Import and Export Data

You can import data into Rally or export data from Rally to another application.

Import data

Import data from other products into Rally using a Comma Separated Value (CSV) formatted file. The Backlog page contains an Import menu option which launches an Import Wizard.

When importing data, be sure to consider the following:

To import a CSV file:

  1. Verify your CSV file is correctly formatted by downloading and using the Data Import Template. The header columns in these templates must be exactly reproduced in your CSV file for successful import. Each template can be modified for your import.
  2. Navigate to the Backlog page.
  3. Select Page Tools → Import User Stories.
  4. Click Browse to locate your CSV file.
  5. Select your file and click Open.
  6. Click Import and your data is imported and displayed at the end of the summary view.

Caution: If you attempt to export a view and re-rank your data outside of Rally, your export will reflect a page order rather than a rank number. Upon importing the data, your new page order will be preserved; however, the imported stories will be appended to the end of the view. Existing stories are not overwritten, but instead are treated as new stories.

Data is added to the end of the summary view. Remember to scroll to the last page of the display to view your imports.

If the path to your import file location is 256K or greater and your operating system is MS Windows, your file cannot be imported. This is a limitation of MS Windows.

If your administrator has marked some fields as required, you must provide values for those columns in the CSV file.

Any custom values or custom fields you have added to a story are included in the related Data Import Template. Standard fields are listed first, followed by custom fields.

Data import specifications

Use the following table to guide you when importing stories.

Import Imported Fields Field-Level Specs
User stories
NameName field is limited to 256 characters
DescriptionThe Description field is Rich Text and is limited to 32K
Backlog State 
Backlog Rank 

Formatting files for CSV import

The import dialog contains a download link to Rally Data Import Templates which helps you format your CSV (Comma Separated Value) file correctly to ensure all your data is imported. Each story has a specific Data Import Template which provides a format for all fields contained within the story. To successfully import a file, the column headers must match those present in the Data Import Templates. Rally suggests you download the provided template to verify correct formatting each time before you import your file. Each template can be modified for your import.

CSV file formatting considerations:

  • Fields are separated by commas and enclosed in quotes if they contain commas or quotes.
  • Embedded quotes in your input data are doubled.
  • Embedded spaces do not require surrounding quotes.
  • There is no comma following the last field on the line.
  • Null fields are represented by two commas in a row.
  • Leading and trailing spaces on fields even inside quotes are ignored.
  • File must normally end with a single CrLf (Carriage return, Line Feed or both).
  • The length of the Path to your CSV file can not be longer than 255 characters.
  • Both Windows and non-Windows file browsing are supported when browsing to locate your CSV file.

You will be prompted with message dialogs from Rally should the following situations occur:

  • Importing a file with a size greater than 2MB will yield a message informing you the allowable file length has been exceeded and the import could not continue.
  • If the header is missing or not correct, an error message displays stating the file is not in a Rally import format. The import will not continue until the header is entered or corrected.
  • Using an invalid value for boolean fields. Valid values are: t, T, F, f, True, False, true, false
  • All numeric fields must contain valid numerics.
  • All dates must be formatted as mm/dd/yyyy.
  • User name fields (Owner, Submitted By) will prompt an error message during import if the user name does not exist.
  • Attempting to import a file that is not a CSV file will produce a message informing you of the invalid format and the import will not continue.
  • Importing fields with list values are case-sensitive and must match exactly. For instance, if Priority has values of Critical, Important, and Useful and the user is trying to import a Priority value of High, this field will be set to a blank.
  • Importing an empty file will return a message that there is nothing to import.

The first line of the Data Import Template consists of column headers. The second line of the template contains sample data.

Export data

Rally offers export capabilities for user stories, defects, iterations, and tasks. Choose to export your data to a CSV (Comma Separated Values) or XML file. Open this file with any application that can access CSV or XML file format and manipulate your data to display in charts and reports and other presentations to share and disseminate your information.

  1. Access the summary view for the work item or artifact type you wish to export.
  2. Select Import to/as CSV from:
    • Backlog page → Page Tools
    • Track page → Actions button
  3. Select one of three actions to perform for your export:
    • Open the exported file with a detected default application
    • Save the file to a Disk
    • Cancel the Export
  4. Click OK and your selected action is performed on your file.
  5. The exported file is named with the title of the window for all views except where iteration are shown (Iteration Task Status). In this case, the name will be iteration status and the date with / changed to -.

The CSV export functionality exports the fields that are shown on the summary page.

You must have at least edit-level security to export a work item. Your export will vary based on the view being exported.

You can filter and sort your view prior to export, and your export will reflect only the data contained within your view. If you attempt to export a view and re-rank your data outside of Rally, your export will reflect a page order rather than a rank number . Upon importing the data, your new page order will be preserved; however, the imported work items will be appended to the end of the view. Existing work items are not overwritten, but instead are treated as new work items.


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