CSV excel import

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CSV excel import

Sylvain Pointeau
I understood from the mailing list, that CSV is not a defined format, then
let's propose another format, well defined, the Excel one (which is in my
experience a format to is good every time I had to exchange CSV files).

Then why don't you propose an import of CSV from Excel (or similar)?
csv(excel)

is it possible? in a lot of cases, I cannot use sqlite (executable) because
of the lack of a good CSV import. It would really great if this could be
addressed.

Best regards,
Sylvain
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Re: CSV excel import

Richard Hipp-3
On 7/30/15, Sylvain Pointeau <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I understood from the mailing list, that CSV is not a defined format, then
> let's propose another format, well defined, the Excel one (which is in my
> experience a format to is good every time I had to exchange CSV files).
>
> Then why don't you propose an import of CSV from Excel (or similar)?
> csv(excel)
>
> is it possible? in a lot of cases, I cannot use sqlite (executable) because
> of the lack of a good CSV import. It would really great if this could be
> addressed.
>

An Excel-to-SQLite converter utility sounds like it would be a great
open-source project.  Why don't you start it up?
--
D. Richard Hipp
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Re: CSV excel import

Luuk
On 30-7-2015 20:07, Richard Hipp wrote:

> On 7/30/15, Sylvain Pointeau <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> I understood from the mailing list, that CSV is not a defined format, then
>> let's propose another format, well defined, the Excel one (which is in my
>> experience a format to is good every time I had to exchange CSV files).
>>
>> Then why don't you propose an import of CSV from Excel (or similar)?
>> csv(excel)
>>
>> is it possible? in a lot of cases, I cannot use sqlite (executable) because
>> of the lack of a good CSV import. It would really great if this could be
>> addressed.
>>
>
> An Excel-to-SQLite converter utility sounds like it would be a great
> open-source project.  Why don't you start it up?
>

+1

Except for the fact that "CSV is not a defined format"......

It's not a defined format because:
1) CSV is an acornym for 'Comma Separated Values'

2) There are countries in the world which use a comma ',' as a decimal
separator

3) Excel (or Microsoft) decided to use the ';' as a separator in case
the decimal separator is a ','



Defined would be:
1) All numeric values have a decimal separator (if the are decimals )
2) All text values are enclosed in double quotes (to make sure a ','
containted in a text is not seen as a separator. And special treatment
is provided for the double quoot in the text.
3) Some definition might be needed about line endings (CR, CRLF, LF)





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Re: CSV excel import

Sylvain Pointeau
In reply to this post by Richard Hipp-3
On Thu, Jul 30, 2015 at 8:07 PM, Richard Hipp <[hidden email]> wrote:

> > Then why don't you propose an import of CSV from Excel (or similar)?
> > csv(excel)



>

An Excel-to-SQLite converter utility sounds like it would be a great
> open-source project.  Why don't you start it up?
> --
> D. Richard Hipp
> [hidden email]


I have made a lot of utilities for sqlite, and one of them is a csv2db for
sqlite.

it is not so practical because:
- it needs to be recompile for the platform (windows in my case and I
didn't have any compiler)
- the program is external to the sqlite3 CLI, therefore we need to mix sql
script and bash scripts.

but I can give you the source code if you want, it is however written in
c++.
actually it was available in gitorious but it closed. I have to find time
to make it again available on github.

My point is that I have seen so many emails regarding this incorrect csv
import, that it would be so easy for us if it just simply works in the CLI
and delivered in standard in the sqlite3 executable.

Best regards,
Sylvain
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Re: CSV excel import

Bernardo Sulzbach
In reply to this post by Richard Hipp-3
I can remember two times when my life would have been easier if I
could throw big .ods into sqlite3 dbs. So I would also like such a
project.
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Re: CSV excel import

Sylvain Pointeau
In reply to this post by Luuk
On Thu, Jul 30, 2015 at 8:17 PM, Luuk <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 30-7-2015 20:07, Richard Hipp wrote:
>
>> On 7/30/15, Sylvain Pointeau <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>> I understood from the mailing list, that CSV is not a defined format,
>>> then
>>> let's propose another format, well defined, the Excel one (which is in my
>>> experience a format to is good every time I had to exchange CSV files).
>>>
>>> Then why don't you propose an import of CSV from Excel (or similar)?
>>> csv(excel)
>>>
>>> is it possible? in a lot of cases, I cannot use sqlite (executable)
>>> because
>>> of the lack of a good CSV import. It would really great if this could be
>>> addressed.
>>>
>>>
>> An Excel-to-SQLite converter utility sounds like it would be a great
>> open-source project.  Why don't you start it up?
>>
>>
> +1
>
> Except for the fact that "CSV is not a defined format"......
>
> It's not a defined format because:
> 1) CSV is an acornym for 'Comma Separated Values'
>
> 2) There are countries in the world which use a comma ',' as a decimal
> separator
>
> 3) Excel (or Microsoft) decided to use the ';' as a separator in case the
> decimal separator is a ','
>
>
for instance, in H2, the CSV reader works wonderfully well.
we can define in H2, but also in sqlite the column separator.

Well as I said, CSV might not be a defined format, but it is probably not
the excuse to not import it correctly. For now in sqlite, quoted text stays
quoted after the import. How do you want us to work correctly with this
result? honestly.

Best regards,
Sylvain
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Re: CSV excel import

Bernardo Sulzbach
In reply to this post by Bernardo Sulzbach
> My point is that I have seen so many emails regarding this incorrect csv import, that it would be so easy for us if it just simply works in the CLI and delivered in standard in the sqlite3 executable.

I don't think I understand what you mean by this. Also, most of the
problems seems to arise from the fact that CSV is just too weakly
specified. See how better defined JSON is and how it solves a lot of
problems (not suggesting JSON here).
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Re: CSV excel import

Sylvain Pointeau
On Thu, Jul 30, 2015 at 8:32 PM, Bernardo Sulzbach <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> > My point is that I have seen so many emails regarding this incorrect csv
> import, that it would be so easy for us if it just simply works in the CLI
> and delivered in standard in the sqlite3 executable.
>
> I don't think I understand what you mean by this. Also, most of the
> problems seems to arise from the fact that CSV is just too weakly
> specified. See how better defined JSON is and how it solves a lot of
> problems (not suggesting JSON here).
>

JSON is not an option when we are working with business people. Excel is
their only  tool to review and modify data so we need to import and export
CSV. Honestly direct excel import/export would be even better but CSV is
fine too and largely simpler.

for instance, H2 worked wonderfully well for all excel import. why is it
unreasonable to ask for the same in sqlite?
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Re: CSV excel import

Adam DeVita
In reply to this post by Bernardo Sulzbach
Instead of trying to conform to MS-Excel's csv format, wouldn't it be
better to write an import from .xls (or .ods if that is an open
standard) directly?

That way each cell's value can be bound to a position holder in a
query.  No more fussing with "In this country we use this symbol to
denote decimals", "my data has special characters or line feeds inside
a cell" etc.

regards,
Adam


On Thu, Jul 30, 2015 at 2:32 PM, Bernardo Sulzbach
<[hidden email]> wrote:

>> My point is that I have seen so many emails regarding this incorrect csv import, that it would be so easy for us if it just simply works in the CLI and delivered in standard in the sqlite3 executable.
>
> I don't think I understand what you mean by this. Also, most of the
> problems seems to arise from the fact that CSV is just too weakly
> specified. See how better defined JSON is and how it solves a lot of
> problems (not suggesting JSON here).
> _______________________________________________
> sqlite-users mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://mailinglists.sqlite.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/sqlite-users



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Re: CSV excel import

Peter Aronson-3
In reply to this post by Sylvain Pointeau
Actually there exists an open source tool that convert Excel data into SQLite tables -- the ogr2ogr command line tool of OSGeo's GDAL library (http://www.gdal.org/).  You do need a version of GDAL built with the SQLite and XLSX and/or XLS drivers.  Actually, if you don't mind adding SpatiaLite into the mix, you can make your spreadsheets show up a virtual tables using the VirtualOGR module.
Peter


     On Thursday, July 30, 2015 11:37 AM, Sylvain Pointeau <[hidden email]> wrote:
   
 

 On Thu, Jul 30, 2015 at 8:32 PM, Bernardo Sulzbach <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> > My point is that I have seen so many emails regarding this incorrect csv
> import, that it would be so easy for us if it just simply works in the CLI
> and delivered in standard in the sqlite3 executable.
>
> I don't think I understand what you mean by this. Also, most of the
> problems seems to arise from the fact that CSV is just too weakly
> specified. See how better defined JSON is and how it solves a lot of
> problems (not suggesting JSON here).
>

JSON is not an option when we are working with business people. Excel is
their only  tool to review and modify data so we need to import and export
CSV. Honestly direct excel import/export would be even better but CSV is
fine too and largely simpler.

for instance, H2 worked wonderfully well for all excel import. why is it
unreasonable to ask for the same in sqlite?
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Re: CSV excel import

Sylvain Pointeau
In reply to this post by Adam DeVita
On Thu, Jul 30, 2015 at 8:43 PM, Adam Devita <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Instead of trying to conform to MS-Excel's csv format, wouldn't it be
> better to write an import from .xls (or .ods if that is an open
> standard) directly?
>
> That way each cell's value can be bound to a position holder in a
> query.  No more fussing with "In this country we use this symbol to
> denote decimals", "my data has special characters or line feeds inside
> a cell" etc.
>
>
The level of effort is just not the same, you have to deal with an XML
parser and all.
CSV works also well, I had actually no problem at all handling CSV with H2,
I am just asking the same for sqlite.
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Re: CSV excel import

Sylvain Pointeau
In reply to this post by Peter Aronson-3
On Thu, Jul 30, 2015 at 8:44 PM, Peter Aronson <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Actually there exists an open source tool that convert Excel data into
> SQLite tables -- the ogr2ogr command line tool of OSGeo's GDAL library (
> http://www.gdal.org/).  You do need a version of GDAL built with the
> SQLite and XLSX and/or XLS drivers.  Actually, if you don't mind adding
> SpatiaLite into the mix, you can make your spreadsheets show up a virtual
> tables using the VirtualOGR module.
> Peter


really cool, but I would like to have a solution directly in the sqlite3
executable, so it would be available on my mac and on my windows at work as
well as everywhere where sqlite can be installed.
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Re: CSV excel import

Scott Doctor
In reply to this post by Bernardo Sulzbach

A trick that works great most of the time with ODS is when
exporting to CSV select the option to quote all fields. One
problem with CSV is that many exports quote strings but not
numbers. If everything is quoted then it is much simpler to
process. But would need at least several options on the import:

1)  what is the separator token (i.e. is it a comma, or a
period, or a semicolon,...)

2)  what is the decimal token (i.e. is it a period, comma,
other,...)

3)  Should quoted strings keep the quotes or strip the quote
characters during processing

4)  What is the escape sequence for embedding a quote character
within a quoted string

5)  using single or double quote character as the quote token.

As you can see the number of permutations grows very fast to
accommodate the wide variety of ways common programs handle CSV
exports.

On 7/30/2015 11:28 AM, Bernardo Sulzbach wrote:

 > I can remember two times when my life would have been easier if I
 > could throw big .ods into sqlite3 dbs. So I would also like
such a
 > project.
 > _______________________________________________
 > sqlite-users mailing list
 > [hidden email]
 >
http://mailinglists.sqlite.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/sqlite-users
 >
 >


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Re: CSV excel import

Simon Slavin-3
In reply to this post by Sylvain Pointeau

On 30 Jul 2015, at 7:48pm, Sylvain Pointeau <[hidden email]> wrote:

> really cool, but I would like to have a solution directly in the sqlite3
> executable

If you're talking about the SQLite shell tool then Excel import will never be integrated into it.  There's no way to know when Microsoft is going to change or add to their file specification for Excel, and it would oblige the SQLite development team to update the shell tool on an schedule only Microsoft could predict.

By the way, an earlier premise of this thread is incorrect.  CSV is perfectly standard and perfectly documented:

<https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc4180>

The CSV importing part of the SQLite shell tool implements this very well.

Simon.
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Re: CSV excel import

Sylvain Pointeau
In reply to this post by Scott Doctor
Le jeudi 30 juillet 2015, Scott Doctor <[hidden email]> a écrit :

>
> A trick that works great most of the time with ODS is when exporting to
> CSV select the option to quote all fields. One problem with CSV is that
> many exports quote strings but not numbers. If everything is quoted then it
> is much simpler to process. But would need at least several options on the
> import:
>
> 1)  what is the separator token (i.e. is it a comma, or a period, or a
> semicolon,...)
>
> 2)  what is the decimal token (i.e. is it a period, comma, other,...)
>
> 3)  Should quoted strings keep the quotes or strip the quote characters
> during processing
>
> 4)  What is the escape sequence for embedding a quote character within a
> quoted string
>
> 5)  using single or double quote character as the quote token.
>
> As you can see the number of permutations grows very fast to accommodate
> the wide variety of ways common programs handle CSV exports.
>
> On 7/30/2015 11:28 AM, Bernardo Sulzbach wrote:
>
> > I can remember two times when my life would have been easier if I
> > could throw big .ods into sqlite3 dbs.
>

I would like something that works, actually I never could use the import
csv from sqlite, I had to build my own, like probably many others. Why is
it not possible to have a solution directly in sqlite?
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Re: CSV excel import

Roger Binns
In reply to this post by Sylvain Pointeau
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

On 07/30/2015 10:58 AM, Sylvain Pointeau wrote:
> is it possible? in a lot of cases, I cannot use sqlite (executable)
> because of the lack of a good CSV import. It would really great if
> this could be addressed.

Use the APSW shell:

  http://rogerbinns.github.io/apsw/shell.html

Behind the scenes it uses the Python CSV libraries which support a
number of dialects including excel (default) and excel-tab.

The APSW shell also supports an .autoimport command.  It automatically
works out dialects, separators and data types.  Here is the extended help:

==== 8< ====
sqlite> .help autoimport

.autoimport FILENAME ?TABLE?  Imports filename creating a table
                              and automatically working out
                              separators and data types
                              (alternative to .import command)

The import command requires that you precisely pre-setup the
table and schema, and set the data separators (eg commas or
tabs).  In many cases this information can be automatically
deduced from the file contents which is what this command does.
There must be at least two columns and two rows.

If the table is not specified then the basename of the file will
be used.

Additionally the type of the contents of each column is also
deduced - for example if it is a number or date.  Empty values
are turned into nulls.  Dates are normalized into YYYY-MM-DD
format and DateTime are normalized into ISO8601 format to allow
easy sorting and searching.  4 digit years must be used to detect
dates.  US (swapped day and month) versus rest of the world is
also detected providing there is at least one value that resolves
the ambiguity.

Care is taken to ensure that columns looking like numbers are
only treated as numbers if they do not have unnecessary leading
zeroes or plus signs.  This is to avoid treating phone numbers
and similar number like strings as integers.

This command can take quite some time on large files as they are
effectively imported twice.  The first time is to determine the
format and the types for each column while the second pass
actually imports the data.
==== 8< ====

Roger
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Re: CSV excel import

Sylvain Pointeau
In reply to this post by Simon Slavin-3
Le jeudi 30 juillet 2015, Simon Slavin <[hidden email]> a écrit :

>
> On 30 Jul 2015, at 7:48pm, Sylvain Pointeau <[hidden email]
> <javascript:;>> wrote:
>
> > really cool, but I would like to have a solution directly in the sqlite3
> > executable
>
> If you're talking about the SQLite shell tool then Excel import will never
> be integrated into it.  There's no way to know when Microsoft is going to
> change or add to their file specification for Excel, and it would oblige
> the SQLite development team to update the shell tool on an schedule only
> Microsoft could predict.
>
> By the way, an earlier premise of this thread is incorrect.  CSV is
> perfectly standard and perfectly documented:
>
> <https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc4180>
>
> The CSV importing part of the SQLite shell tool implements this very well.
>
> Simon.
>


No it does not implement the rule 5 correctly:

 Each field may or may not be enclosed in double quotes (however
       some programs, such as Microsoft Excel, do not use double quotes
       at all).  If fields are not enclosed with double quotes, then
       double quotes may not appear inside the fields.


Why sqlite keeps the quoted string in the database? Except of this, it
would work well I would say
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Re: CSV excel import

John McKown
In reply to this post by Sylvain Pointeau
On Thu, Jul 30, 2015 at 1:48 PM, Sylvain Pointeau <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, Jul 30, 2015 at 8:44 PM, Peter Aronson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Actually there exists an open source tool that convert Excel data into
> > SQLite tables -- the ogr2ogr command line tool of OSGeo's GDAL library (
> > http://www.gdal.org/).  You do need a version of GDAL built with the
> > SQLite and XLSX and/or XLS drivers.  Actually, if you don't mind adding
> > SpatiaLite into the mix, you can make your spreadsheets show up a virtual
> > tables using the VirtualOGR module.
> > Peter
>
>
> really cool, but I would like to have a solution directly in the sqlite3
> executable, so it would be available on my mac and on my windows at work as
> well as everywhere where sqlite can be installed.
>
>
​I see and understand your desire. But I, personally, don't like the idea.
I really don't want Dr. Hipp and the other developers to be using up their
time trying to put in something that is MS specific. And then trying to
keep it up to date with future, incompatible version of the Excel file
format. I don't use Excel.​

​I normally use LibreOffice. And sometimes even Gnumeric.

​What might be of some, more generic, help would be if the SQLite
executable could do an IMPORT operation from an ODBC source. This could
address your problem because Excel, at least on Windows, supports being
used as an ODBC target. I don't know about the Mac. The plus of this would
be that would open up a standard interface to SQLite which could use many
other sources such as Oracle, PostgreSQL, MariaDB (MySQL), and anything
else which implements an ODBC source interface.​

--

Schrodinger's backup: The condition of any backup is unknown until a
restore is attempted.

Yoda of Borg, we are. Futile, resistance is, yes. Assimilated, you will be.

He's about as useful as a wax frying pan.

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Maranatha! <><
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Re: CSV excel import

Sylvain Pointeau
Le jeudi 30 juillet 2015, John McKown <[hidden email]> a
écrit :

> On Thu, Jul 30, 2015 at 1:48 PM, Sylvain Pointeau <
> [hidden email] <javascript:;>> wrote:
>
> > On Thu, Jul 30, 2015 at 8:44 PM, Peter Aronson <[hidden email]
> <javascript:;>> wrote:
> >
> > > Actually there exists an open source tool that convert Excel data into
> > > SQLite tables -- the ogr2ogr command line tool of OSGeo's GDAL library
> (
> > > http://www.gdal.org/).  You do need a version of GDAL built with the
> > > SQLite and XLSX and/or XLS drivers.  Actually, if you don't mind adding
> > > SpatiaLite into the mix, you can make your spreadsheets show up a
> virtual
> > > tables using the VirtualOGR module.
> > > Peter
> >
> >
> > really cool, but I would like to have a solution directly in the sqlite3
> > executable, so it would be available on my mac and on my windows at work
> as
> > well as everywhere where sqlite can be installed.
> >
> >
> ​I see and understand your desire. But I, personally, don't like the idea.
> I really don't want Dr. Hipp and the other developers to be using up their
> time trying to put in something that is MS specific. And then trying to
> keep it up to date with future, incompatible version of the Excel file
> format. I don't use Excel.​
>
> ​I normally use LibreOffice. And sometimes even Gnumeric.
>
> ​What might be of some, more generic, help would be if the SQLite
> executable could do an IMPORT operation from an ODBC source. This could
> address your problem because Excel, at least on Windows, supports being
> used as an ODBC target. I don't know about the Mac. The plus of this would
> be that would open up a standard interface to SQLite which could use many
> other sources such as Oracle, PostgreSQL, MariaDB (MySQL), and anything
> else which implements an ODBC source interface.​
>
>
My answer saying that I would like to have it in sqlite implied a correct
csv import. In a previous email, I stated that it would be unreasonable to
ask sqlite to have an xml parser etc.
I just need a import of csv that is working well, not more.
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Re: CSV excel import

John McKown
On Thu, Jul 30, 2015 at 2:13 PM, Sylvain Pointeau <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> >
> >
> My answer saying that I would like to have it in sqlite implied a correct
> csv import. In a previous email, I stated that it would be unreasonable to
> ask sqlite to have an xml parser etc.
> I just need a import of csv that is working well, not more.


​My apologies for my misunderstanding. If the CSV import is broken (in that
it does not properly import data which is properly formatted according RCF
4180, https://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc4180.txt), I would​

​consider that a "bug fix" request.​


--

Schrodinger's backup: The condition of any backup is unknown until a
restore is attempted.

Yoda of Borg, we are. Futile, resistance is, yes. Assimilated, you will be.

He's about as useful as a wax frying pan.

10 to the 12th power microphones = 1 Megaphone

Maranatha! <><
John McKown
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