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Syncing From a CSV File

Table of contents
  1. Overview
  2. Usage
  3. CSV Format
    1. firstname
    2. lastname
    3. email
    4. country
    5. groups
    6. type
    7. username
    8. domain
  4. Configuration
    1. Format Options
      1. delimiter
      2. string_encoding
    2. Column Mapping Options


To offer some level of compatibility with unsupported identity sources, the User Sync Tool can synchronize users from a CSV file. CSV (comma or character separated values) is a simple format that structures data according to a few rules.

  1. One record per line
  2. Data fields are separated by a special character (typically comma (,), pipe (|) or tab). The csv connector uses comma (,) by default. The separator is configurable.
  3. Optional header row
  4. Most CSV dialects specify an escape mechanism for dealing with fields that contain a literal separator character. The CSV reader used by the User Sync Tool uses double quote " characters to encapsulate fields that contain literal separators.

When working with a CSV identity source file, keep in mind that the Sync Tool treats the CSV as it does any other identity source - it expects a full snapshot of user state which it will use to maintain user state in the Admin Console.


The Sync Tool’s csv connector does not require a configuration file. We recommend getting a template CSV from the source repository. There is also a template CSV file packaged with the examples bundle available with every release.

The User Sync Tool can be invoked in two different ways when using a CSV identity file. We recommend using the csv connector option instead of users.

Invocation Default CLI Option
users: ['file', 'users.csv'] --users file users.csv
connector: ['csv', 'users.csv'] --connector csv users.csv

Either option will invoke the same csv connector component. If the users option is in use, then the connector setting is overidden.

CSV Format

The column names of the CSV input file are customizable (see below). This example shows the header row expected by default.




The first name (given name) of a user.



The last name (surname) of a user.



User’s email address. Domain must be claimed to directory owned or trusted by target console.



User’s country code. Must be a valid ISO-3166-1 alpha-2 code.

If left blank, will be overridden by default_counry_code in user-sync-config.yml.



Comma-delimited list of “directory” groups. These are basically virtual groups. They can correspond to groups assigned in an upstream identity system, but they don’t have to. The import thing is that they correspond to directory_groups in the group mapping.

Each group name must be separated by a comma , with no trailing space.

Simple example:


If delimiter in connector-csv.yml is set to ',' (the default) then group assignments with more than one group should use double quotes to escape the literal commas present in the field.




Defines the identity type of a user. Valid options are adobeID, enterpriseID and federatedID. If this field is blank, the identity_type as specified in user-sync-config.yml will be used.



Defines the username. The normal username rules apply:

  • Can be alphanumeric (not in email form) as long as domain is populated
  • Can be email-like as long as domain is empty
  • If username is email-type then domain must be claimed to same directory as email domain
  • Username cannot be set for adobeID or enterpriseID users



Defines domain name for non-email usernames. Must be claimed to same directory as email domain.


The optional config file can be used to customize the expected format of the CSV input file.

The CSV connector is named connector-csv.yml by default. A template configuration file can be found here or in the examples bundle available with every release.

The CSV connector config can be enabled in user-sync-config.yml under directory_users.

    csv: connector-csv.yml

This will enable configuration for the csv connector. Note that the configuration file will be read and applied regardless of which invocation method (connector or users) is used to use the CSV file as the identity source.

Format Options



Defines the character that separates fields in the CSV file. Set to comma (,) by default.

Note: Regardless of the separator, literal separator characters present in data fields are always escaped by enclosing the field with double quotes (").



Defines the character encoding of the input CSV file. Default is utf-8.

Any encoding type listed here is potentially valid.

It is generally better to keep the encoding set to utf-8 and reformat the CSV file to UTF-8. As per the linked documentation, certain encoding type aliases can process more slowly. And sometimes malformed input files can be mistaken for other encodings which can lead to problems.

Column Mapping Options

The header row column names of the CSV file can be fully customized. The following options can be used to redefine any column name.

Config Option Redefines Column Name
email_column_name email
first_name_column_name firstname
last_name_column_name lastname
country_column_name country
groups_column_name groups
identity_type_column_name identity_type
username_column_name username
domain_column_name domain

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