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Master Data Export and Import

This article applies to:Excise


This site is only for Avalara customers licensed for Returns Excise, AvaTax Excise and Government. 
Documentation of operation, usage and release dates is confidential and proprietary information of Avalara.
Content last updated: 2021-08-10

Master Data is your company's configuration data used in generating returns and tax calculation.  Business Entities, Locations, Scenarios and Profiles, are just a few examples of master data.  Master data can be exported from a Production environment and then imported into the UA environment for testing.  You can export and import all master data, or you can export and import specific types of master data.

For example, Avalara Excise Support may use master data export file while troubleshooting a case, to reproduce your issues in our test environment.  When a change needs to made to one or more Scenarios or Profiles, you can export the current production master data and then import it into UA for testing.

Ensure that there are no Schedule Transaction Import processes running while exporting or importing master data.

Master Company and Sub-company master data 

Most master data is owned by the Master Company.  Data can be exported from a Sub-company and imported back to the same company, or into its corresponding company in a UA environment.  Importing a master data file from a Master Company into a Sub-company will generate errors.

Export master data 

Users with a security role of ZMS_COMPANY_ADMIN_WITH_MASTER will have this menu item available.  Other user roles may not see this in their Maintenance menu.

  1. Click Maintenance > Master Data Export.
  2. Click Add New Record.
  3. Choose an Export Data Format from the dropdown.
    • Choose Master Data Binary (.dat) if you are going to import the results into another company or a test system.
    • Only the Excel (.xlsx) or Test (.csv) formats are viewable outside the software.
  4. Check mark one or more Products, and type in a name for the export file.
    • In the example we are exporting a .dat file from Returns Excise for company Support Test.
    • Name your .dat file accordingly for identification, since you won't be able to open it outside of the software it to view its contents.
  5. Use the arrows to select which data tables to include in the export, then click Submit.
    • Note that only an entire configuration data type can be exported using this option, and not individual components.  For instance, Business Accounts are part of Business Entities and cannot be exported separately, and you cannot export Rates for only a specific jurisdiction.
  6. Wait for the status to change from Pending to Passed.
    • If you are exporting a large amount of data, this step may take several minutes to complete.
  7. Click on the download size link in the Output File column of the grid.
  8. Choose a file location on your computer and click Save.
    • Add a descriptive file name so you can readily identify it.

Import master data 

► Use caution when importing data to your production environment!

  1. Click Maintenance > Master Data Import.
  2. Click Add New Record.
  3. Click Select and browse to the .dat file to import.
    • Only a .dat file exported from the current software version may be imported.  Older versions may have column differences.
      • For example, data from release 5.36.x can be imported to version 5.36.x, but not into version 5.37.x or higher.
  4. Click Upload.
    • The indicator is green when a valid file extension is selected.
  5. Click the Data Settings tab.
  6. Select the Match Type.
    • Merge and Append will add any changes you made to the existing table.
    • Delete All and Replace will clear the existing data and replace it with the one being imported.
      • Locked business entities and locations are taken into consideration, which is outlined in the next section.
  7. Click back to the Data File tab to confirm the Table Name and Record Count and click Submit.
  8. Wait for the Status to change from Pending to Passed.

Locked business entities and locations 

Just as you can't update locked records by import or manual entry, locked records will not be updated during a master data import.

  • Click here for business entity locked dates information.
  • Click here for locations locked dates information.
  1. Using the Merge and Append data setting, new business entities and locations will be added to the master data, while leaving locked records unchanged.
  2. When using the Delete All and Replace data setting, the import will fail if there is locked data, and no changes will occur.

Examples of using master data

  1. Master data is exported from the Production environment.
    • Name your .dat files accordingly for identification.
  2. This file is then imported to UA (test) environment.
  3. Changes are made to the data in UA.  Master data can be manipulated in the test environment to make sure they work as expected.
  4. Master data from Test is now exported to a new file (saving the original file as a backup).
  5. This new file exported from UA is imported into Production.
    • The Data Settings are chosen based on whether you want to add to existing data or overwrite and replace it.

Using Master Data Push

Master Data Push automatically sends your master data between Production and Sandbox without saving/importing the .dat file. The following setup steps must be done in the Company Maintenance of both Production and Sandbox environments to enable Push:

  1. Click Maintenance > Companies.
  2. Select Master Company Settings tab.
  3. Click Enable Automated Data Import, copy the record and checkmark the Value to set it to True.
  4. Click Master Data Transfer - Enable Push Automation record and checkmark the Value to set it to True.
  5. Click Master Data Transfer - Enable Receive Automation record and checkmark the Value to set it to True.
  6. Click Master Data Transfer - Unique Import Key Value, and then click Generate Value.
    • Copy this value and paste it into the matching record the other environment 
  7. Click Master Data Transfer - User name on Receiving System and enter your username.
    • Copy this value and paste it into the matching records on the other environment

The grid will look similar to this:


When the setup is completed:

  1. Click Maintenance > Master Data Export > Add New Record.
  2. Name your file and select the tables to transfer.
  3. Click the Push button at the bottom of the window.
  4. The Scheduled Tasks will indicate Passed when the transfer is complete.


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