TIM’s Tip: CSV integration

TIM here again – with another Tip, hope it’s helpful.

Boss: TIM, I need you to integrate CSV to Salesforce.
TIM: CSV integration? How hard can that be? I can do it in one day.


A day after…

Boss: TIM, have you completed that CSV integration?
TIM: Hmmm, Boss, I need more time to do this…  (credibility completely shot at this point)


You may be thinking of me. CSV import? How hard can it be? Well, it depends, not all CSV imports can be uploaded easily.  Let me give you an example:

1) David owns a company that sells power tools
2) He would like to export sales from his homegrown accounting system and import them into Salesforce

This is what the CSV export looks like:


In this scenario, you may need an advanced tool such as Boomi to work out:

  • Line 1 to 4 is Order #1 and Line 5 to 9 is Order #2
  • Order #1 has only 1 item. Order #2 has 3 items

A lot of people think that CSV integration is simple and it’s just data/field mapping – I wish.

Apart from using the right tool, you also need to have the right method of doing it. Here are a few things I’ve worked out that you need to know:

  1. How will the CSV file be provided? Email? FTP? Read from a local folder?
  2. How to handle rejected data? Email or write to a file?
  3. Understand what objects are involved in the CSV integration.
  4. Understand all mandatory fields in all related objects.
    • If the column is empty in the CSV, do we use a default value or write those records into a file?
  5. Understand the data format for all fields. For example, the date format for the target system may be yyyy-MM-dd’T’HH:mm but your CSV date format is yyyyMMdd HHmm.
  6. Understand the data constraints of each field. For example, First Name field can only accept 100 characters.
  7. Understand the data type of the field. For example, you may need to use a cross-reference table for a select list.


Quite a bit to think about, I definitely need a Pina Colada now.