Executing Workflows

Step 1: Select workflow

Step 1 requires the user to select the workflow to be executed. Use the drop-down box to select the type of data processing you wish to perform. These available workflow choices are specific to your organization.

Selecting a workflow will update the display with the following information:

  • Description: An overview of the selected workflow
  • Input Layout: The expected input file requirements for the selected workflow
  • Output Layout: The output data structure that will be generated by the workflow
  • Pricing: The expenses associated with executing a workflow request
  • Parameters: Some workflows may be customized before execution. For these workflows, the “Parameters” tab will display form elements allowing you to set parameters.

Step 2: Upload file

Step 2 requires the user to upload a file as input to the workflow. Most workflows require that the input file meet published layout requirements. Review the “Input Layout” tab in Step 1 for these requirements before uploading data.

  • Click “Choose File”
  • Browse to prepared file
  • Wait for file upload
  • Proceed to Step 3

TargetSmart's automation workflows only accepts .CSV and tab-delimited .TXT files.

Step 3: File and layout review

Step 3 gives the user an opportunity to review the data that was uploaded in Step 2.

The following tabs are available to the user:

  • File Details: Confirm the workflow type, input file name, delimiter, etc.
  • Data Grid: Review a sample of the input file in a tabular view (Only available for text files)
  • Raw Data: Review a sample of the input file as raw text (Only available for text files)
  • Expected Layout: A reminder of the expected input requirements for the selected workflow. Use the other tabs to verify the requirements are met before proceeding

After confirming the details, proceed to Step 4

Step 4: Confirm and submit

Step 4 gives the user a final chance to review before executing the workflow.

  • Click “Submit” when ready to perform data processing
  • Enter optional tracking or purchase order information


Upon workflow submission, expect the following:

  • You will receive a workflow start email notification
  • Upon workflow completion, you will receive a success or error email

If the workflow execution is successful, return to the Automation landing page and click the “Download Output” button. Workflow file results are stored in the automation folder of your secure file transfer account (see Secure file transfer).

Automation workflow runtimes will vary depending on a number of factors, such as file size, server load, etc. If you believe you are expecting longer than usual runtimes for your job, please reach out to TargetSmart Support.

If the workflow fails, inspect the email notification for the error message. In some cases the error will be due to improper preparation of the input data file. The error message will detail any file format issues. In this case, revisit the file preparation and resubmit the workflow request. The Automation support staff is notified when workflows fail and will resolve any errors related to the workflow logic or our infrastructure.

Common Error Messages

Below are some of the common error messages you may see, and how to avoid them. If your error message is not listed below please reach out to TargetSmart Support

Incorrect number of fields for record 1. Expected [number of fields in input layout]. Found [number of fields in file]: This error will occur when the input layout of your file does not match the expected input format for the workflow. Edit your file to have the correct number of columns in the correct order and resubmit. You can view the expected input layout in Step 1 and 3.

Line contains NULL byte: You have submitted an Excel file into the system. TargetSmart’s automation tool only accepts .CSV’s and tab-delimited .TXT files. Convert your file into one of those formats and resubmit.