The import / export tool allows you to extract all data from tables in Method (export), and import records into any table that supports additions. Also, the tool can be used to update existing records - which is a powerful feature all on its own.
The tool applies the same capabilities to your custom tables, to CRM and app-specific tables, as well as to QuickBooks tables.
What permission do I need?
If you are an administrator, you likely already have access to the Import / Export tool. Therefore, the permissions listed here only apply for troubleshooting users that don't have access to use the tool.
API access - if you are not the administrator, you need to have access to the Method API. Your administrator can grant you this access by going to Customize > Users, editing your settings, and under Step 8, checking "This user is allowed to connect to Method API".
Table access - if you have access to only limited tables, your administrator can grant further access by going to Customize > Users, editing your settings, and under Step 8, specifying which tables are permitted.
Customize tab - Your administrator must grant you access to the Customize tab. They can do this by going to Customize > Tab Groups, and assigning you to a Tab Group that contains the Customize tab.
In the Import / Export tool, select the Export a table to a file option.
Choose the table you want to export from. Notice that by default the list only contains "common tables". If the table you wish to export is not in this list, uncheck the Show only common tables? checkbox to see all tables.
Select which fields you want to export. Notice that there are Select All and Unselect All buttons at the bottom of the list.
Choose the export format. Usually you'll choose "Comma-Separated Values", also known as "CSV". This format is easily read by spreadsheet applications like Microsoft Excel and Google Docs Spreadsheets.
Click Export to file. Your file will be built and downloaded by your browser.
Before you import, you need to know the format Method expects your file to be in. The easiest way to find this out is to first export from the table you want to import into. Make sure you choose only the fields you plan to populate.
After you have analyzed the sample content in a spreadsheet (for example Excel, or Google Docs Spreadsheet), remove the rows of the existing data and keep only the header row which contains the field names.
Populate the spreadsheet with the data you wish to import.
First do a test run. It is a lot easier to make a few minor tweaks to your import file now, than to later realize mistakes after importing many records.
In the Import / Export tool, choose Import into a table from the clipboard.
Choose the table you want to export from. Notice that by default the list only contains "common tables". If the table you wish to import into is not in this list, uncheck the Show only common tables? checkbox to see all tables.
Copy and paste the first 2 rows from your spreadsheet (including the header row with the field names) into Paste Data to import: text box.
Click Import data, and follow the on screen steps.
After the import is successful, open Method and ensure the data came into Method the way you wanted it to.
If you are satisfied with your sample record, delete it from either Method or from your spreadsheet so that you don't get duplicates.
Optional - continue doing smaller batches until you 100% confident with your import.
Once you are confident with your import, import all the remaining records.
Using the Import / Export tool, export the table you wish to update. Be sure to include the RecordID field in your export.
In a spreadsheet, remove any rows you do not wish to update. Make sure you remove unwanted rows entirely - having blank rows is not sufficient.
Using the Import / Export tool, fill out the options of Step 1 and click Import data....
In Step 2, take special note of the Update existing records by matching the key fields checkbox. This must be checked. If you exported data from Method that you want to import back in, you'll always want to use the RecordID field as the key field - since it is guaranteed to be unique. If you are updating from an external source, be very careful when choosing a key field, and ensure that it is contains unique values, otherwise you'll run the risk of overwriting one record with the data of another.
Follow the onscreen steps to update your records.
Special case: Customers, Vendors and Leads
The most common use of the tool is to import leads. In reality, Customer Leads are actually stored in the Customer table, and Vendor Leads are stored in the Vendor table. It is only the IsLeadStatusOnly field that determines whether or not they are leads. To make importing and exporting easier, the Import / Export tool pre-filters the Customer and Vendor tables, and creates virtual tables for leads, causing the following special cases:
Customer table, Vendor table - when records are exported, only records with the IsLeadStatusOnly field set to FALSE will be included - in other words, only non-lead customers or vendors are exported. When records are imported, if no IsLeadStatusOnly column is included in the import, IsLeadStatusOnly will be set to FALSE.
Customer Lead table, Vendor Lead table - when records are exported, only records with the IsLeadStatusOnly field set to TRUE will be included - in other words, only "leads" are exported. When records are imported, if no IsLeadStatusOnly column is included in the import, IsLeadStatusOnly will be set to TRUE.
Customer and Customer Lead table, Vendor and Vendor Lead table - when records are exported, both leads and non-leads are included. When records are imported, you must include the IsLeadStatusOnly field, otherwise all customers or vendors will be imported as non-leads.