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Smart Upload Manager: Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


The Smart Upload Manager is an additional feature for Mavenlink. For access, please contact your Client Success Manager.


To assist you in learning more about the Smart Upload Manager, visit the Smart Upload Manager Training Courses.


The Smart Upload Manager is a tool designed to help automate the import of data from CSV files into Mavenlink. You can use CSV files to create new records and update existing ones.


Certain fields are required for each scenario in order to import the data into Mavenlink correctly. Please refer to the Smart Upload Manager Data Set Templates to see which fields are required.

How do I access the Smart Upload Manager?

The Smart Upload Manager can be directly accessed from Mavenlink or by the following link:

What objects can I upload files for?

The Smart Upload Manager currently supports the following Mavenlink objects:

  • Account Memberships
  • Assignments
  • Cost Rates
  • Holidays
  • Holiday Calendars
  • Holiday Calendars Associations
  • Holiday Calendars Memberships
  • Invoices
  • Invoice Additional Items
  • Invoice Fixed Fee Items
  • Invoice Payments
  • Expenses
  • Project Allocations
  • Project Custom Field Values
  • Project Groups
  • Project Group Custom Field Values
  • Project Organization Memberships
  • Project Participations
  • Project Resource Custom Field Values
  • Project Resource Skills
  • Project Resources
  • Projects
  • Roles
  • Scheduled Hours
  • Skills
  • Skills Memberships
  • Task Custom Field Values
  • Task Dependencies
  • Task Followers
  • Tasks
  • Time Adjustments
  • Time Entries
  • Time Off Entries
  • Users
  • User Custom Field Values
  • User Organization Memberships
  • Workweek Memberships

Can I disable email notifications during the upload?

Yes. This feature is located within your Account Settings. This setting allows you the option to disable emails for the account.


Ensure the Email Notifications setting is Disabled when you want to suppress email notifications across the account before starting any project or task uploads. When this setting is Disabled, any emails—invitations, task notifications, scheduled insights reports, exports, etc.— will not be generated.

After blueprints are processed, you can re-enable the Email Notifications again using the same settings.
It is recommended to wait at least ten minutes prior to re-enabling email notifications due to Mavenlink Email Notifications are bundled in near-real-time batches.

Can I queue up multiple files for data upload in a specific order, or can I schedule them to load at a specific time?

Multiple files can be uploaded into a single blueprint for processing. One file can be uploaded for each data set in Mavenlink. They will process in reverse order of dependency. Rows for each data set can process independently of other rows within the same file or rows between files.

Example: If you wanted to load in Projects, Tasks, and Time Entries into Mavenlink, you could upload 3 separate files—or one for each object—simultaneously. After validation, all three files would process in order.

Blueprints cannot be scheduled, however, they can be validated and processed at any time.

Do I need to fill out every field in the CSV template in order to upload?

No. Not every field is required to be filled out in order to be processed successfully. There are different required fields for creating objects vs updating objects. Refer to the linked template file for the required fields:

Smart Upload Manager - Data Set Templates

Can I leverage the utility to Archive or Unarchive a project or a top-level task?

Yes. The Archived feature is available for project or task updates. The current best practice is to process the archiving and unarchiving of projects or tasks in separate blueprints. This ensures that all data can be updated before the archiving takes place.

Can I delete or clear a specific field in the object for a project or task?

Currently, the Smart Upload Manager behaves similarly to the Data Loader in this regard. CSVs uploaded with blank data in rows will be ignored. Deleting or clearing existing values is currently not supported.

How do I change the date format in a CSV to be in [YYY-MM-DD] format if I'm editing the file in Microsoft Excel?

The Smart Upload Manager supports the [ISO 8601] Date Format. By default, most computers use Microsoft Excel for editing CSV files. Microsoft Excel typically auto-formats the date once it recognizes you have entered one.

In a case where Microsft Excel may not auto-format the date, you can change the date format manually by doing the following:

  1. Select all applicable Date Fields.
  2. Right-click and select Format Cells from the drop-down. The Format Cells window appears.
  3. Choose Custom from left-hand list of options.
  4. Within the Type field, enter the desired formatting: YYYY-MM-DD.
  5. Click OK. The date formatting updates within the CSV.
  6. Save the CSV file.


When you re-open a CSV file in Microsoft Excel for editing, the application may reformat the date values to its default date format. If so, you will need to manually change the formatting prior to saving as listed above. Otherwise, your data set may fail validation.

Can I specify multiple selections in my CSV file for custom fields that allow multiple choices?

Yes, specifying multiple selections in multi-choice custom fields is supported. The desired choices must be entered in the same cell.

These choices must meet the following specifications:

  • Comma-separated.
  • Inside square brackets.
  • No spaces between choices.
Example: [black, red, green]
This example sets a multi-choice custom field with 3 choices: red, black, and green.

Can I use the Smart Upload Manager to update users that are not on my Mavenlink account?

No. Just like in the User Interface, you can only update users who are on your Mavenlink account.

Can I leverage the Smart Upload Manager to update users disabled on my Mavenlink account?

Yes. This requires a three-step process as disabled users cannot be directly updated:

  1. Upload a data set specifically to reactivate the desired users.
  2. Upload a separate data set to make the desired changes on the users or members.
  3. Upload a third data set to deactivate the desired users again.


Re-activating users may affect your Mavenlink licenses or incur costs.

What happens if my computer crashes or I close my browser while the blueprint is validating or processing?

Once your file is loaded to your data set, the validation and processing take place on the Mavenlink side. These processes are not dependent on your computer or connection. This means you may log in and out as desired. However, you will have to be logged in to view the status of your blueprint or to make any changes to it.

Is there a row limit per file for each data set or blueprint?

There isn’t a hard limit on the number of rows a CSV file may contain. The recommended maximum limit is 50,000 rows per data set.

In general, the more rows a blueprint contains in total, the more time it will take to validate and process.


During the BETA phase of development, the data sets will be limited to 100 rows.

How long does validation take?

Validation is an involved process. The validator checks the data in the uploaded file, the data in Mavenlink, and the data in the other data sets of the blueprint. This is in an effort to ensure a successful upload.

While there is no set time frame, this process may take a decent amount of time to complete. In general, the more rows and data sets in a blueprint, the longer validation will take.

How long does processing take?

Processing time is primarily dependent on the Mavenlink API. The Smart Upload Manager is able to utilize a high concurrency to import data quickly. Mavenlink’s API has rate limits specific to different endpoints which may affect processing time. While there is no set time frame, the more rows and data sets in a blueprint, the longer processing will take.

What if there are validation errors?

When validation fails it is indicated by a red exclamation mark within each Data Set tab. The indicator icon appears with an error message(s) in-line for each row that failed validation.


A single row can contain multiple validation error messages.

A new CSV file—with the errors resolved—can be uploaded to each data set that had errors. The whole blueprint can then be run through the validation process again.

What if there are processing errors?

Despite having successfully completed the validation step, processing can still generate errors. This can happen if you are connected to a live Mavenlink environment with users actively in the system.

Similar to the validation step, if the rows are unable to be processed they will be indicated by a red exclamation mark. This indicator is located within the Data Set tab in-line with the row that failed processing.


Data Sets unable to be fully processed must be re-validated before they can be processed again.

How will I know that validation or processing is complete?

The Smart Upload Manager will display the validation and processing status on-screen indicating that validation and processing are complete. Failures of either step will also display on-screen.

Is the order of the tasks in the spreadsheet the same order that appears in the project?

When created, tasks will be loaded into Mavenlink in the order they are listed in the CSV file. This is the case if there are no nested tasks (subtasks).

If there are nested or sub-tasks in the CSV, the tasks will be created under their indicated parent task respective to the order listed in the CSV.

What is an external reference?

An external reference is a way to identify objects in Mavenlink based on an ID or key not created by Mavenlink. They can be thought of as "tags" for Mavenlink objects.

Example: Your company manages time off in an HR system, and those time off entries are added to Mavenlink for resource management purposes. An external reference can be added or "tagged"
to each time-off entry in Mavenlink with the ID of the time-off request in your HR system. This helps streamline locating, updating, reporting, and integrating objects between systems.

When creating objects in the Smart Upload manager, you can "tag" external references for those objects at the same time using the external_id column.

Listed below are examples of different values in their respective columns and their "tags":

    • external_id column = service_model_ref
    • service_name = Smart Upload Manager
    • Service Model = [API Object Name]
Service Model Example: projects = workspaces.


You cannot create external references when updating objects via SUM.

Who can access SUM and what permission level is needed?

Users do not need a specific permission to access SUM. SUM will upload data based on the user permissions of whoever is using it. If a user with low permissions is using SUM they will only be able to create/edit objects they have access to via UI. It is recommended users have Admin permission in Mavenlink when using SUM as it allows the greatest use of the product.

How can I apply templates to projects?

Templates can be applied to projects via the Projects data set. You can specify the Template ID using the “Project Tracker Template ID” column when uploading your file. There are other template specific columns that can help determine where in the WBS your template is imported and when it begins for example. Consult the Project Reference Sheet in the Smart Upload Manager Data Set Templates+ Document.


Troubleshooting Common Exceptions

Issue: ["Not Found"]

Object Type:

All Objects.

Potential Cause:
  • Object is Archived in Mavenlink.
  • User is not added to the Project.
  • User does not have sufficient permissions for that object.
  • Object—user, task, project— does not yet exist in Mavenlink.
  • Incorrect object—user, task, project—is provided.
Resolution: Please provide appropriate objects—user, task, project—into the CSV.

Issue: Effective_date must be given in ISO-8601 format (YYYY-MM-DD)

Object Type: All Objects.
Potential Cause: The date is not formatted according to the Smart Upload Manager requirements.
Resolution: Look up the date format within the Helper Page to match the date format requirements. In most cases, dates should be entered as: (YYYY-MM-DD).

Issue: Required field is missing

Object Type: All Objects
Potential Cause: All required fields need to be filled out within the CSV file.
Resolution: Certain fields are required for each scenario in order to import the data into Mavenlink correctly. Please refer to the Smart Upload Manager Data Set Templates to see which fields are required.

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