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  • Importing
Troublshooting CSV imports

How to troubleshoot importing errors

If your first attempt to import to inFlow Cloud didn’t work, or if you’re looking for a little guidance, try exporting the type of information that you want to import.

To do so, go to Main Menu > General > Export Data and choose the type of data you’re looking to import. This can get you a template to use for inputting your data! You can also have a look here for more information on creating your file.

However, if you’ve already created your file for import, but you’re still running into problems, we’ve collected some common (and easily fixed) problems that users have noticed with imports below.

    Everything appears bunched together

    The result looks something like the image below. This can happen if:

    • if you click Save to save your file in Excel, instead of Save As > select file type CSV – Comma Delimited
    • if you are on European (or French Canadian) operating systems where the delimiter/separator is a semi-colon “;” and not comma “,”.

    Saving Excel file as a CSV

    The problem is easily solved by correcting your Excel file.

    1. In Excel, click the Data tab at the top.
    2. Highlight the first column (“Column A”) and click on Text to Column.
    3. It will ask you to choose the file type, select Delimited.
    4. On this next screen, check “TAB” and “COMMA” for delimiter types. Hit Next, then hit Finish.
    5. Re-save your file as a .csv file, just in case… by going to Save as.

    European or French Canadian operating systems

    For users on the EU or French Canadian operating system, unfortunately, you will have to modify the .csv file in Notepad to change the separator from semi-colon to comma.

    1. Right-click on your Excel file and click Open With. Choose Notepad to open your file in notepad.
    2. Click Edit and then click Replace… (or press CTRL + H together as a shortcut)
    3. In the Find box, type in this semi-colon symbol: ;
    4. In the Replace box, type in the comma symbol: ,
    5. Click Replace All.
    6. Now click File > Save As. Make sure to save it as “All file types”.

    Error: “Required fields missing”

    For every import, there are several fields that are required, while others are optional. If you’re getting an error saying that required fields are missing, first check your required fields to be certain they’re included in your file. There are different required fields for each type of data. Take a look at the table below to learn more.

    Data Type
    Required Fields
    ProductItem Name/Code, Type*
    InventoryItem Name/Code, Location, Quantity
    Sales OrderCustomer Name, Order Date, Item Name/Code, Quantity
    Purchase OrderVendor Name, Order Date, Item Name/Code, Quantity
    Bill of MaterialsFinished Item, Component Item, Quantity

    If you’re sure that all your required fields are full, you may try adding an additional column to your file in which you’ll place 1’s for each row that contains information. Since we’re using CSV, empty cells at the end of a row can sometimes confuse the system. Adding this column can correct that issue (you won’t be importing it, so it will not appear in your database).

    Note that for product type, if you don’t make a selection, your file will still import but your item will automatically be created as “stocked product”. Since this setting cannot be changed, it is important to specify this when importing.

    My barcode values have changed/rounded up after I saved my CSV!

    If you have long barcode values and they now show 4.12E+11 instead of 41234053958, this is because Excel likes to round your numbers to make them look nicer.

    To fix the issue, highlight the barcode column, right-click, select Format Cells, and go to Number. Here, change the decimal from 2 places to 0 places. You should see the number change back to the correct format. Save it, and then do your import.


    If you re-open your .csv file again after this you’ll see that Excel’s changed it back to the “neat” version despite what you have saved before. This means, unfortunately, you’ll need to re-format it each time you open your .csv file.

    inFlow crashes after importing / nothing happens

    If you’re trying to import your data and clicking the Import button does nothing, please try the following:

    1. Open your local services window following the instructions below based on your operating system:
      WINDOWS XP: Click Start > Run > and then type in ‘services.msc’
      WINDOWS 7/ VISTA/ 8 / 10: Click Start (or hit your Windows key on your keyboard), type in ‘services’ (or Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools > Services)
    2. Scroll down this screen until you see a service named Distributed Transaction Coordinator.
    3. Right-click this and select Start.
    4. If the Start/ Restart options are unavailable to you, it could be the service was disabled entirely. Right-click and select Properties, then set its startup type to Automatic. You should be able to start the service now.

    My unicode characters are turned into question marks/strange symbols

    Excel does not save unicode/UTF-8 characters in a spreadsheet when it’s saved as a simple CSV (comma-delimited) file.

    If you have unicode characters in your spreadsheet, please save it as a CSV UTF-8 (Comma delimited) (*CSV) file type before importing it into inFlow. 

    If you’re still having trouble with your import, please contact us, and we’ll do our best to help you sort it out!

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    In this tab
    • Everything appears bunched together
    • Error: "Required fields missing"
    • My barcode values have changed/rounded up after I saved my CSV!
    • inFlow crashes after importing / nothing happens
    • My unicode characters are turned into question marks/strange symbols
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