Import Profile Data from Other Sources
This section details the importing of Client, Vendor, Agent and Other profiles from other software programs using ASCII (.txt) files. The routine of importing either appends one database of profile information to an existing database (or an empty one) without checking for duplicates, or updates existing profiles if certain parameters are setup.
Note: If your agency uses ClientBase Windows in conjunction with ClientBase Online, it is strongly suggested you import data using the ClientBase Import/Update Utility.
Agencies may use many different software programs to maintain customer data such as names, addresses, phone numbers and marketing information. Ideally, most agencies implementing ClientBase Online prefer to electronically "import" customer information to the ClientBase Online profiles rather than manually re-entering it. Later, when the ClientBase Online is up and running, agencies may want to import other miscellaneous electronic files as well, such as a purchased mailing list. Although ClientBase Online can't anticipate every possible program used, if your agency has a database of customer information in a program that can put that information into an ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) file (.txt), chances are an electronic "import" is possible...and easy!
Only the Manager Authorization has permission to do a Profile Import.
Regardless of the specific program used to maintain your database, if the program can create an ASCII-comma or tab delimited file (and most programs currently can by using File | Save As or File | Export), that file can be imported using the ClientBase Online Import Wizard. An ASCII format uses a standardized coding scheme enabling different computer programs to exchange information.
Each record in the file includes information such as Name, Address 1, Address 2, City, etc. To recognize when one field ends and another field begins, a delimiter is used, separating each field. This delimiter is a character and the most commonly used are a tab or a comma.
If your existing database program can create an ASCII file, create your file, and save it to an external source such as a flash drive or to your computer. The file must be created prior to running the ClientBase Import Wizard. Find instructions on creating the file from the vendor supporting that software program.
The ClientBase import utility can only import tab or comma delimited ASCII text files. This means that the file you are importing must be saved in .txt format and use a carriage return between each profile record, and either a tab or comma between each field within each record. If the file you would like to import is not in this format, use a program like Excel to open the file and then save in .txt format.
The wizard guides you through importing different classifications of profile data: name, address, communications, marketing, and traveler. The basic steps for import are:
Step 1: Start the Wizard
Step 2: Select the Import File
Step 3: Map Profile General Information
Step 4: Map Communications Entries
Step 5: Map Address Entries
Step 6: Map Marketing Codes
Step 7: Map Profile Remarks
Step 8: Summary Screen
There are two methods of importing data - update or insert. Update means you want to replace data that is currently in your database with new data. An example is John Jones is currently in ClientBase. He visits your website and updates his address, letting you know he moved. You import profiles from your website every week into ClientBase. Since the profile already exists in ClientBase, you want the import routine to find this profile and change the address instead of creating a new profile which would be a duplicate. If the entire import was updates, then the number of profiles would not increase.
Important Note: As you map the fields from the import file to the fields in ClientBase, it is important to remember that any fields that are being mapped to in ClientBase will be replaced by the value of the field in the import file, even if it is empty.
Using the insert method means you are adding profiles to the database and the number of profiles in the system increase after the import is complete. An example of this is if you purchase a mailing list and want to load all the profiles into ClientBase so you can monitor responses and follow up on these profiles.
Notice three buttons listed on many of the screens in the Import Utility that are used to describe how that data should be imported.
Mapping is used when a data field exists and is populated in the file while importing. You want to bring the data in “as is” to a field in the database. Select the name of the field that exists in the source file and indicate in the import wizard into which field you want the data to show in ClientBase or Trams Back Office.
Use this feature when using same value for every profile being imported. Going back to the mail list example, you are importing data exclusively for Leisure profiles. Set the Profile Type field as a constant with a value of Leisure. Now all the profiles imported from the mail list show as Leisure profiles in ClientBase Online.
For detailed, step by step instructions, refer to the ClientBase Online Help File.