Why and How to Export a HubDB Table, Edit it, then Import it Back into HubSpot

HubDB table in HubSpot

You’ve got a massive HubDB table that’s the beating heart of your robust resources center. However, you determine that some of your tags and categories need updating based on a refreshed strategy. Your eyes widen and your pulse quickens at the possibility of having to go row by row, cell by individual cell in HubDB to make those changes…

Or, you could export your HubDB table to your preferred spreadsheet application to make those edits. Then you could utilize features like filtering, sorting, find & replace, and others to make those bulk changes more efficiently. Finally, you'd cleanly import your HubDB table back into HubSpot and perhaps unwrap a snack to treat yourself for a job well done.

In the video below I cover at a high level some use cases (like the one above) for when you may want to pull a HubDB table out of HubSpot to edit it. I also walk through the steps for exporting and importing that table, as well as some considerations to be mindful of as you make those updates.

Watch the video and let me know some other use cases where you’ve exported a table for editing and why you preferred making those edits externally!

At the time of this recording, HubDB functionality is available for Marketing Hub Enterprise and CMS Hub Professional and Enterprise. 

 

HubSpot Video

 

TRANSCRIPT

Hey everyone. Adam Stahl, Senior HubSpot Strategist here with Remotish. I wanted to make a follow up video related to HubDB tables, especially after my most recent video about the really exciting updates to the HubDB table beta, which added features like this dedicated row number column as well as the ability to drag and drop row orders within tables themselves.

Wildly exciting. What I mentioned though also was that, you know, in the before times, if you will, or if you weren't in this beta, for example, if you needed to make those things like row changes or changes at scale within a HubDB table, you may need to, one of the options you might pursue is exporting that table and making those changes outside of HubSpot and then importing it back in.

And so I wanted to spend a little time with that today covering, or at least mentioning a few other potential use cases of why you might wanna pull a table outside of HubSpot, make edits, and then import it back in as well as kind of what that process might look like, to sort of demystify it. So where I'm at here is: I've got a sporting goods demo table here for some sporting goods products.

Scenario 1: Make bulk edits to a table

Looks like we have a number of soccer balls for sale, whether that's in a marketplace listing or product listing or storefront.
Something being dynamically populated by the content in this HubDB table. Not uncommon. So two things here that I did was I added tags and category columns that will need to be populated for all of my products.

For example, for tags I'd like to start adding, you know, maybe perhaps a little banner or something on the corner of the featured image that's, you know, whether it's on sale or a best seller or new or something like that. And then for categories, for the sake of filtering or um, searching or um, just bucketing things, I've got them by sport here. So in this case, they’re likely gonna all be soccer, but let's say that this table is two 300 rows long and I'd really prefer not to go down each individual one of these and, and make these changes hand by hand. 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2. So I'm gonna look to export my table, edit, open it and edit it in a spreadsheet application. Bring it back into HubSpot.

Some of the use cases where you might find that you might wanna bring that table outside of HubSpot and some of these are even related to parts of this. One is I've seen very frequently as of late with like you know, learning and resource centers that have hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of pieces of content that are being served either completely dynamically through HubDB or either listings are being served by HubDB actually are those tags and categories perhaps.
You wanna make a slight name or wording change to some of your categories or tags or add some in bulk as well. You can use other features in your spreadsheet application like a find and replace or you know, a filtering and grouping that might give you um, more efficient means of doing those edits at scale in bulk.

Scenario 2: External edits and data validation

Another scenario could be if you have somebody that you need data from for the HubDB table, but they're just not comfortable working in HubDB and that's okay. They might not be comfortable in HubSpot, they might not be comfortable also then in HubDB. So what you can do is you can export this table into a spreadsheet, something they're likely more familiar with.

They can make their data, uh, edits or additions in the spreadsheet table, which they may be more comfortable with. Pass it over to you and then you can validate the data before importing it back into HubSpot. So that's what we're gonna do today. I'm going to look to make some product description and detail changes as well as tag and category changes to most of my table. So where I'm gonna start is clicking actions export, choose a preferred file type. I've already downloaded mine, but once it’s downloaded, you'll then need to either import it or open it in your preferred spreadsheet application, which I have already done in this next tab. So as you can see here, this is my HubDB table in spreadsheet form. I made a few edits to it just based on sizing and freezing the top row just so it looks a little more pleasant as we check it out through video.

But you'll see for example a lot of the same data that's in the hub DB table. So things like the HubSpot ID, the product name, the product image, things like that. You'll also notice a few additional columns that you might not recognize. And I bring that up because HubSpot does maintain, I'll call it “hidden data” related to HubDB tables. That's important to HubSpot internally on the back end, but isn't necessarily showing on the front end. For example, I see like HubSpot Child Table ID here, HubSpot published at here and there's a few others as well.

What I would make a note of here, and stress being mindful of is where and how you're making edits to your HubDB table when it's in this spreadsheet form outside of HubSpot. So for example, unless we have a strong use case to be changing things like HubSpot created at or the child table ID and things like that, we'll likely wanna leave those columns alone.
Or like in my case too, I came here specifically to make changes to product descriptions, product details, tags and categories.

So I'm gonna leave those areas alone as well. I bring that up because when you're bringing data back into HubSpot, there's gonna be two options. One is to add new rows, so don't touch anything that's already there, which is additive, but the other is to replace in which all rows and all data and all rows is replaced, which is the option I'm gonna go with when I do this data import because I'm making changes due most of the rows or if not all the rows.

And so I want to go about that path, but that's going to be inherently more destructive than the additive method, which is again, why we wanna be mindful of where and how we're making changes. Another place where like a replace all would be perhaps desirable is for example, maybe you are prepping data for your HubDB table externally in a spreadsheet while it's being built by a HubSpot developer or one of your own internal developers.

So then what you can do is have your information organized when that table is built, potentially your developer could then export the blank table and then you can move your data over and organize it as needed and then import it back in with that replace function and then have your fresh table.

Scenario 3: Add new HubDB rows

So in my case here I've got three new products that don't have a product description or product details. Maybe they all happen to be the same, which would be very convenient cause then I can just highlight those cells and drag them down and I've immediately made those changes versus potentially in the table, I'd have to click on each cell, open it, maybe copy the other one, close it, open a new cell, paste it and close it, repeat.

And then the case of categories as well. Like I know these are all for soccer, it's the same thing. I can put that one selection in and just drag it down and try not to overshoot my last row. All right, drag it up, you row. But again, the rows populate. And the same thing with tag. So for example, I know I've got new, hot buys, clearance, I've got an on sale, best seller. Yeah, best seller. And we'll do another new row. So in this case also if you have multiple tags, again, like maybe if you're going in and editing and maybe at a whole swath of new products that now are no longer new but maybe they're now hot buys or best sellers, you can make those changes again.

And this is assuming especially like at scale or a very large table here, you could perhaps more easily do something like a a um, a filtering in here or a um, like a sorting that gives you exactly what you're looking for or even like a find and replace option as well that wouldn't be available in the HubDB table.

So with my changes made, I'm then going to either export or download this file. It's important to note here that HubSpot for import will only accept a csv. So I mentioned that because whatever you end up exporting should be. So in this case end Google sheet that's gonna be download. Just make sure that you're choosing a CSV file, whether you're exporting, downloading whatever it is in your respective application.

See, my file is downloaded, so I'm gonna go back over to HubSpot now. So again, this is the current state of our table.
I'm gonna go to actions, import. Again, these are the two options mentioned. So you can add and just add rows from the file to the HubDB table and not touch anything that already exists.

So just additive, not destructive. Perhaps you added a ton of products or content or something like that in bulk. It was just easier to do it in a spreadsheet rather than, you know, click add row, go down the road, click add row, go down the room or replace again. I'm gonna use replace here cause I wanna replace all the rows in the HubDB table rows from the file. This one is inherently destructive. Gonna choose my csv. And then this is gonna be kind of similar if you've ever done import elsewhere in HubSpot, which just basically matches the column headers.

So I've got my page path matched in page path, name match into my page title. These were the here that were, I'll call 'em kinda like hidden field data that aren't inherently columns on my table. So I'm just gonna leave those as blank cuz they're not existing or search in this case cuz they're not in my table. Product name, name, image, image, description, description, detail, detail. And I can see tags and categories there. Tags and categories there.

This all looks good to me so I'm gonna click import again. Are you sure you wanna replace these six rows cuz importing a file cannot be undone in my case. Yep, very comfortable with it. Let's click that finish, import and see where we're at. And now you can see we have all my product description and details as well as all my tags and categories populated as well. So that's how you can export edit in a spreadsheet editor and import your HubDB table and data back into your HubDB table.

I hope you find this valuable and if you have any questions, comments, concerns, conundrums or compliments, please feel free to leave them in the comments on the post. Thanks and have a great day!

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Picture of Adam Stahl Adam Stahl
Adam is a Digital Project Strategist at Remotish. He harnesses almost a decade of HubSpot experience to help drive clients' RevOps and WebOps goals.

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