Bulk Upload

AlfBI enables the bulk upload of metadata via a CSV file, allowing users the ability to make mass changes to nodes within Alfresco.

This includes:

  • Property values such as filename and description
  • (From 2.1.0 onwards) Tags
  • (From 2.1.0 onwards) Node Paths
  • (From 2.3.0 onwards) Node Versions (With the Version Module)

Rather than manually making a CSV file, you can use metabase to generate the CSV file for you.

CSV Requirements

The CSV file does have some requirements around what is needed to be successful:

  • Within the CSV document, the first row should be the title of the columns that are in use.
  • Column titles should use underscores instead of colons (i.e, cm_name instead of cm:name).
  • sys_node-uuid needs to be present

The simplest way to generate a CSV file is to use metabase.

Mandatory Fields

The only mandatory field is the UUID of the node. This column should be titled either sys_node-uuid or uuid.

If there is no column for UUID then the bulk upload will not take place, as it won't be able to determine what node to act upon.

Property Fields

Bulk Upload will only change values that are present in the CSV file, so if you want to change any property, then you will need to include this as a column when outputting from metabase. For instance if you want to change the name of a document, then you should include a column called cm_name.

Bulk Upload will not update values that aren't changed, so you can re-run the same CSV a few times if you want to do minor adjustments.

Special Fields

As of version 2.1.0 there are two special fields: path and tags. The path field allows you to move nodes to another location, and the tags field allow you to update the tags of the node.

As of version 2.3.0, with the Version Module installed you can adjust the version label of the node to a new value.


Tags are changed using the special tags field. Simply enter in the name of the tags you want, seperated by a | (pipe) character.

Example Tags

For example, if you want to have a node with two tags: first and second, then enter this value:

Clearing Tags

To clear a node of all tags, simply provide it as an empty value and the tags will be cleared.

Node Path

You can bulk move nodes by using the path field. Paths always start with /Company Home and individual folders are seperated by the / character.

Bulk Upload will auto-create folders if it can, or reuse existing ones if they are present.

Path Example

As an example, a node in an Example Site's document library would have a path like the following:

/Company Home/Sites/example-site/documentLibrary

Changing this value will move the node, creating folders on the fly.

So if we wanted to move nodes to a folder called Example Folder within Example Site the path would be:

/Company Home/Sites/example-site/documentLibrary/Example Folder

Versions Labels

Versions can be adjusted on nodes if you have the version module installed. There are some restrictions around this though:

  • Due to the way Alfresco handles versioning, you cannot add a lower version. I.e, if your document version is 1.1 you can't set it to 1.0
  • As per the version module, you must use positive numbers, so a version label such as 1.a won't work.
Version Example

Say you want to update all documents to version 3. You can simply add the following value in the CSV file in the cm_versionLabel column:



Usage is broken down into the following steps:

  • Exporting via CSV: Using metabase, you can export a copy of the metadata of each node. You can also filter down, only selecting the nodes and rows you want to have.
  • Editing the CSV: You can edit CSV in any spreadsheet program such as Excel or LibreOffice.
  • Importing via CSV: You can import via CSV by navigating to the admin tools.

Exporting via CSV

You can either use Metabase to export CSV files:

  • Navigate to Metabase, either via the Reports button within the Alfresco Share header if you have a custom install, via the URL provided
  • Select New Question and then choose the Documents table underneath the Alfresco database
  • Select Get Answer:


  • Use the download Download icon to download on the right, selecting CSV as the type

Editing the CSV

You can open edit the CSV just like a normal spreadsheet file using Excel or LibreOffice. Take care that the saved CSV file still meets the above CSV requirements when you have finished editing.

Importing via CSV

Importing via CSV is done by a System administrator via the Share front end:


To Import follow these steps:

  • Navigate to Admin Tools
  • Select Metadata Bulk Upload from the tools section
  • Choose your CSV file and click Upload
  • Results of your changes and any errors will appear within a table