About Importing Data from Comma-Separated Files into Service Manager


Updated: May 13, 2016

Applies To: System Center 2012 SP1 - Service Manager, System Center 2012 R2 Service Manager, System Center 2012 - Service Manager

Configuration items contained in a comma-separated value (.csv) file can be imported into the Service Manager database by using the Import from CSV File feature. This feature lets you to bulk-import instances of any class type or projection type that is defined in the Service Manager database. You can use this feature to:

  • Create configuration item or work item instances from data stored in a tabular format.

  • Bulk-edit existing database instances.

  • Populate the Service Manager database by using data exported from an external database.

  • Circumvent data entry through forms when many class instances must be created at the same time.


In this release, importing many complex items—for example, 5,000 computer projections—could take an hour or more. During this time, Service Manager continues to function.

Two files are required to import a set of instances by using the Import from CSV File feature:

  1. A data file that consists of a series of comma-delimited object instances. The data file must end with the .csv file name extension.

  2. A format file that specifies the class type or projection type of the instances present in the data file. Every instance in the data file is assumed to be of this kind. The format file also specifies (1) the subset of properties and, for projections, specifies components. They are being imported for the indicated type, and (2) the order in which those properties appear as columns in the associated data file. The format file must have the same file name as the csv file that it describes, and it must end with the .xml file name extension.

Creating the Data File

For example, you receive a spreadsheet that contains information about computers that you want to import into the Service Manager database. The following is a sample of the first 10 computers in the spreadsheet.

Computer Name IP Address Domain Name

The first step is to convert the data in the table into a .csv file format. In the .csv file, you make the assumption that the first row is data, and not a header. Therefore, you remove the header line from the spreadsheet and save the results as newcomputers.csv as in the following example.

WG-Det-1,, DETROIT  
WG-Det-2,, DETROIT  
WG-Det-3,, DETROIT  
WG-Dal-1,, DALLAS  
WG-Dal-2,, DALLAS  
WG-Chi-1,, CHICAGO  
WG-Chi-2,, CHICAGO  
WG-Chi-3,, CHICAGO  
WG-Chi-4,, CHICAGO  
WG-Chi-5,, CHICAGO  

Creating the Format File

A format file is now created that is suited to import the rows that are contained in the newcomputers.csv file. The first step in writing the format file is identifying the class type or projection type that must be used for the instances in the .csv file. For more information about class type or projection types, see the blog post Using the CSV import feature and download the file CSVImport.docx.

For the type of data being imported, you find that the Microsoft.Windows.Computer class is the best suited for the object type and property set. Start by declaring the class of the object that is being imported:

   <Class Type=”Microsoft.Windows.Computer”>  

After scanning the list of available properties of the Microsoft.Windows.Computer class, select the following properties for each column in the .csv file.

Column 1 Principal Name
Column 2 IPAddress
Column 3 DomainDnsName

By using these properties, you construct the following format file. The properties are listed in the order in which they appear in the .csv file. You must save this file that has the same file name for the .csv file, but with an .xml file name extension.

   <Class Type="Microsoft.Windows.Computer">  
      <Property ID="PrincipalName"/>  
      <Property ID="IPAddress"/>  
      <Property ID="DomainDnsName"/>  

Save this file as newcomputers.xml.

See Also

How to Import Configuration Items from a CSV File