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Import CSV File To DB >> BUT >> Have Import Path Be Defined By User

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  • Import CSV File To DB >> BUT >> Have Import Path Be Defined By User


    [B]1.[/B] Import a csv file of "clients"
    [B]2.[/B] Before Import I would like to have each column in the csv be mapped via the user who is importing to the correct column. 
          >>Possibly a [B]"custom list"[/B] which gets fed by the spreadsheet the dynamic data and then I can input my static data
          >>They choose from the static data what maps correctly to their spreadsheet data in the "Custom List"
          >>Extra columns have to be ignored and the fields to import into can't be duplicated.
    [B]3.[/B] Then the user clicks a button to Successfully Import to the database.
    Because I would like to have the user be able to not have to reformat their spreadsheet, no matter where they get it from.

    I don't even know where to start, so any help would be appreciated.

    Last edited by RankFirstPro; 06-23-2015, 03:30 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Import CSV File To DB >> BUT >> Have Import Path Be Defined By User

    I have done this using two methods (it was a lot of work):

    1) import in to a static table with fields named field_1, field_2, etc all varchar fields of ample length. You do not actually put their values in specific columns, you just import the whole thing in the orderof the CSV. Then provide a table that lists all "field_1, field_2", etc in order where for each column they set the "friendly name" from a dropdown of predefined names. Now column named field_1 might have a friendly name of First_Name. Throughout your app you need to ensure the friendly name is used -- as far as the user is concerned, the column is named First_Name, even though it is really named field_1.

    2) second method actually does move data to specified columns. You import the whole CSV into a temp table (I actually counted the columns in the CSV file and created a temp import table on the fly with the required number of columns.) Your user can look at this raw imported data and then again set for each column in the imported file, designate the destination column name. They have to be able to look at the raw data to ensure they have things like Dates in proper format. They click a button to continue and it copies the data from the temp table to the destination table, moving columns as needed. This option is fraught with difficulty because the user's data will likely be flawed and not go neatly into a pre-defined table with fields of different length (e.g., their First_name might be longer than whatever field length you provide for that field.
    Steve Wood
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    • #3
      Re: Import CSV File To DB >> BUT >> Have Import Path Be Defined By User

      Originally posted by Steve Wood View Post
      I have done this using two methods (it was a lot of work):

      This option is fraught with difficulty because the user's data will likely be flawed and not go neatly into a pre-defined table with fields
      We do a similar process a lot. We get Ftp feeds from large suppliers and extract SKU Description Price and on hand to a database. Some suppliers are very casual using "," that can displace CSV columns; sometimes the first few rows are untidy. In short even though we understand the database structure we still make errors, on the first attempt, because of the quality of the CSV.

      We have the luxury of remapping as and when the errors are discovered. I would try to get a standard spreadsheet at point of entry. Otherwise as Steve points out it is a massive amount of coding with no real guarantee of clean data.



      • #4
        Re: Import CSV File To DB >> BUT >> Have Import Path Be Defined By User

        Thanks guys for your input...

        I feel like errors can be handled as they come up IE: if a comma is a problem then we get rid of the comma in a pre-process event. Even if they can't I feel like it will be a lot less complicated to import this way, rather than having to pre-define a csv when they already have one setup.

        [B]What about importing the csv as a variable in json format:[/B] 
        Is this possible with Alpha?
        Once the json format is available we can feed a "Custom List" which would give the user the ability to map the fields and then import officially from there.

        I'm sure it's not that easy, but I figured I'd throw it out there just in case. Would appreciate your feedback


        • #5
          Re: Import CSV File To DB >> BUT >> Have Import Path Be Defined By User

          I also just found this code: I just don't know where to start, I think the csv will still have to be uploaded and then read into a variable and then handled. But if there was a way to just read the file that would be awesome.