Topic: Monitoring the import process and troubleshooting issues

Topic type:

Part of the Import Guide. What happens after the import and tips on troubleshooting if things go wrong.

Part of the Import Guide. Based on a guide originally written for Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoa.


If things have gone according to plan, Kete will give a webpage that is periodically updated with the number and type of records that have been processed. Eventually it will be updated with the "All records processed" message and the total number of records in the import.

A quick way to check that your data was imported correctly is to click the Browse link located at the top of the page to see if you expected results are now in the system. 

For large imports, completing the import may take hours.


If you have a large amount of data to import, consider splitting it into multiple imports spread over time, perhaps importing a thousand items a week for ten weeks, rather than doing all 10,000 at once. This allows you to give the feeling that your site continues to grow with new material and that it is gaining momentum. It also gives your users a chance to explore the items without being intimidated by massive numbers.

Stopping the import early

If, after starting the import, you decide that you need to stop it, you may use the Stop Import Early button. This will terminate the import, but it won't clear any items that have already been imported. You may need to delete these manually from their item detail pages or speak to a system administrator about deleting them in bulk.

If the import fails

If something goes wrong with the import, you should receive a "There was a problem with the import: ... The import has been stopped" message. This message will contain an error report from the Kete site. This report is sometimes quite cryptic. You should report this error to your system administrator and they will consult the technical log to see if the cause can be determined. These problems can stem from missing data (a missing file for an image import) or the data being invalid (unformatted text when a date value is expected) for a particular field in Kete. You, or your system administrator, may have to adjust a particular piece of data accordingly. 

Your system administrator should do the following:

  1. consult log/backgroundrb...log file to see what it reports
  2. fix the data in records.xml (possibly by fixing the data and then re-exporting it from Excel and thus creating a new records.xl.xml in which case delete records.xml file) or under the files folder if necessary
  3. if you find that the records that were reported as imported don't show up on the browse results page your system administrator may need to Rebuild search databases as outlined here

After that you may retry the import. Any previous items that have been imported will be skipped and Kete will start importing where it left off before the failure.

If you are unable to determine the cause of the issue, it may be a problem with the Kete software. Please report it at

Previous: Choosing your import options

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Monitoring the import process and troubleshooting issues by Walter McGinnis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License