Using the API to import CSV data with PHP

This example uses the API to import a list of customers, projects and activities from a CSV file.

First create the following composer.json file and run composer install afterwards.

    "name": "kimai/api_demo",
    "require": {
        "guzzlehttp/guzzle": "^7.3",
        "symfony/console": "^5.3",
        "league/csv": "^9.7",
        "ext-json": "*"

Now create a file with the name importer and adjust the KIMAI_API_* constants to your installation:

#!/usr/bin/env php
require __DIR__.'/vendor/autoload.php';

define('KIMAI_API_URL', '');
define('KIMAI_API_USER', 'susan_super');
define('KIMAI_API_PWD', 'api_kitten');

use GuzzleHttp\Client;
use League\Csv\Reader;
use Symfony\Component\Console\Helper\ProgressBar;
use Symfony\Component\Console\Input\InputArgument;
use Symfony\Component\Console\Input\InputInterface;
use Symfony\Component\Console\Input\InputOption;
use Symfony\Component\Console\Output\OutputInterface;
use Symfony\Component\Console\SingleCommandApplication;
use Symfony\Component\Console\Style\SymfonyStyle;

(new SingleCommandApplication())
    ->setName('Kimai - Simple activity importer')
    ->addArgument('file', InputArgument::REQUIRED, 'The CSV file to import')
    ->addOption('delimiter', null, InputOption::VALUE_REQUIRED, 'The delimiter to use (by default comma ",")', ',')
    ->setCode(function (InputInterface $input, OutputInterface $output) {

        $io = new SymfonyStyle($input, $output);

        $file = $input->getArgument('file');
        if (!file_exists($file)) {
            $io->error('Cannot find file: ' . $file);
            return 1;
        if (!is_readable($file)) {
            $io->error('Cannot read file: ' . $file);
            return 2;

        $delimiter = $input->getOption('delimiter');
        if (empty($delimiter)) {
            $io->error('Cannot use empty delimiter');
            return 3;

        $csv = Reader::createFromPath($file, 'r');

        $client = new Client([
            'base_uri' => KIMAI_API_URL,
            'verify' => false,
            'headers' => ['X-AUTH-USER' => KIMAI_API_USER, 'X-AUTH-TOKEN' => KIMAI_API_PWD]

        $customers = 0;
        $projects = 0;
        $activities = 0;
        $customerIds = [];
        $projectIds = [];
        $activityIds = [];

        $doPost = function (Client $client, string $endpoint, array $data) {
            $response = $client->post($endpoint, ['json' => $data]);

            return json_decode($response->getBody(), true);

        $records = iterator_to_array($csv->getRecords());

        $progressBar = new ProgressBar($output, count($records));

        foreach($records as $record) {
            if (!array_key_exists('Customer', $record)) {
                $io->error('Cannot import row, missing field "Customer" in row: ' . implode($delimiter, $record));
                return 4;
            if (!array_key_exists('Project', $record)) {
                $io->error('Cannot import row, missing field "Project" in row: ' . implode($delimiter, $record));
                return 5;
            if (!array_key_exists('Activity', $record)) {
                $io->error('Cannot import row, missing field "Activity" in row: ' . implode($delimiter, $record));
                return 6;

            $customerName = trim($record['Customer']);
            $projectName = trim($record['Project']);
            $activityName = trim($record['Activity']);

            if (!array_key_exists($customerName, $customerIds)) {
                $customer = $doPost($client, 'customers', ['name' => mb_substr($customerName, 0, 150), 'country' => 'IT', 'currency' => 'EUR', 'timezone' => 'Europe/Rome', 'visible' => true]);
                $customerIds[$customerName] = $customer['id'];

            $customerId = (int) $customerIds[$customerName];

            if (!array_key_exists($customerId, $projectIds)) {
                $projectIds[$customerId] = [];

            if (!array_key_exists($projectName, $projectIds[$customerId])) {
                $project = $doPost($client, 'projects', ['name' => mb_substr($projectName, 0, 150), 'customer' => $customerId, 'visible' => true]);
                $projectIds[$customerId][$projectName] = $project['id'];

            $projectId = (int) $projectIds[$customerId][$projectName];

            if (!array_key_exists($projectId, $activityIds)) {
                $activityIds[$projectId] = [];

            if (!array_key_exists($activityName, $activityIds[$projectId])) {
                $activity = $doPost($client, 'activities', ['name' => mb_substr($activityName, 0, 150), 'project' => $projectId, 'visible' => true]);
                $activityIds[$projectId][$activityName] = $activity['id'];



        $io->success('Created ' . $customers . ' customers');
        $io->success('Created ' . $projects . ' projects');
        $io->success('Created ' . $activities . ' activities');

Set execute permission chmod +x importer and start it by passing the filename for your CSV ./importer ~/kimai-import.csv, which should be formatted like this:

DEMO,FOO,A long activity title
DEMO,FOO,Demand management
DEMO,BAR,Software as a service
DEMO,BAR,Video conference 
DEMO,BAR,Sales talk
DEMO,Hello world,I see you
DEMO,Hello world,Testing the API

Calling the API with Javascript

If you develop your own plugin and need to use the API for logged-in user, then you have to set the header X-AUTH-SESSION which will allow Kimai to use the current user session and not look for the default token based API authentication.

Copy & paste this code into a new api.html file and open it in your browser. You can execute some sample requests and see the JSON result.

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
	<meta charset="utf-8">
	<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1, shrink-to-fit=no">
	<title>Kimai - API demo</title>
	<link rel="stylesheet" href="">
	<link rel="stylesheet" href="">
	<link rel="stylesheet" href="">
	<link rel="stylesheet" href="">
	<script src=""></script>
	<script src=""></script>
	<script src=""></script>
	<script src=""></script>
	<script src=""></script>
	<script src=""></script>
		body { display: block; }
		.codePreview { margin-top: 30px; }
        function callKimaiApi(method, successHandler, errorHandler) {
            var domain = $('#inputDomain').val();
            var username = $('#inputEmail').val();
            var password = $('#inputPassword').val();
                url: domain + '/api/' + method,
                type: 'GET',
                beforeSend: function (request) {
                    request.setRequestHeader("X-AUTH-USER", username);
                    request.setRequestHeader("X-AUTH-TOKEN", password);
                headers: {
                    'X-AUTH-USER': username,
                    'X-AUTH-TOKEN': password,
                success: successHandler,
                error: errorHandler

        $(function () {
            $('#loginForm').on('submit', function (event) {
                callKimaiApi('version', function (result) {
                        $('.secret').attr('style', 'display:block');
                        return false;
                    }, function (xhr, err) {
                        $('#loginButton').text('Try again!');
                        $('.secret').attr('style', 'display:none');
                        alert('Error occured, see console for details');
                return false;

            $('button[data-api]').on('click', function (event) {

                var apiMethod = $(this).attr('data-api');
                var breakAttr = $(this).attr('data-attribute-break');

                    function (result) {
                        var jsonBeauty = JSON.stringify(result).trim();
                        if (breakAttr === "true") {
                            jsonBeauty = jsonBeauty.split('","').join('",' + "\n" + '"');
                        jsonBeauty = jsonBeauty.split('},{').join('},' + "\n" + '{');
                        $('.codePreview').attr('style', 'display:block');
                        return false;
                    }, function (xhr, err) {
                        $('#loginButton').text('Sorry, that failed :-(');
                        alert('Error occured, see console for details');
                return false;
<div class="container">
	<form id="loginForm" class="form-signin">
		<div class="text-center mb-4">
			<h1 class="h3 mb-3 font-weight-normal">API Demo</h1>
			<p>Provide your API credentials in the form below</p>
		<div class="form-label-group">
			<input type="url" id="inputDomain" class="form-control" placeholder="" required
				   autofocus value="">
			<label for="inputDomain">Kimai base URL (domain + port)</label>
		<div class="form-label-group">
			<input type="text" id="inputEmail" class="form-control" placeholder="Username" required value="susan_super">
			<label for="inputEmail">Email address</label>
		<div class="form-label-group">
			<input type="password" id="inputPassword" class="form-control" placeholder="Password" required
			<label for="inputPassword">Password</label>
		<button class="btn btn-lg btn-primary btn-block" id="loginButton" type="submit">Sign in</button>
	<div class="row secret" style="display:none">
		<div class="col-sm text-center">
			<button type="button" class="btn btn-primary" data-api="ping" data-attribute-break="true">Ping</button>
			<button type="button" class="btn btn-secondary" data-api="version" data-attribute-break="true">Version</button>
			<button type="button" class="btn btn-primary" data-api="timesheets" data-attribute-break="false">Timesheet</button>
			<button type="button" class="btn btn-primary" data-api="activities" data-attribute-break="false">Activities</button>
			<button type="button" class="btn btn-primary" data-api="projects" data-attribute-break="false">Projects</button>
			<button type="button" class="btn btn-primary" data-api="customers" data-attribute-break="false">Customers</button>
			<button type="button" class="btn btn-secondary" data-api="config/i18n" data-attribute-break="true">i18n</button>
	<div class="row codePreview" style="display:none">
		<pre class="language-json line-numbers" style="white-space: pre-line">
			<code id="apiResult"></code>