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The Import/Export Application

Tags: csv | export | import

CSV Format

Last updated: 15. May 2020
Refers to version: 3.0

The comma-separated values (or CSV; also known as a comma-separated list or comma-separated variables) file format is a file type that stores tabular data (numbers and text) in plain text. The format dates back to the early days of business computing. For this reason, CSV files are common on all computer platforms.

As your Joomla and SobiPro database collation and encoding is UTF-8 based, make sure to save the CSV file as UTF-8 without BOM!
Otherwise special character are not shown correctly.

Each line of the file is a data record. Each record consists of one or more fields, separated by commas. The use of the comma as a field separator is the source of the name for this file format.

CSV is one implementation of a delimited text file, which uses a comma to separate values (where many implementations of CSV import/export tools allow an alternate separator to be used). However CSV differs from other delimiter separated file formats in using a " (double quote) character around fields that contain reserved characters (such as commas or newlines). Most other delimiter formats either use an escape character such as a backslash, or have no support for reserved characters.

CSV is a delimited data format that has fields/columns separated by the comma character and records/rows separated by newlines. Fields that contain a special character (comma, newline, or double quote), must be enclosed in double quotes. However, if a line contains a single entry which is the empty string, it may be enclosed in double quotes. If a field's value contains a double quote character it is escaped by placing another double quote character next to it. The CSV file format does not require a specific character encoding, byte order, or line terminator format.

  • Each record is one line terminated by a line feed (ASCII/LF=0x0A) or a carriage return and line feed pair (ASCII/CRLF=0x0D 0x0A), however, line-breaks can be embedded.

  • Fields are separated by commas. The Import/Export application allows to use also some other delimiter signs.

    1997,Ford,E350
  • In some CSV implementations, leading and trailing spaces or tabs, adjacent to commas, are trimmed. This practice is contentious and in fact is specifically prohibited by RFC 4180, which states, "Spaces are considered part of a field and should not be ignored." However, if some may break the data purpose (e.g. in email addresses), the Import/Export applications will remove them.

    1997,   Ford   , E350
  • Fields with embedded commas must be delimited with double-quote characters. As the Import/Export applications also use other delimiter signs, this should be read as "Fields with embedded delimiter signs must be delimited with double-quote characters."

    1997,Ford,E350,"Super, luxurious truck"
  • Fields with embedded double-quote characters must be delimited with double-quote characters, and the embedded double-quote characters must be represented by a pair of double-quote characters.

    1997,Ford,E350,"Super ""luxurious"" truck"
  • Fields with embedded line breaks or HTML must be delimited by double-quote characters.

    1997,Ford,E350,"<p>Go get one now, they are going fast</p>"
  • Fields with leading or trailing spaces must be delimited by double-quote characters.

    1997,Ford,E350,"  Super luxurious truck    "
  • Fields may always be delimited by double-quote characters, whether necessary or not.

    "1997","Ford","E350"
  • The first record in a csv file may contain column names in each of the fields.

    Year,Make,Model
    1997,Ford,E350
    2000,Mercury,Cougar

The CSV file format is very simple and supported by almost all spreadsheets and database management systems. Many programming languages have libraries available that support CSV files. Even modern software applications support CSV imports and/or exports because the format is so widely recognized. In fact, many applications allow .csv-named files to use any delimiter character.

Use a spreadsheet software which is able to handle CSV files, such as the free LibreOffice, available for all operating systems. We do NOT recommend to use 'Excel' as it is not able to handle CSV files correctly.

The SobiPro data can be imported and exported as CSV by using the Import/Export Application.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Published on Saturday, 25 February 2012. Visited 2854 times.
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