Separate Columns in Export Files for Custom Fields


The 4me Specialist Interface allows specialist to export the records they see in a view.  Similarly, in 4me Self Service, key contacts are able to export the requests from their organization.  What’s new is how the custom fields are included in these export files.  In the past, the custom fields of the records that were included in an export file could all be found in the ‘Custom Fields’ column.  If a record had multiple custom fields, the IDs of these fields and their field values would be included in this column in JSON format.  This made it difficult to use the custom field data to, for example, generate a report in Excel.

That is why the ‘Custom Fields’ column is no longer included in these export files.  Instead, an extra column gets added for every custom field of the records that are included in the export file.  These additional columns are appended to the right of the standard columns.  The header of a custom field column starts with a  # and is followed by the ID of the custom field.

Requests export file with custom fields

Administrators can also use the new custom field columns to maintain custom field values using 4me’s import functionality.  They can add a custom field column to their import files using a header name that starts with a  #  followed by the custom field’s ID.  If they import a file that has values in a custom field column, these values are used to overwrite the old values of the custom field during the import.  If an empty custom field column is included in an import file, the import causes the custom field to be emptied in the existing records that are included in the import file.  If the values of a custom field should not be affected by an import, it is best to remove the column for that custom field from the import file.

What is important to know for administrators is that this change does not affect the exports that administrators can initiate using the ‘Export…” option of the Actions menu, or which they can run from the ‘Exports’ section of the Settings console, or which they can start using the Export API.  The export files that are generated using these methods still have ‘Custom Fields’ column.