The case importer allows you to import parent/child case relationships and gives you two ways to do this.

There are 2 approaches:

  1. Importing new parent and child cases at the same time
  2. Importing parent and child cases separately  

1. Importing new parent and child cases at the same time

You will need two Excel files, one for parent cases and one for child cases.

Your parent case file will need:

Your child case file will need:

  • A column to uniquely identify the child cases (external_id)
  • A column to identify the parent case (parent_external_id)
  • A column to identify the parent case type (parent_type)

Example parent excel file (case type is father)


Example child excel file: 



child1Tom's SonA1father

Tom's Daughter

child3Bob's SonA3father


  1. Import the parent case file (if needed).  Make sure you match external_id to the External ID when identifying how to identify cases. 

  2. Import the child case file.  Make sure you match external_id to the External ID when identifying how to identify cases. 

  3. When mapping columns for the child case file, make sure you map parent_external_id and parent_type columns. 

2. Importing parent and child cases separately

When you would want this approach:

  • If your parent cases are already in the system
  • You don't want to deal with external_id's on your cases

Warning: Depending on how unique the rest of your data is, it can be hard to correctly match up the parent cases imported with those exported.  Be very careful with this step, as getting it wrong can cost you a lot of time and effort fixing it.  Using external_id's (or making sure you have at least one completely unique identifier on your data) would be a good way to avoid this potential hassle.


If you are importing both parent and child cases separately, you would need:

  1. Import parent cases excel file (follow Excel Importer Instructions)
  2. Export parent's case_id
    • Select the 'Data' tab from the options at the top of the screen, choose 'Export Cases', filter appropriate users and download your parent cases.

     3.  Create Child case excel file: 

    • Your Excel spreadsheet should be broken down into columns matching different case properties in your application. 
    • Match your parent's case_id to your child case excel file (see warning above!) 
      • Note: if you have downloaded a case export and are using those fields as your template for importing, the case export will show the field indices.parentcasetype (where "parentcasetype" is the case type of your parent case). Do not use indicies.parentcasetype, instead, replace this text to say parent_id.

     Example child case excel file:

1Child Onedbd248b6a4744652b9535adf1b782cf397106625955f69
2Child Twoe20157f404704fbfaef4b21f1b782cf397106625955f69

      4.  Import child cases excel file follow Excel Importer Instructions

First, map on case id to some column. Then, click 'Create new records if there is no matching case'

Then, map the parent id column so the relationship is created.

  • Click "Create a new property instead"
  • Enter "parent_id" as shown in the image below

Warning: If a parent_id is provided and no case with the provided case ID exists, the row gets ignored by the case importer without any warning messages. 

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