Please use for the latest documentation.

This site is for reference purposes only and may not be accurate for the latest ServiceNow version

Import Sets

From Wiki Archive
Jump to: navigation, search
Note: This article applies to Fuji and earlier releases. For more current information, see Import Sets at

The ServiceNow Wiki is no longer being updated. Visit for the latest product documentation.


Import Sets is a powerful tool used to import data from various data sources, and then map that data into ServiceNow tables. The Import Sets table acts as a staging area for records imported from a data source.

Note: Data should not be imported in extremely large chunks. Creating an extremely large import set can cause delays and system outages.

A transform map determines the relationships between fields displaying in an Import Set table and fields in an existing ServiceNow table, such as the Incidents or Users table.

Importing sets will skip records when the data in the instance matches the data being imported.

Note: Import Sets run as user System. Therefore, Import Sets cannot add data to encrypted fields.

General Parameters

Error creating thumbnail: Unable to save thumbnail to destination
Flowchart of Import Set application operating parameters
  • Import sources:
    • Files:
      • Excel
      • XML
      • CSV
    • Network (supported online data retrieval methods):
      • HTTP
      • FTP
      • JDBC
  • Transformation Mapping:
    • Transformation is flexible to your needs.
      • Specification can be as simple as having the application auto-match field names from source and destination.
      • Mapping can also use advanced logic utilizing the full power of the ServiceNow scripting environment.
      • A single import set field can also be mapped to multiple fields on a production table.
  • Import destinations:
    • Any table within ServiceNow is a potential destination for transformation of an import set.
    • Any field within a table can serve as a potential destination for transformation from a field within an import set.


System Import Sets

  • Load Data: Data source records are references imported data or location to retrieve data from.
  • Create Transform Map: is used to specify how data uploaded into an Import Set should be transfered onto production tables. They allow for extremely detailed customization of import operations.
  • Run Transform: Transform map scripts allow for customization of import operations using a robust programming interface that can be used to introduce advanced logic. Import Sets Map scripting is fully integrated into the ServiceNow scripting environment and can access the objects thereof.


Modules used for configuring data sources, transform maps and setting up schedules for executing import sets.

Data Sources

Data Sources is a module of the Import Sets application. A data source can be from a file or a JDBC connection. Files can be local and uploaded from the browser or can be accessed by defining a remote data connection as the file retrieval method. Data sources are used to create an import set so that data can be processed, if necessary, prior to being mapped onto a production table. When using import sets to map data from one ServiceNow table to another, it is not necessary to define a data source; this can be done simply by using the import set mapping tools. Importing sets will skip records when the data in the instance matches the data being imported.

See Data Sources for more information.

Transform Maps

A transform map is a set of field maps that determines the relationships between fields in an import set and fields in an existing ServiceNow table (such as Incidents or Users). Once defined, it is possible to reuse existing transform maps for mapping data from an import set to a ServiceNow table.

The Transform Map module allows for defining destinations for imported data on any ServiceNow tables. Transform mapping can be as simple as dragging and dropping to specify linking between source fields on an import set table and destination fields on any ServiceNow table. When using transform mapping, you can also dynamically map source and destination fields by using ServiceNow scripting objects and functionality.

See Creating New Transform Maps for more information.

Scheduled Imports

Scheduled Imports make it is possible to specify that certain import operations should occur at some regular interval. If a remote data source is chosen, it will be refreshed via the remote connection prior to the import operation.

See Scheduling Data Imports for more information.


  • Import Sets: Table of all import sets. An import set is a set of records imported from a data source that can be mapped to an existing table and serves as a staging location for storing imported data.
  • Progress: Show the progress of scheduled import set jobs that are running in the background.
  • Transform History: Log of completed import operations (where an import set was transformed onto a production).
  • Transform Errors: Log of all errors encountered during any import operations.
  • Import Log: Log of all Import Set application operations.

Import Set Tables

  • Cleanup: Graphical tool used for deleting old data or removing no longer needed import set tables. You cannot clean up import set tables that have a transform map defined in a different application scope, starting with the Fuji release.
  • Scheduled Cleanup: Schedule regular deletion of import set data older than a set number of days. Only data is removed, not the import table itself.
It is strongly recommended that you activate this job to ensure your import tables do not get extremely large.  Deleting records older than seven days should be sufficient.
  • Import Set Tables: Expandable list of previous import set will contain references to the most recent import set records that have been uploaded from a data source.

Terminology Defined

Import Sets: ServiceNow table that acts as a staging location for records imported from some data source.

Transformation: in the context of ServiceNow, System Imports Sets, refers to the synchronization of data in an import set table with data on a production table according to rules that are defined in an import set table.

Foreign record insert: A foreign record insert occurs when an import makes a change to a table that is not the target table for that import. This happens when updating a reference field on a table, for example when updating the value for caller on an incident the import is actually updating the sys_user table of ServiceNow.

Field Descriptions

  • Number: Unique identifier for an Import Set
  • State: Gives the current status of the Import Set either loading, loaded or processed, where loading refers to an Import Set still currently being imported from a data source, loaded to an Import Set fully uploaded from a data source but not yet transformed onto a production table and processed to an Import Set fully uploaded and already transformed onto a production table since the last refresh from the datasource.
  • Data source: The data source from which this Import Set is populated with data
  • Table name: The name of the Import Set
  • Created: Date the Import Set was created
  • Load Completed: Date and time the Import Set was last updated from the datasource
  • Load Runtime: Length of time for the last update from the datasource to complete

Error creating thumbnail: Unable to save thumbnail to destination
This is an example of the Import Sets table list view.

Error creating thumbnail: Unable to save thumbnail to destination
This is an example of the Import Sets table form view. From here it is possible to view information on the status of the last data retrieval operation that was done for a certain Import Set.