Lookup tables

Lookup tables (AKA cross reference tables) enable users to quickly and easily lookup frequently used data that is static and immutable.

Data in lookup tables is typically organized like a database table, with columns and rows of data. You can lookup an entry within the specified lookup table by using:

  • Any column
  • Multiple columns

For example, if I'm trying to move accounting entries from my sales app into my accounting app i.e. Salesforce to Intacct, I might find that both departments are using different account codes internally. In order to ensure data is synced accurately from Salesforce into Intacct, I would need to take the account codes from Salesforce, find the matching codes in Intacct, and create the Intacct accounting entries using the corresponding Intacct account codes. In the following table, any Salesforce entries coming in with the code 34267 will be written into Intacct under the code 6754.

Example lookup table Lookup table with the account ID in Salesforce, account ID in Intacct, and the account names

Some other scenarios where you might need lookup tables:

  • Given a city name, you want to get the zip code
  • Given a metric unit, you want to convert to SI for distances
  • Given a department and rank, you want to retrieve vacation accrual rates

Lookup tables are enabled only for certain plans. Check the Pricing and Plans page or reach out to Workato sales representatives at +1 (844) 469-6752 to find out more.

Setting up your lookup tables

There are three ways to upload data into your lookup tables:

  • Import an existing CSV file
  • Add new entries manually
  • Add new entries via a recipe

Note: Lookup tables are immutable and the existing entries cannot be modified or deleted.

Importing an existing CSV file

The GIF below walks you through the process of creating a lookup table and loading it with data imported from a CSV file.

Lookup1 Creating a new lookup table and importing a CSV file

Adding new entries manually

You can manually enter additional lookup table entries.

Lookup2 Click on the Add new entry button

Lookup3 A new blank row will be generated for values to be entered

Adding new entries via a recipe

There is a Lookup table connector that allows you to automate your work with lookup tables. This connector supports adding of new entries via a recipe.

Using the lookup table connector

The Lookup table utility connector allows you to work with your tables via recipes. This connector supports the following actions:

  • Lookup entry
  • Search entries
  • Add entry

Add entry action

Add a new entry to an existing lookup table. You can use this action to keep your lookup tables updated, e.g. read newly created job titles from your human resources application and create a new entry for that job title in your lookup table.

Lookup7 Select the lookup table to write to and then input the values to provide for each cell of the row

Lookup entry action

The lookup entry action allows you to search for an entry (a row in the lookup table) by any of its values. The lookup entry action behaves like a search and retrieves a single entry. The first matching entry depends on the values passed in. If you have duplicate entries (i.e. your lookup will return more than one entry), only one entry will be retrieved.

In the example below, we have a table called Vacation Rules with 4 columns - vacation type, department ID, job code and job title.

Lookup5 Using the lookup entry action in the recipe

In the following gif, we configure the lookup entry table to search for a specific row that matches the values we have (in that job) for department ID and job code. In the subsequent step, we can see what's returned - a single entry with all 4 available values. If we were looking for the corresponding vacation type and job title, we can use those datapills from the datatree.

The following gif walks you through the flow of configuring the lookup entry action to retrieve a matching entry.

Lookup6 Configuring the action to lookup entries with the matching job title and job code

Search entries action

The search entries action works similarly to the lookup action. The main difference between them is that lookup action returns a single entry whereas the search entries action returns a list of entries.

Use this if you expect a list of matching entries to be returned, and wish to process the list accordingly.

Update entry action

Updates an entry to an existing lookup table. This action requires the Entry ID to be mapped. You can retrieve the Entry ID from actions such as "Search Entries", "Add entry" and "Lookup Entry" action.

Lookup8 Using the Update entry action to update Jean's account status to closed

Delete entry action

Deletes an entry in the specified lookup table by using the Entry ID.

For this example, the Entry ID is being retrieved from the Search action.

Lookup9 Using the delete entry action to delete Jeans data in the table Account

Truncate table

Instead of deleting all entries one by one in the lookup table, the truncate table action deletes all entries from the specified lookup table. Using this action cannot be undone.

In the example below, we are deleting all entries in the table Weekday

Truncate table Using truncate table action to delete all 7 entries in the table Weekday

Lookup table formulas

Instead of using an action step to carry out the entry lookup, you can also use a formula to lookup entries in your lookup table. This is as efficient as the lookup action and can be done within the input field without requiring additional actions.

To use the formula, set the input field to formula mode, and enter the formula in this format:

lookup(table name,column name for search: data pill)[column name for result]

Performing lookup on in memory table

Output of search entries can be used as in memory lookup table. In memory lookup function is useful when a recipe invokes the lookup function on the same lookup table 1000s of times.

To use the lookup formula on a in memory table, set the input field to formula mode, and enter the formula in this format:

lookup(entries pill from search entries action,column name for search: data pill)[column name for result]

lookup formula Using the lookup table formula to lookup days of the week entry in table Weekday


Each lookup table supports up to 5 columns of data. Each column can be used as a key to lookup the entry.

Lookup4 Maximum of 5 data columns available

There is a maximum of 5000 entries per lookup table.

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