I don't know if this can be done or not, but I need an answer ASAP please. I created a Tracking Data Extract activity that includes just "Extract Status Changes" for 7 days. According to documentation, tracking extracts are automatically compressed so I have the file extension as .zip. I created a File Transfer activity that places that file on the ExactTarget FTP. I also created an Import activity to import that file to a data extension. I will eventually create an automation to run all of this and some other activities but for testing this, I just created a Program activity with the Step1 = Data Extract, Step 2 = File Transfer, and Step 3 = Import. When I run this it creates the zip file, puts it on the FTP and then errors on the Import with a "No columns found on input that map to data extensions.." error. I finally boiled it down to that it doesn't appear that the Import extracts the actual csv file that is in the zip file so that it can be imported into the data extension. I need this to be an automated process but I don't see anywhere in the Import activity UI where it lets you specify how you can do this. Am I trying to do the impossible here? Help Please! Thank you!

2 Answers 2


You need to use another File Transfer activity to unzip the file, then you can import the csv.

File Transfer to Unzip File

  • This is great. Thank you so much! The only problem I have now is that when the original Data Extract creates the zipped file, I include wildcards in the filename for the date. The zip filename includes the date but the csv file that is in it doesn't receive the wildcards in the filename. So when I run the 2nd File Transfer to unzip it, the resulting filename is always "StatusChange.csv". I don't see any place on the unzip File Transfer UI where I can specify any wildcards for that unzipped filename. Do you have any ideas on resolving that? Thanks again!!!! Jun 2, 2014 at 20:13
  • 1
    Unfortunately you cannot do this. Your import filename should just be StatusChange.csv. If your program runs all the way to the import step, you know your StatusChange.csv file is current and at this point you don't really need a wildcard. You can also set the File Transfer Qualifications to fail the file transfer if the file is too old, which may help in certain cases.
    – Jon Sakas
    Jun 2, 2014 at 20:17

You can do this. What you're forgetting is the file transfer activity. So, the process would be (set up in either a program or in Automation Studio).

  1. DE extract activity

  2. File Transfer Activity, moving ZIP out of safe house

  3. File Transfer Activity AGAIN, moving it back into the safe house. This is required to unzip and/or decrypt. It needs to end up in yourFTPsite/Import

  4. Import activity to Data Extension.

NOTE: Where most people go wrong is the FTA's are not looking in the right place. The Import Activity needs the file to be in the Import folder on your FTP site, and it needs to be unzipped in order to work. If the FTA did not do this, it won't work. You can create these locations in the Admin tab, under File Locations.

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