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Introduced with XNAT 1.5, the import service is a customizable upload implementation for importing data into XNAT. XNAT comes with several pre-configured import implementations, but can be configured via java to meet any need.

The import is built to receive a zip, tar.gz, etc and place it into the prearchive or archive space. It has also been modified to import files from the user's cache space, which would have been previously uploaded.


Upload An Image Session

POST /data/services/import



Files are attached in the body of the request. "inbody=true" must be set as a parameter. 


Select An Import Handler

Using the import-handler parameter, you can specify a specific implementation of the import logic. If this parameter is not specified, the default is "SI". 

SIstandard session importer: Used to import individual DICOM or ECAT files or zips of DICOM or ECAT files.  Most of the other parameters below only work with this importer

same implementation as XNAT's integrated DICOM receiver  Accepts individual DICOM files and follows the DICOM receiver mapping/archive logic


similar to the gradual-DICOM but accepts zipped collections of DICOM files  This is used by the Upload Applet


used to upload XAR files (zip files which include the session xml and the associated files)


All Parameters

All parameters are optional, though the 'dest' is highly encouraged


overwrite: defaults to none

  • none: Do not overwrite existing xml or files
  • append: Add content to existing xml & file system, but do not overwrite existing files
  • delete: Upload new data, and overwrite any existing files. 

quarantine: defaults to false

  • false: follow project settings for whether new/modified archive content should go into quarantine
  • true: override project settings and place new/modified archive content in quarantine.

triggerPipelines: defaults to true

  • true: run the AutoRun pipeline for any archived sessions which are modified/created by this import
  • false: Do not run the AutoRun at this time

src: Only used when attempting to import a previously uploaded file. You can specify multiple src attributes or separate them with commas.

  • /user/cache/resources/X/files/

dest: Specifies intended destination. If it is empty, it will review the uploaded content and attempt to put it in the right place (or leave it in the prearchive Unassigned).

  • /prearchive
    • It will try to determine the proper project from the DICOM/ECAT headers.
  • /prearchive/projects/PROJECT
  • /prearchive/projects/PROJECT/timestamp
  • /prearchive/projects/PROJECT/timestamp/session
    • Importing to this url would allow you to merge additional content with previously uploaded content.
  • /archive
    • It will try to determine the proper project from the DICOM/ECAT headers.
  • /archive/projects/PROJECT
  • /archive/projects/PROJECT/subjects/SUBJECT
  • /archive/projects/PROJECT/subjects/SUBJECT/experiments/LABEL
    • Importing to this url would allow you to merge content with previously archived data.

import-handler: defaults to standard import logic

  • free-form text: client can specify a key which the server maps to a different implementation of the import logic.

http-session-listener: used by the web based zip uploader

  •  free-form text: which should uniquely identify this upload process. If this is used, an http-session variable will be created using this text as the attribute ID, and will contain process/status information.

inbody: Used to tell the server that the body of the message is the actual file

  • This shouldn't be necessary if all upload tools set the Content-Type header appropriately.  But, many do not.  If your upload is failing and you can't figure out why, try setting this to true


  • ID of project: For use when not using dest attribute.
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