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Workday® Inbound EIB Integrations, an Introduction (Part 1)

An interesting presentation I saw on the most recent airing of "The Sharing Show" was on the topic of loading Budget Pools. This is accomplished with a custom report and an EIB Integration.

The Enterprise Interface Builder (EIB) integration is one way of importing or loading data into Workday®, without the need of extensive programming expertise. Other tools are also used to import data, including iLoad® (for Implementers) and other forms of inbound integrations. EIBs can also be purposed for export/outbound data.

While Budget Pool imports are a bit unique, many other EIB templates (examples) are available to load various data such as New Hires, Supervisory Organizations, Job Profiles, Cost Centers, etc. Using EIBs is a quick method of getting bulk data into Workday® but clients should not consider it “quick and easy”. EIBs are finicky, error messages are often cryptic, and many caveats need to be considered. Set up and usage for EIBs can be found on Community here.


  • Generate Template with Data: Some, but not all, EIB templates allow creation with existing WD data using filters.

  • Spreadsheet “like” templates: Templates generated in XML or XLSX formats.

  • Wide range of Web Services: HCM, Payroll, Absence, Staffing, Benefits, Recruiting…

  • Loading to Business Processes: Hire, Create WD Account, Create Position, Change Job…; Automatic or Manual settings.

  • Editable templates: Change Reference ID Type, Hide Columns, Override Values.

  • Multiple data sources: Attachment, FTP/SSL, REST URL, & SFTP.

  • Variety of Transformations: Template, ACH, XSLT & others.


  • Size limits: Reference

  • Cryptic error messaging: e.g. Validation error occurred. Invalid Subelement Auto_Complete-urn:com.workday/bsvc for element [element name].

  • Learning curve: It can be high and is dependent on the complexity of the EIB.

  • Caveats: Processing parameters, BP Security, Rescind and Cancel loads, saving a template as XLS, over-writing existing templates.

Reference IDs

Reference IDs are commonly used with EIB integrations. One task that clients should be familiar with is View Reference IDs:

Reference IDs enable users to configure exclusive identifiers. Business objects can have 1 + reference IDs. Reference IDs consist of a:

  • Type: Classifies the business object.

  • Value: Identifies the instance of a business object.

EIB templates use column labels of Reference ID Type, in conjunction with the Business Object UI labels. Here the difference is Cost Center vs. Organization_Reference_ID. The template column would be populated with the Reference ID Value. An error thrown in an EIB would use Reference ID Type usually. Viewing a template example, the Reference ID Type is shown in the Format row.

Tips for working in Excel with EIB Templates

  • Ensure the format is maintained, do not save the template as XLS.

  • Use caution when using copy/paste, data can be corrupted.

  • Create a naming sequence or convention for templates to avoid reloading an errored template.

  • If an edited template is necessary, create a new EIB.

  • Take note of “Required” versus “Optional” column labels.

Executing EIBs Tips

  • Always use a non-production tenant to do test loads.

  • Use Validate Only first when in a production tenant.

  • Automatic processing instruction bypasses notifications and approvals for BP EIBs.

  • Create a proper security profile to use EIBs.

  • Setup BP Security to be able to load & rescind loads.

  • Use the Add Errors to Attachment option.

  • The Process Monitor allows review of all EIB details, files, errors, messaging, etc.

  • Be patient, your first attempt may not be successful.

Contact us for more information or support for EIBs and other Integration insights.

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