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Employee Directory Import Automations (EX)

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About Employee Directory Import Automations

Users often wish to sync their employee (HRIS) records with Qualtrics using automations that bring that data into Qualtrics on a regular schedule. For example, you may wish to import content from a hosted daily file drop, all under the most safe and secure transfer methods.

With People Import Automations (also called Employee Directory Import Automations), you can create, configure, update, test, and review your own automation jobs, which streamlines your uploads to the employee directory. When the automation is scheduled to run, it’ll process any designated files that have not been processed by the automation yet, including newly uploaded files.

Automations tab to the left inside Directories page

You can set these up in the Automations tab of your Directory.

Attention: Please ensure that your organization has been transitioned to using Unique Identifiers before using People Import Automation.
Qtip: Each user can create up to 100 automations, and you can run each automation an unlimited amount of times. There is no limit to the total amount of automations your brand can have. Sample file sizes cannot exceed 250MB for each automation.
Attention: Qualtrics can accept many files types for contact import automation as long as it matches your example file. For CSV files, Qualtrics can only accept CSV files with UTF-8 encoding.

Step 1: Starting and Scheduling the Automation

  1. Name your automation.
    Create Automation field
  2. Click Create Automation.
  3. Read and understand the material you will need to configure an automation. If you do not have a source with access credentials, you may use the Qualtrics File Service. You will not be able to complete your automation without selecting a file source and having a sample file ready to upload.
    List of things you'll need for the automations
  4. Click Continue.
  5. Determine whether your automation should happen daily, weekly, monthly, or On-Demand. (In other words, choose when your employee files will be checked for updates and then uploaded to Qualtrics.) If you select On-Demand, the automation will check files every 15 minutes and process those eligible.
  6. Determine the time of day / day of the week it should take place. You can run on the hour, or 15, 30, or 45 minutes after the hour.
  7. Click Add Another Time to add another time of day / week / month this update should occur.
    Qtip: There is a limit of 8 times daily, 10 times weekly, or 6 times monthly. While you can technically add the same time multiple times, this will result in the automation only being run once on that time.
  8. Determine the date you want the first automation to take place.

    Qtip: If the date is set to today or in the past, the automation will run from now on.
  9. Determine when you want the automation to stop importing contacts. You can always modify this later.
  10. Click Continue to enter the next step, Configuring an Import Source.

Step 2: Configuring an Import Source

When you reach Configure Import Source in the people import automation, you tell Qualtrics the location of the employee data you would like to import. You have a few options.

  • Qualtrics File Service: Set up a file service with Qualtrics. This eliminates the task of setting up an SFTP server on your own side. When you select this option, you’ll be shown instructions on how to set this up.
  • SFTP Server: You have your own server where these files will be hosted. You must provide the username, password, host URL and port of the SFTP server for the automation to import the files.

    Qtip: When setting up an SFTP connection, we recommend your IT team Allowlist the Qualtrics IP Ranges. Use the following IP Ranges to Allowlist:

    • EMEA and Asia Pacific:
    • All other regions:
    Qtip: If your account is within our FedRAMP environment, the IP addresses for allowlisting differ from those found on this page. To securely access your IP address information, please login to your FedRAMP Support Portal.
  • Google Drive or Dropbox: You have access to an Open Authorization (OAuth) file storage, such as Google Drive or Dropbox, where your import files will be hosted. You must login and give Qualtrics permission to manage your files on the OAuth file storage. The automation will only manage the files in a designated folder configured in the next step.


Qtip: The Qualtrics File Service and SFTP options will likely require that you work with your organization’s IT team to set up properly.

Qualtrics File Service

The Qualtrics File Service is a secure and isolated file store API that allows you to upload files for this automation to import. You may upload a file to an HTTPS endpoint, which will be provided in a grey box (shown below), as multipart form-data.

When the automation is scheduled to run, it’ll process any files that have not been processed by the automation yet, including newly uploaded ones.

To use the Qualtrics File Service, you’ll need to call the HTTPS endpoint provided. If the file is generated from the system, you’ll want to provide the API documentation and the following example implementation to your IT or Software Engineering team to integrate with our service.

Example: This example is in cURL format. See the API Overview support page on how to generate an API token.

-F 'file=@/path/to/import/file/sample-file.txt' \

Example: This is a Request Example. See the API Overview support page on how to generate an API token.

POST https://brandid.datacenterid.qualtrics.com/automations-file-service/automations/AU_XXXXXXXXX/files HTTP/1.1  
Content-Type: multipart/form-data
Content-Disposition: form-data; name="upfile"; filename="sample-file.txt"
Content-Type: text/plain

Manually Manage Uploaded Files with API

You can also manually manage uploaded files using the Qualtrics API. The following links explain how to interact with the Qualtrics File Service API:

At times, these API calls will ask for an automationId. Qualtrics will provide you with this information, formatted as AU_XXXXX.

SFTP Server

Users often wish to integrate their employee records with Qualtrics using Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP). This section goes over how to connect a people import automation to your own SFTP server.

When the automation is scheduled to run, it’ll process any files that have not been processed by the automation yet, including newly uploaded ones. When a file is processed, it is removed from the SFTP server.

  1. In the Configure Import Source step, select SFTP Server.
  2. Click Continue.
  3. Enter the Host URL.

    Qtip: The URL usually resembles sftp.example.com.
  4. Enter the Username. This is case-sensitive.
  5. Enter the Port. This is optional. 22 is entered as the default.
  6. Click Continue.
  7. Enter your Password.

    Qtip: If the exact host, username, and port have already been provided, you will not be asked for a password.
  8. Click Continue.
  9. Decide whether to use PGP Encryption.
Qtip: If you run into issues establishing an SFTP connection, see SFTP Troubleshooting for additional guidance.

Supported Ciphers

Connecting to an SFTP server requires a series of SSH handshakes to coordinate the encryption used between the server and the automation. In order to establish a connection, the SFTP server will need to have at least one cipher for each cipher type that matches a cipher supported by automations. Below is the list of ciphers supported by automations grouped by the cipher type.

Supported Key Exchange Ciphers:

  • diffie-hellman-group1-sha1
  • diffie-hellman-group14-sha1
  • ecdh-sha2-nistp256
  • ecdh-sha2-nistp384
  • ecdh-sha2-nistp521
  • curve25519-sha256@libssh.org

Supported Mac Ciphers:

  • hmac-sha1
  • hmac-sha2-256
  • hmac-sha2-256-etm@openssh.com
  • hmac-sha1-96

Supported Encryption Ciphers:

  • aes128-ctr
  • aes192-ctr
  • aes256-ctr
  • aes128-gcm@openssh.com
  • chacha20-poly1305@openssh.com

We also support the following Encryption Ciphers, but do not recommend them, as they have known security vulnerabilities:

  • arcfour256
  • arcfour128
  • arcfour
  • aes128-cbc
  • 3des-cbc

If the SFTP server does not support the appropriate ciphers, we recommend using one of the other import sources presented on this page.

OAuth File Storage

OAuth File Storage allows an end user’s account information to be used by Qualtrics, without exposing the user’s password. This account information is used to connect to file storage from Automations in the global directory, behaving similar to an SFTP setup. Files in this File Storage can then be accessed from Qualtrics for use in Automations.

When the automation is scheduled to run, it’ll process any files that have not been processed by the automation yet, including newly uploaded ones. When a file is processed, it is removed from the OAuth file storage.

  1. In the Configure Import Source step, select Google Drive or Dropbox.
  2. Click Continue.
  3. You’ll need to sign into your Google or Dropbox account by clicking Sign In.  This will redirect you to a new window in which you can sign in via OAuth.
  4. Once sign-in is successful, you’ll be redirected to finish the configuration or, if desired, Switch Accounts to another OAuth user. You can also remove the OAuth account by clicking Change on the data source and selecting an alternative data source.
  5. Click Continue.

Step 3: PGP Encryption

PGP encryption is optional for people import automations. It is an extra means of encrypting and protecting your data before you proceed with your automation, and will require you work with your IT team. They will need to select a PGP encryption software, such as the PGP Tool, the GPG Tools, or the GPG utility. If you are generating the import files from a script, they should utilize a GPG/PGP library particular to the language of the script. Unfortunately, Qualtrics Support cannot set up your PGP encryption for you, or un-encrypt files you have encrypted.

  1. Select whether you’d like the file to be encrypted using PGP software.

    Qtip: This PGP encryption is available for automations using both SFTP servers and the Qualtrics File Service. If you did not encrypt a past automation but would like to, you can always edit the automation to add encryption.
  2. Click Continue.
  3. Click Download our public key. Your IT team will need to use that public key to encrypt import files before uploading them to the SFTP server or the Qualtrics File Service.

    Qtip: If an automation is configured to use PGP encryption but receives an unencrypted file, it will fail and notify the email recipients, as per the notification preferences in the automation.
  4. Click Continue.
  5. Now you will either define your SFTP folder paths, or go straight to Data Field Mapping.
Qtip: The PGP public key and fingerprint will rotate every few months. However, all previous public keys can be used for existing and new automations as long as the key is not compromised.

Step 4: Selecting Folder Paths

Qtip: You will only complete these steps if you chose SFTP, Google Drive, or Dropbox as your Import Source. If you selected Qualtrics File Service, you will not have to complete this step.

After you decide the source of your employee files, you need to specify the folders where these files are saved so the automation knows where to retrieve them from.

  1. Enter the name of the folder on the SFTP server, Google Drive, or Dropbox the file you want to import is located on.

    Qtip: This folder name is case sensitive. This must be an existing folder, or the automation will fail. The folder path should also be relative to the default directory of the SFTP, Google Drive, or Dropbox user provided to the automation.
  2. Click Continue.
  3. Select which files should be imported from this folder.
    Your options are:

    • All Files: All files in the folder.
    • Files whose name contain a specific prefix: When selected, you can specify the prefix.
    • Files whose name contain a specific suffix: When selected, you can specify the suffix. The file extension is included here.
      Example: The file name is 1234-sample and it as a CSV. You want all files that end with -sample and are CSVs. Your suffix would be -sample.csv
    • Files whose name contains specific text: When selected, you can specify the phrase the names must contain. This phrase can be anywhere in the file name.
  4. Click Continue.
  5. Processed file will be stored on Qualtrics and can be viewed when managing past automations. Click Continue.


Step 5: Data Field Mapping

This is where you decide what fields will be imported into Qualtrics from your files and how they are formatted.

Attention: You must include a First Name, Last Name, UniqueID, and Email column. These should correspond to the following field types:

  • First Name – Person Field
  • Last Name – Person Field
  • Email – Person Field
  • UniqueID – Person Unique ID Field
  1. Click Download Example File. This will download a CSV to your computer that provides an example of a correct file template. You may also use your own template file, as long as it is a valid CSV file. All files imported by this automation will need to match the example file column headers.
  2. When your file is ready, click Select File and upload your example file.
  3. Choose a Delimiter.
  4. Click Continue.
  5. Suggested column headers for Qualtrics field mappings will be provided; however, you can rename any column or map a column to an existing Metadata field by modifying the dropdowns in the Import as Field Name row. Note that if you’re naming a column after a Metadata Data field, it should generally be case-sensitive.
  6. Use the Import as Field Type row to determine if each field is a Person Field (Email, first name, last name), Person UniqueID Field, Metadata Field, or if it should be excluded from the import.

    Qtip: Suggested column headers to Qualtrics field mappings will be provided. Do not forget that you must include and have access to Unique Identifiers before you can run an automation!

    In addition, you can rename any column or map a column to an existing Metadata field by modifying the dropdowns in the Import as Field Type row.  Note that if you’re naming a column after a Metadata field, it must be case-sensitive.

    Qtip: If you’d like to replace the file you uploaded, click Upload a new example file.
  7. Once you’ve reviewed your fields, click Continue.

Step 6: Sending Run Reports and Enabling the Automation

The final steps of a people import automation include determining who is emailed when an automation runs, and then enabling the automation. This encompasses the Run Summary Recipients and Review portions of the automation.

  1. Determine who will be alerted with an email when the automation runs. Use the plus signs ( + ) or the Add Recipient Email button to add additional recipients.
  2. Click Continue.
  3. Click Edit next to go back to any section and make changes.
  4. Click Enable Automation to start your automation, or click Finish without enabling to save the automation but not start it.

Changing Data Fields Included in the Automation

There may be times that you want to modify the fields included in the people import automation. For example, maybe you realized you forgot to include a patient address column in your people imports, and now you want to save patient address information in future people imports.

The Example File that you upload in the Map Import Fields section determines the Metadata fields that will be uploaded to Qualtrics. This means you can exclude column headers to skip over them, or you can use the exact name and spelling of a field to include it in future imports.

To change the fields included in an import:

  1. Go to the desired automation and click the dropdown.
    Automations tab home
  2. Click Edit Automation.
  3. Click edit next to where it says Map Data Fields.
    Bottom-right quadrant
  4.  Click Upload a new example file.
    Upload a new file button in blue at top
  5. Click Download Example File.
  6. Edit the file so it includes your desired headers. Make sure spelling and capitalization is the same.
    Example: The files you keep in your source folder have a field called Address. In the Example File, add a header called Address. Using a lowercase ‘a’ will not work.
  7. Click Select File. Upload your new file.
    Uploading a file
  8. Click Continue.
  9. Suggested column headers for Qualtrics field mappings will be provided; however, you can rename any column or map a column to an existing Metadata field by modifying the dropdowns in the Import as Field Name row. Note that if you’re naming a column after an existing Metadata field, it should generally be case-sensitive.
    File content is previewed with columns of data. second and third rows of data are actually dropdowns and fields where you can make adjustments as described in these steps
  10. Use the Import as Field Type row to determine if each field is a Person Field, UniqueID, Metadata, or if it should be excluded from import.
  11. Once you’ve reviewed your fields, click Continue.

Creating Additional Automations

Once you have created automations, you can add more by clicking New Automation in the upper-right.

New Automation button in blue on upper-right

Edit Existing Automations

Qtip: You will only see automations you have created, not all the automations in the brand.

You can change the setup of any of your automations by clicking the dropdown and selecting Edit Automation.

Three dots dropdown on automation on main page has Edit automation option first

Qtip: You can also do this by clicking into the automation and clicking the blue Edit Automation button.

Blue edit automation button on upper-right inside the automation

Clicking Edit Automation will take you back to a page where you can change the different steps of the automation, such as the referenced servers, folders, and so on.

Editing automations

Rename Automation

By clicking the dropdown and selecting Rename Automation, you can rename your automation.

Second to last option in dropdown is Rename Automation

Delete Automation

By clicking the dropdown and selecting Delete Automation, you can delete your automation.

Delete Automation option is last in dropdown

Warning: Once you delete an automation, it is gone permanently! Do not delete automations unless you are absolutely sure you want to get rid of them!
Qtip: Looking to temporarily disable an automation? Try pausing it instead by clicking on the Automation, clicking on the Actions dropdown, and selecting Pause Automation.

Managing Automation Schedules & Notifications

In order to view when the automation has run in the past, you can either click its name or the dropdown and then View Run History.

Name of the past automation is highlighted

Past Automations

Once automations have been attempted, they will be listed here with information about the time they began and ended, how many employees were imported, the duration, and the status.

Qtip: You can click on an automation run in the table to get more details regarding the run’s outcome.

The status can either be Success or Failure. Failures are generally due to incorrect settings, such as the wrong SFTP server being referenced, incorrect username and password, and so on.

Automations edit page

You can change the order of your past automations using the Sort By dropdown on the upper-left.

Processed Files

When you click on an automation conducted in the past, you can click View File to see the files that were imported during this automation.

Selected automation. To the right in the menu at the bottom is a blue view file link

Pause/Resume Automation

You can Pause or Resume an automation by clicking Actions inside the automation, or by clicking the dropdown next to an automation.

Resume Automation under the Actions menu

Resume automation under the three dots

Pause Automation allows you to temporarily pause the automation. You can then resume the automation whenever you desire by selecting Resume Automation.

Manual Runs

You can run an additional automation outside the current schedule by performing a Manual Run. You can start a Manual Run by clicking Actions inside the automation, or by clicking the dropdown next to an automation.

Start Manual Run option under the Actions dropdown

Three dots reveal Start Manual Run option on Automations homepage

Example: Let’s say the people import automation runs at 9am as scheduled, but you forgot to upload your employee data file in the assigned folder before then. You can upload your file and choose Start Manual Run to run the automation once more and get the file imported.

Add Recipients

Would you like team members to be notified whenever this automation takes place? You can send a summary of the automation each time it is completed using the Add Recipients function on the right.

  1. Click Add Recipients.
    Add Recipients button in white with blue text
  2. Type the email address of the recipient.
    Entering the recipients into the field
  3. Click Add recipient or the plus sign ( + ) to add another recipient.
  4. Click Save Recipients to save your changes.

Current recipients will now be listed to the right.

Email listed on far-right

Qtip: Erase a recipient’s email and then save your changes to remove a recipient.

Return to Automations

Click the X in the upper-right to return to the main page of the Automations tab.

Gray X in upper-right, before side menu

Qtip: You can also click the Automations tab itself to return to its main page.