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Import Tips and Tricks

Importing in Kahua can differ slightly by application, given each application is structured to accommodate the data needed for that application. Import is completed on an application basis and on a project basis – meaning, import is completed at an application level (not cross-application) and is done for an individual project at a time

Import is not a substitute or synonymous with migrating an entire project’s data at once to the tool. 


Should migration of project data be desired, a scoping session should take place, which may be requested through contacting our Kahua sales team.


Should you be interesting in importing, please read through the below tips and tricks in order to ensure you properly understand Kahua’s import format and guidelines. 


*Please note that Moderators and Admins will have the ability to import.


NOTE: Import is most appropriate in Document Management, Properties and Contact applications; typically, it is not recommended to import new cost records, such as a contract, budget, or pay request. This is due to the records having an ‘items’ grid, which is a separate entity within the record itself. These should be created manually in the tool, or a formal migration or integration pursued through the Kahua sales team if needed.

  • If workflow is enabled on a project, only utilize Import to create new Records. Do not export and re-import to modify existing records that are ‘locked’ and out in workflow. You may export and re-import with changes or modifications to any record that is not currently out in workflow or workflow is not enabled for that project.
  • Always Export prior to Import – in order to obtain the proper Excel workbook format for import, it is recommended you first export from the application and project to which you intend to import. The tool will provide you with an Excel document, in the proper format, and with any existing records listed. These existing records may assist you in ‘copying’ a similar format for additional records to be added.
  • Upon Export, open the Excel workbook. The first tab will likely be an Instructions tab; despite this not including project data, do not delete any tab of the workbook. The tabs and format must remain intact for the tool to digest during import. 
  • When entering new records in the import form, the first column will always be a RowNumber. This must be populated in linear order starting with 2 (which should match the Excel row number). All records (existing and new) must have a RowNumber.


  • The Record Key that is listed (typically to the right of the RowNumber) is unique to the project and record that was exported. You must leave the record key ‘as is’ if you wish to update existing records. If using this import on different project, you must delete out all record keys that potentially tie to other projects. All lines without a record key (null) will be created as new records in the app you import to.
  • When populating data in each column, notice the column headers refer to the database name of the field it references in Kahua. A few important tips when placing data in each column:
    1. All Required Fields in Kahua for a record must be populated in the import. Validate against the UI when you click ‘New’ on a record or in configuration to ensure you populate all required fields. 
    2. All data must be in format = ‘text’ during import
    3. The data entered in the import must match the type of data that the receiving field is expecting – for instance, if a field is a lookup field in Kahua, the value typed in this column must be an exact match to one of the available lookup values in Kahua. If the field in Kahua is an integer field, the data entered in the import must be an integer. If not, the system will not process the import correctly. 
    4. For any contact lookup field, or other entity field (such as a company lookup), Kahua will automatically place a reference tab in your workbook. This tab may be titled ‘People’ or ‘Companies’, for instance. To import a contact or company, utilize the reference tabs to identify the ‘Row Number’ of the person or company you wish to import to that field. Then, list the integer of the row number in the import, as well as the term ‘RowNumber’ in the field immediately to the right of it. See example below. 
      • NOTE: You will want to ensure you have exported recently prior to creating your import, in order to have the latest reference tabs available (latest contact list, CSI list, etc. based on what fields may be entity references).
      • In the below example, we intend to import RFI records. Notice that several fields require entity references – Author, CSI Code, Locations. For the Author, we have a tab called ‘Person’ in our workbook. I reference this tab, select the person I wish to import to the Author field, and list the Row Number of that individual. I then list ‘RowNumber’ as the ReferenceColumn, to indicate to the tool that the Author sits in Row 2 of the Person tab. I could complete a similar exercise using the relevant reference tabs for CSI and Location. 
      • NOTE: if the contact, company or other entity field (CSI, Location, etc.) allow multi-select, I may list numerous Row Numbers in my column, separated by the | symbol. See example below in Column K, showing two locations. 

  • When ready to import back into Kahua, save your file locally and close. You may not import with a file open. 
  • In the application, validate you are in the proper project for your import. Select the Import option from the More menu, and select your file. The import will run – if you have numerous line items, this may take several minutes. If the file completes successfully, you will receive a dialogue indicating successful import. If not, the file will have imported up until the error it outlines. 
  • See Import Troubleshooting Guidance if you have an unsuccessful import, for a list of items to validate prior to reaching out to Support. 


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