Our most flexible method of syncing your organization’s people data into Sift is through a CSV (Comma Separated Values) file. You may also choose to use our Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) integration to safely send files to Sift on an automated basis.

Generating your CSV file

From your organization’s system of record, such as your HRIS system or Active Directory, you’ll need to export a CSV that contains your people data. You may also optionally create and upload a CSV containing profile photos.

Creating a Data CSV

Sift will gladly provide you with an example CSV to give you a place to start! The only attributes we require are First Name, Last Name, and Email Address, but the example will give you an idea of some of the other things we commonly see. You will need to create a CSV file with the first row as headers and each subsequent row representing a single person.

For primary sources, the full file must be uploaded on each sync. If your file:

  • Includes rows with a primary key that does not match an existing person in your directory, we will create those profiles.
  • Includes rows with a matching primary key to someone already in your directory, we will update those profiles.
  • Is missing rows with a primary key matching one or more people in your directory, we will delete those profiles.

For complimentary sources, you may upload partial data, as they only append to your existing profiles, and do not provision them.

Click here to download an example Data CSV.

Creating a Photo CSV

After initially updating your data CSV, you will be able to provide photos in a separate file. Our photo CSV files require a more specific format. You will need to include the following:

Primary Key Column - You need a header named the same as your primary key header in your data file. For example, if your primary key in your data file is called employeeId , your header in your photo file should be named the same.

Photo Data - You need a header named exactly photoBinary. Values under this column should include a photo encoded in either base64 or hex . If encoded in hex, the values must start with the identifying hex prefix 0x

Like a complimentary source, each photo file will append to existing data. Therefore, it is only necessary to include new or updated images. Discluding a row from this file will not remove the photo from the associated profile.

Uploading a Data CSV File Manually

If you'd like to upload a CSV file manually each time you'd like to update your data, or upload an initial file before setting up an SFTP integration, continue reading this section. Otherwise, head to the Integrating with SFTP section below.

Step 1: Upload your CSV file

Click the Import Data CSV button as seen below and go through the steps to upload your file.

Step 2: Assign your mappings

The mappings page will autocomplete the left column based on the headers in your CSV. To learn more about setting up mappings, click the link above.

Step 3: Wait for the sync to complete

After uploading your file, Sift will process the file and update your people data. The Sync Status indicator at the top of the page will give you an update, and give you the time when your directory was updated when the sync has been completed.

Uploading a Photo CSV File Manually

Step 1: Upload your CSV file

Click the Import Photo CSV button as seen below and go through the steps to upload your file.

Step 2: Wait for the sync to complete

After uploading your file, Sift will process the file and update your people data. The Sync Status indicator at the top of the page will give you an update, and give you the time when your directory was updated when the sync has been completed.

Integrating with SFTP

Instead of uploading CSV files on our admin dashboard, you may instead choose to drop CSV files into an SFTP directory in an automated fashion. To set up the SFTP integration, you'll need to generate an SSH key pair (RSA) and provide your public key to Sift. We will then provide you with connection details.

Automated HR System Integrations

Many HR systems provide the ability to export reports on an automated basis via SFTP. After setting up the SFTP file drop on Sift as outlined below, you may be able to provide the information to your HR vendor and set up automated reports without much extra work. For detailed instructions on setup, see your HR system's documentation.

Sift Guides for Specific HR Systems

ADP

Step 1: Provide your public key to Sift

Paste your SSH public key in the text area below.

Step 2: Connect to your SFTP directory

Use the provided information to connect to your SFTP file drop. 

Step 3: Drop a file

Before dropping your file, be sure to set up your mappings, with the source column corresponding to the headers in your CSV file.

File naming

We recommend naming your files with some sort of timestamp identifier such as

Photo file names should include the prefix Photos_Full_

Data file names may be any other name. Ex: employees_{timestamp}.csv

Dropping a CSV file in the uploadProd folder will automatically trigger a data sync to begin within seconds. You should be able to follow the progress on your admin dashboard as usual. 

The uploadTest should be used for testing on your end or to debug any issues with the Sift team if needed. Dropping files here will not trigger a sync.

Debugging Failed Syncs

Check Required Data Mappings

If Sift finds users from your data source that do not have all of our required mappings (primary key, first name, last name, and email), they will be ignored. If no users are found that have all of these attributes, then the sync will fail. Ensure that all users you want to be synced into Sift have a value for all of these mappings.

Contact Us

If these steps do not fix the issue, you can contact us using the Chat button in the admin dashboard, and we can help you investigate!

Encrypting with PGP (Optional)

If you would prefer an additional layer of security, you may encrypt your files with PGP before dropping them through SFTP. You will need to encrypt your file with our public key. To obtain this key and get help setting this up, please contact us.

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