CSV Formatting, Need Ideas / Solution


#1

As Airtable works towards a reporting function ;), I have been working towards using the “Download CSV” out of a table and importing it into an old database I used to use,(Brilliant Database) from here I generate my reports. The program has its own build in Parser / Report Module and makes the whole process very quick and easy to use, from the time I import the data to Print the report its less than minute.
I,ve ran into a bit of a road block, let me explain.

When Airtable exports data, it uses a comma to separate field values.
Example Below

Fred Wilson,Red,Checked,Today is a good day
MR T,Not Checked,Yesterday,It snowed

The above example is very easy to “Parse” just use the comma in the query.

  • What happens is, if the user uses a , any where in the field the exported data will now be enclosed in Quotes.
    Example Below

Fred Wilson,Red,Checked,"Today is a good day, but too cold"
MR T, Not Checked,Yesterday,It Snowed

Now because the Parser is set to follow a set procedure, only look for commas to separate fields, it gets confused when it encounters quotes.
Many programs I’ve used over the past gave me the option to export CSV, field values enclosed in Quotes and separated by commas, easy to Parse because it knows what its looking for.

As long as I watch the way I enter my data into Airtable, then the Quotations are not an issue. But when you have many submitting form data into the program, it becomes very time consuming “Cleaning Up” the data before exporting.

Idea’s anyone ?
Any simple solutions?
Perhaps and option to enclose all values in Quotes?

D


#2

Airtable uses standard CSV notation for the export. Your old db may have a special function to import a CSV w/o using a separate parser module. If not, you could write a simple script that read the CSV, removed all commas, quotes and newlines from all values and wrote it to a file so that your parser would be happy.

Alex


#3

Thanks Alexander for the reply,

Instead of the average user, like myself, having to write a script to strip out characters, then import it into excel / Access/ or what ever program they use, would it not be just as simple to have each field enclosed in quotations, seperated by commas, and a Line Break at the end on the Record such as Logmedo does. Most programs i,ve used over the last 20 years, database / spreadsheets have no problem importing this basic CSV data that has been enclosed in quotes. At least give us the option

Dan