11 Things a Beginner should know before using Data Workbench
A Beginner at Data Workbench? Don’t worry, I have got you covered.
When you have a requirement during implementation process, where you want to migrate the bulk data to SAP systems or you want to update bulk data for certain business processes, Data workbench comes to the rescue. Data Workbench is a tool offered by SAP Cloud for Customer which enables you to export, update, monitor and import bulk data in a single go.
If you are a beginner, you should know a few things before you use Data Workbench. My blog will take you through 11 things one should know before using Data Workbench. These 11 things are amalgamation of Data Workbench limitations, mistakes one should avoid and a few pro-tips.
- Blank Fields
You need to be careful with the Blank Fields option while importing the data. When there are blank fields in the excel that you do not want to update, you should select ‘Ignore’ option. The common mistake done by newbies is to select the ‘Update’ option which will also update the blank fields in C4C. This will vanish the existing data from the ticket.
- While importing multiple files, it imports sequentially.
Shedding light on one of the important limitations of Data workbench, when you want to import multiple files, you need to perform the import process several times (there is no option to add multiple files in a single import). Also, these files will be picked up for import sequentially and not simultaneously.
You can go to ‘Monitor’ tab to check the status of the imports. When one file is getting imported, the status of the other files would show ‘In Queue’ and Data workbench will pick them one by one.
- Using Simulation Mode for test import
Simulation Mode is used to check if the import we wish to perform will be a success or failure. It does not change the actual data. You need to enable the toggle button as shown below to start the test import.
Instead of ‘Import’ button, it will show you ‘Simulate’ Button at the bottom right corner of the screen. Click on it to start the import in Simulation mode.
Once the import simulation is in progress, you can go to ‘Monitor’ tab to track its status.
It can be a success, failure or give you warnings. In my case, the import simulation is successful and hence ‘to be imported’ excel is correct and the actual import will be successful.
- You can check the errors occurred during import from Monitor tab in Data Workbench
Being a beginner at using Data Workbench, you tend to make mistakes. What if something goes wrong while importing the data? Not to worry, you can check what has gone wrong from ‘Monitor’ Tab under Data Workbench work center.
Go to the file that you have recently imported in ‘Monitor’ Tab > scroll to the right – you will see the Errors column. This column displays the number of errors occurred while importing the data.
Click on 1 (it is a hyperlink) to download the errored excel. The same file that you had uploaded will be downloaded with an additional column called as ‘Errors’ column added at the end of the data. Open the file > scroll to the last column as shown below.
Read the comment given in the Errors column to avoid repeating the same mistake in the next import. In my case, you can see, I tried to update a read-only field due to which the import process failed.
- Make sure the data being imported is not kept in edit mode in another tab in C4C.
Another mistake that you should avoid while importing data is to keep the data being imported in edit mode in another tab. Keeping the data in edit mode will not let the import process to be successful. It will give you an error and you will have to repeat the whole import procedure again.
The above screenshots tell us – when I tried to update the coverage details in a ticket, I kept the ticket in edit mode in another tab which led to the error. The import failed as the object was locked by me in another tab and the coverage details were not updated.
Pro tip: Whenever you update something using Data workbench, you need to always keep in mind that the data is not being edited by anyone during the import process.
- Raise an OSS with SAP to speed up the import process while importing bulk data using data workbench.
As mentioned in Point no. (2), when we import a huge amount of data, it imports the files sequentially. This can be time consuming if there are multiple files which may lead to delays in completion of time sensitive project activities.
Pro tip: To avoid such delays, you can raise an OSS with SAP requesting them to speed up the import process by allocating more API resources while importing bulk data. SAP will allocate more resources if your system is not enough to take the load of bulk data, or they will perform configuration changes from backend which will help speed up the import process.
- The number format changes sometimes when you export data in .csv format.
I personally experienced this issue with .csv format where I wanted to export the business user data for which I used User ID as a unique identifier and exported the .csv data file. The actual format of User ID in C4C was 00124567 (8 digits), however, it changed to 124567 (6 digits) in the exported file. I did not notice it and imported the data with the User IDs. All the user IDs in C4C were changed to 124567 (6 digits) formats.
Pro Tip: You should always validate the data and the required formats before data import.
- You can export multiple data by using ‘is any of’ option.
Data Workbench is known for exporting and importing bulk data. For e.g.: If you want to update multiple ticket’s data with a particular field as a unique identifier, then you can select the ‘is any of’ option as shown below.
Pro tip: The option ‘is any of’ requires a specific format (comma separated values) in which the values are to be entered. When there are multiple number of tickets, you cannot manually enter the values. In that case, you can extract the tickets’ data along with the unique identifier (e.g., ID) from the ‘Service’ work center in an excel > select, copy and paste all the IDs in the Value field as shown above. They will be pasted in the comma separated values format.
- You can keep only the columns you want to update along with the Object ID column.
It is not necessary to keep all the records while importing data. Only the data that has been updated can be kept and rest of the columns can be deleted. Let me explain you with an example.
E.g.: When you export a ticket’s data, a lot of details are exported as shown below.
You want to update only the ‘Ship_To’ column data. You can import this data in 2 ways.
1st way: You can keep all the columns headers and the value of object ID and Ship_To columns. Choose Blank Field option as ‘Ignore’ so the blank fields are ignored while data import as shown below.
2nd way: You can keep only the headers and values of Object ID and Ship_To columns as shown below. This way can help you minimize the errors and overwriting of unnecessary data.
- Using headers without spaces in the import file
While data preparation and cleansing of ‘to be imported’ file, you need to keep in mind that you should not change the format of the headers. The headers are accepted without spaces. Therefore, when there is a header with 2 or more words, underscore is used to separate the words.
E.g.: ‘Ship To’ header will be displayed as ‘Ship_To’ as shown below
- While using Data Workbench, you cannot switch between different tabs in C4C.
This is also one of the limitations of Data Workbench, wherein it does not allow the user to switch between different tabs in C4C. When you are giving import/export commands, and you hop on to a different tab in the middle of it, you will lose your progress. In the screenshot below, you can see the import screen has gone blank.
Pro tip: In such cases, you should go to a different work center then come back to import/export and start the work all over again. Once the import/export process begins in Monitor tab, you can get back to switching tabs.
To conclude, armed with the insights and know-how shared here, you now possess the keys to unlock the vast potential of SAP C4C Data Workbench. It is time to roll up your sleeves and start your Data Workbench journey. May your every click bring you closer to success. All the best!