How to import and export entities and attributes via Excel files

General information

The basic workflows

The user, who has either write- or admin-level access, wishes to add, modify, replace, or remove Entities and Attributes in their Ellie.

The current Import feature offers three options: Insert, Update, and Delete.

The three workflows

Each of the options is meant for different use cases.

The Insert workflow is for adding new entities and attributes to Ellie. This workflow doesn’t change or remove any existing ones.

The Update workflow updates the existing entities and/or attributes but doesn’t add anything new or remove any existing content.

The Delete workflow is used to delete existing entities and/or attributes but doesn’t allow inserting or updating.

All of these processes involve downloading a file, but the file templates are a little different to ensure the desired results. The template file for the Insert workflow gives you an empty file with the correct header information so you can just fill in the necessary new entities and attributes. The file for the Update workflow gives you a file that has your current entities and attributes listed with their IDs. You can make changes to this file, but any deletions or additions in this file will be disregarded when the file is uploaded. The template file for the Delete workflow has a separate column for explicitly marking entities or attributes to be deleted, to make sure that nothing gets deleted by accident.

How the overall process works

Step 1: Navigate to the Import/Export Glossary page

Step 2: Download the file of your chosen workflow.

Step 3: Update the file as intended.

Step 4: Upload the file to Ellie.

Step 5: Check that everything is as expected.

Step 6: You have now completed the Insert/Update/Delete process.

Important notes

  • Do not modify the structure of the files (i.e. no new or altered columns or sheets). If you wish to change some of the metadata properties (e.g. a column name on the sheet), please contact support@ellie.ai.

  • When exporting an Excel file with numbers on it on macOS, it is important to untick/deselect “Include a summary worksheet” if such an option is presented: otherwise the Excel file will be incompatible with the Ellie importing process and cannot be uploaded back.

  • When Inserting new entities or attributes, all IDs will be automatically generated by Ellie.

  • When Updating existing entities or attributes, you cannot edit the ID.

  • When modifying your Attributes sheet, in case you wish to add new attributes to a pre-existing Entity with the Insert workflow, make sure the Entity ID is retained across all rows of Attributes. That way your Attribute rows are associated with the Entity of your choice.

The Insert workflow

Insert - step 1: Navigate to the Import/Export menu

Use either the cogwheel menu on the Dashboard (available if you’re an admin) or the Import/Export button on the Glossary List (available for both admin and write users) to navigate to the front page of the Import/Export feature, or use

The Import/Export button on the Glossary List

 

The Import/Export option on the cogwheel menu for admins

Insert - step 2: Download the file template for Insert

Choose “Download Template” from the Insert card. This downloads an .xlsx file which you can save on your computer.

Choose “Download Template” from the left

Insert - step 3: Edit the file

Open the downloaded .xlsx file and add the entities you want to include to your glossary. You can add any information you like to the columns given in the spreadsheet - this is the metadata for the entity or attribute that will be shown in Ellie’s UI.

Note that Entities and Attributes are on separate sheets of the file.

The Insert template - an empty file
The Insert template filled with some example data

Insert - step 4: Upload the file

Click Insert on Ellie’s UI and choose the edited file from your computer.

Upload your file via the Insert button on the bottom left

Insert - step 5: Confirm changes & check for errors

Ellie will display a list of the additions you made, and show any errors that might have been identified in the file. Note that entities and attributes are shown on different tabs.

If errors have been detected, they will be listed here, and you will have the opportunity to re-upload your file once you’ve fixed the issues in it.

Click Confirm if everything looks good, otherwise, choose Cancel to stop the workflow and go back.

Note that actual changes are only made after you click Confirm! After clicking Confirm, you can’t undo your changes anymore.

The confirmation screen showing 3 new entities being added

Insert - step 6: Done!

You have now successfully added new entities and/or attributes to Ellie!

The Import/Export UI showing a successful insert operation

The Update workflow

Update - step 1: Navigate to the Import/Export menu

Use either the cogwheel menu on the Dashboard (available if you’re an admin) or the Import/Export button on the Glossary List (available for both admin and write users) to navigate to the front page of the Import/Export feature, or use

The Import/Export button on the Glossary List

 

The Import/Export option on the cogwheel menu for admins

Update - step 2: Export the current glossary

Choose “Export Glossary” from the Update card. This downloads an .xlsx file containing everything in your current Ellie glossary, i.e. all the entities and attributes with all their metadata.

For Update, choose Export Glossary from the middle

Update - step 3: Edit the downloaded glossary file

Update the entities and attributes and their metadata as you see fit in the .xlsx file you downloaded.

Note: you can’t add or remove entities or attributes in this workflow. Any such changes will be ignored when you upload the file back. Also, the entity/attribute IDs can’t be edited.

An example of a Glossary file

Update - step 4: Upload the edited file

Using the “Update” option in the Export/Import UI, upload the file you edited into Ellie.

Use the “Update” option on the bottom left of the Update card

Update - step 5: Confirm changes & check for errors

Ellie will display a list of the updates you made, and show any errors that might have been identified in the file. Note that entities and attributes are shown on different tabs.

If errors have been detected, they will be listed here, and you will have the opportunity to re-upload your file once you’ve fixed the issues in it.

Click Confirm if everything looks good, otherwise, choose Cancel to stop the workflow and go back.

Note that actual changes are only made after you click Confirm! After clicking Confirm, you can’t undo your changes anymore.

The Update confirmation screen, showing the changes made to 3 entity names

Update - step 6: Done!

You have now successfully updated your entities and/or attributes!

The Import/Export UI showing a successful Update operation

The Delete workflow

Delete - step 1: Navigate to the Import/Export menu

Use either the cogwheel menu on the Dashboard (available if you’re an admin) or the Import/Export button on the Glossary List (available for both admin and write users) to navigate to the front page of the Import/Export feature, or use

The Import/Export button on the Glossary List

 

The Import/Export option on the cogwheel menu for admins

Delete - step 2: Export the current glossary

Choose “Export Glossary” from the Delete card. This will download an .xlsx file containing the entire Glossary of your Ellie, with all its entities and attributes.

For Delete operations, use the Export Glossary button on the right

Delete - step 3: Mark entities/attributes for deletion

In the file that you downloaded, you’ll find one extra column: “deletion”. Mark the entities intended for deletion in the .xslx file by adding the word “delete” into this column for the entities and/or attributes you want to remove.

Note that this is the only way to delete entities or attributes - removing rows from the file will not do anything! We want the delete operation to be stated very clearly so that no-one deletes anything important by accident.

The downloaded file, with the “deletion” column on the right

 

The downloaded file, with three entities marked for deletion

Delete - step 4: Upload the edited file

After you’ve marked the necessary entities and/or attributes to be deleted, you can upload the file back to Ellie by using the “Delete” button in the Delete card on the UI.

The “Delete” button on the lower left here is used to upload the modified file

Delete - step 5: Confirm changes & check for errors

Ellie will display a list of the deletions you made, and show any errors that might have been identified in the file. Note that entities and attributes are shown on different tabs.

If errors have been detected, they will be listed here, and you will have the opportunity to re-upload your file once you’ve fixed the issues in it.

Click Confirm if everything looks good, otherwise, choose Cancel to stop the workflow and go back.

Note that actual changes are only made after you click Confirm! After clicking Confirm, you can’t undo your changes anymore.

The Delete confirmation screen, showing 3 entities that are to be deleted

Delete - step 6: Done!

You have successfully deleted entities and/or attributes from your Glossary!

The Import/Export UI showing a successful Delete operation