Step-By-Step Guide to Creating Reference IDs

Creating Smart Reference IDs during your Workday Implementation

Step 1: Data Collection

In order to build the tenant, Workday implementation partners will provide a data collection template which clients are required to complete. The data collection template is an Excel workbook with several tabs, each representing a logical grouping of conversion items. The completed workbook provides the implementation consultant details on the data that will be loaded into Workday.  It will include specific details on organizations, jobs and positions, compensation plans, time off and leave plans, pay groups and worker employment and personal information.  Each data element in the data workbook is a value of a Workday object.

The data workbook will look like this:


In this example, data is collected on the compensation for each worker.  Each row identifies the worker’s compensation plan, whether the worker is salary or hourly, and whether the worker is eligible for an allowance or bonus plan.  Note, there is not a place to add a reference ID.


Step 2: Add a Column for Smart Reference ID

To add a smart reference ID, insert a column to the left of the value



Step 3: Label the Column Name for the Workday Object



Step 4: Add the Smart Reference ID

Enter the smart reference IDs to each unique value.  Each ID should accurately reflect the meaning of the value it represents.  A best practice is to name a smart reference ID using this guideline:


Avoid using white/blank spaces between words and use title case.  Using capitalization will help to distinguish the reference ID from the other values. Eliminating blank spaces will help avoid problems with integrations or technical programs that may misinterpret blanks between terms. 

Example:  Compensation Smart Reference IDs



Example:  Organization and Job Reference IDs


Avoid acronyms or abbreviations where a person outside your organization would not know or understand the name of the reference ID.  Using full names decreases ambiguity and avoids potential guess work.


Step 5: Transfering the Reference ID and Value to Load into Workday

Implementation consultants will use a Workday provided tool called iLoad to bulk load data into the tenant.  The iLoad tool uses XML based Excel spreadsheets that are similar to the data workbook, but have additional column headings for the object and the object value.  The column headings are named such that the Workday web service will know where to load the value into Workday. 

The iLoad tool is very similar to the customer-provided inbound data loads tool called Enterprise Integration Builder or EIB.  Both use XML Excel templates with reference IDs to load data into Workday.

Example:  iLoad Spreadsheet to Assign Compensation to a Worker with Smart Reference IDs



Example: EIB Spreadsheet to Assign Compensation to a Worker with Smart Reference IDs



Set Smart Reference IDs as Sequence Generators

Workday provides sequence generator configuration to define frequently used reference IDs.  Sequence generators are used to generate a smart reference ID each time a Workday value is created.  However, using sequence generators to create smart reference values is limited to just those objects Workday has enabled.


For all other objects, smart reference IDs will need to maintained manually.


Manually Maintaining Smart Reference IDs

Maintaining reference IDs is a required administrative task.  When new instances of Workday objects are created, the person who created the instance will need to update the reference ID to the smart value as per the following process.

Step 1: Edit Reference ID

After the new instance is created, go to related action icon and select Integration IDs -> Edit Reference ID



Step 2: Manually Add the Smart Reference ID

Add the smart reference ID in the text box, Reference ID Value.


To check whether a reference ID value has been created properly, system administrators can run a report called View Reference ID.


Areas in Workday to use Smart Reference IDs

Here are some strategic areas where smart reference IDs ought to be applied.

Compensation Packages Payment Plans Time Off Plans
Salary Plans Companies Leave Of Absence Plans
Hourly Plans Regions Benefit Plans
Allowance Plans Locations Benefit Covereage Types
Bonus Plans Cost Centers All Sequence ID’s
Commisions plan Supervisory Organizations Pay Groups
Jobs Calculated Fields Earnings/Deduction Codes
Grades and Grade Profiles Business Process Event’s Reasons and Categories Payment Types


It has been shown that creating and maintaining smart reference IDs is a straightforward task. Create them once, and applying them to each implementation tenant is not a difficult task.  It is simple and it will greatly improve your Workday tenant.