We are proud to present our data import tool, to help you import your existing projects into ManagePlaces.
With this tool you can import a large list of tasks and task groups for a project. It uses a simple CSV (comma-separated value) file format, which can be created or edited in any popular spreadsheet software. It allows you to quickly create project templates by defining fields such as title, start and end dates, % done, duration, description, assignees, task type and dependencies on other tasks amongst others.
For defining tasks and task groups, we use the WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) number system. This makes it easy to define a hierarchy for the project, and also dependencies between tasks. A simple example (taking just 3 of the columns from the CSV) would look like this:
The new tool is accessible from the User menu, then click Settings, then Data Imports, and finally Project Data Imports.
When you visit the Data import tool, you can see a link to a sample file (which is similar to the example above) that you can download and then customise for your own projects:
Dates for tasks will use the Project working week rules. This can be defined when you create a project, and is by default Monday to Friday (you can also set your working week company-wide). The system will then use the start and end dates for tasks you have defined, or the start date and a duration in days if you have defined it. It will then adjust these dates to take into account the working week automatically for you upon importing.
When you assign users to tasks, the system will check to see if the name matches any of your existing users. If it finds a match, then they are added to the assignee list for that task or project. If it cannot find the user name in your list of users, they are created as “external users”. This means that a user account is created and can be assigned to any task or project that you like, but there is no login for the account and hence no actual “person” that can use it (which was why we chose the name, as they are “outside" the system).
In the same way as users, Task Types that you define in the CSV file are either automatically assigned if they exist, or created and then assigned where necessary.
To create a new data import, you need to click on the "+ Import from CSV" link at the top. Then you are presented with this screen, where you need to select the project to import all the tasks and tasks groups into, and the CSV file you wish to use:
After you press the "Import" button, you will see a loading screen whilst the data import is happening. Please note that all users will see this screen during import, as we need to be sure that data is consistent across all accounts during the import process. When finished, you will be taken back to the ManagePlaces Dashboard.
After your import job has finished, you can see details of it on the data import page. You can download the CSV associated with the job, check how many tasks and task groups were imported, and finally delete the job report and associated file if required, using the bin icon:
If you want to learn more about the data importer, there is a second part to this tutorial with more advanced features is available here.