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Adding Bulk Users & Groups in SAP BI 4.x: Revisited

Recently while working on a requirement where I had to add multiple users in BI 4.1 SP04, I sort of missed the Import Wizard and I am sure most of us still do.

Neverthless we now have a new functionality with loads of doubts and not much detailed documentation. So let me jot them down for us here:

BI 4.0 SP6 – How to import users in bulk from Central Management Console –

This is a good document for starting, so I strongly recommend going through the above document and the comments as well. However I noticed that there were several problems that most of Administrators faced, while adding bulk users. So before we start, I would like to collate a list of things to be careful about:

We would revisit these points again, still its best to know issues first and keep the warning in mind:

Always take backup of CMS database and FileStore before attempting and major changes to the repository.


  1. This functionality is case sensitive, hence before you start using it, decide whether you would like your user id’s to be in uppercase / lower case / one upper and rest in lower case. So ensure the CSV you are planning to upload has objects in either upper case or lower case for user ids. My suggestion would be to use lower case for login id’s and make that as a standard practice as that worked well in my case and helps in future too.
  2. In the CSV, ensure that the column which has your user id, does not have any space at the end or starting. Example: “abc ” and “abc” are not the same  and BI 4.x treats both as different IDs while creation and login.
  3. This functionality also allows the CSV to be used with function “Remove” in place of “Add”, that makes this utility more dangerous because this functionality allows modification to existing users. Example: You have a user “abc” already there in the repository belonging to group “xyz” and now you want to add it to a new group “uvw” then fill the CSV in the required format and it would add new group in the membership.
    • However if you use “Remove” for some reason and your CSV contains some pre-existing critical users. Then you would end up using loosing these key users, so its best to use “Remove” with caution.
  4. If you run this utility, then there is no such status as “Partial Success” so if your utility has done the job partially, still it would show “Success”. Therefore its always better to click on “Success” status and confirm what went under the hood.
  5. In the CSV, while adding / modifying user membership to groups. If you have specified a group, which does not exist in the repository, then this utility would create a new group by that name for you. As this utility can also be used to just add new groups.
    • Having said the above point, I would again like to stress on “case sensitivity” here. If your CSV contains a group: “SAP Users” and in the repository you have a group “Sap Users”, then the utility would fail with a “Success” status but nothing would happen and you would be left stranded with several users added, which would be just a member of “Everyone” group.
    • If this happens, then dont panic and use the “Remove” switch in the CSV, as you might get stuck with the problem mentioned in Point 3 above. Instead correct your CSV and use it with “Add” again.
  6. Password: As BI 4.x is pretty stringent about password standards and though you do have an option to create users with blank passwords, however its best to use a default password, since that works really well in future with this functionality. (Incase you plan to use this functionality to modify pre-existing users to add them to new groups.)


  1. Users created via this functionality are by default of type “CONCURRENT”, so what if you just have the license for “NAMED” users.
    • There is no workaround for this limitation with me at the moment, however I have some plans for testing, therefore I would request our rich user community to pool in some ideas here.
  2. Users created via this functionality are initially disabled.
    • In CMC Right click on the group to which you have added user and select “Account Manager”. (apparently if you have multiple groups modified from CSV, then its better to do this step on “Everyone” group)
    • Navigate to the section “Enable / Disable User Aliases” and select Enterprise, check the check box. Hit save and close. So in single go, all your users would be enabled.


A. How to add new groups with description

For this purpose, you CSV should look something like this:

Action Group Name This Column to be left Blank Description
Add <Your Group Name> <Group’s description>

Here’s a snapshot of the CSV for your reference:


Now follow the same method and upload this CSV via the CMC > Users & Groups > Import > User/Group/DBCredentials.

The result would be something like this:


B. How to add Database Credentials to already existing users:

For this purpose, you CSV should look something like this:

Action User ID Database User ID Database Password
Add <User ID> <Database Login ID> <DB Password>

Here’s a snapshot of the CSV for your reference:


Now follow the same method and upload this CSV via the CMC > Users & Groups > Import > User/Group/DBCredentials. However this time on Import Page remember to select “User Database Credentials” :

Import Type.JPG

The result would be something like this:


With above I tried to wrap up and put together the missing pieces of the puzzle. Now its time to revisit the points of caution and the problems they cause.


  1. Issues caused by case-sensitivity:


The above problem happened because of below reasons:

    • I already had a user in my repository: “abc” , however in my CSV file, I gave the user ID as “ABC”, thus you need to be careful about case-sensitivity.
    • If you are adding lets say 10 users and the issue is with the case sensitivity of only 1 ID, then the rest 9 would be committed to the repository but they would not be added to the group you have specified in the CSV. So be ready to correct the problem and run the Import process again.
    • Do not use “Remove” action in the CSV or you might end up having the problem I have mentioned above in the Caution point no. 5


     2. Issues caused by Password:


The above problem happened because of below reason:

    • I already had a user created in my repository with blank password. Since the BI 4.x requires users to have password, hence in the CSV, I was supposed to specify a password, but I gave blank while modifying an existing account.

With above I sum up this document, I hope you would find it useful and it makes things easier for the Administrators.

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