:00:00

Audrey,Williams,D:\Tools\Import\WithPics\Williams.jpg,Technical Writer,awilliams@genetec.com,TechWriters,Yes,83748952,104,18,active,10-13-2018 7:00:00,10-20-2018 18:00:00,10-13-2018 7:00:00,10-20-2018 18:00:00
The first row is a comment line, listing the cardholder and credential fields that are included in the CSV file as a reference. The following three rows contain the fields to be imported. You can add additional custom fields if they have been created for cardholders or credentials in Security Center.
NOTE: If you add columns for activation and expiration dates without defining the time of day, activation and expiration will be set to midnight by default. If you set specific hours, use 24-hour time.

Custom field limitations

You can import cardholder and credential custom field values from CSV files with the following limitations:
  • You cannot import custom fields using the Entity data type.
  • Custom fields using the Date data type must be imported with the YYYY-MM-DD format.
  • The Import tool performance decreases as the number of custom fields per imported record increases.
  • When you have a large number of custom fields per record, the number of records you can import at the same time might also be limited. For example, if your records contain 100 custom fields each, including a 25 KB image data field, you can only import 1000 records at a time.
  • If you are importing pictures, the CSV file must include the full path to the image file.