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Manipulating CSV Exports


FileMaker Magazine

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No Access? Watch the preview video here. video-x-generic.pngManipulatingCSVExports_Pre.mp4
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package-x-generic.pngManipulatingCSVExports.zip 280.29 KB
By Matt Petrowsky

Exchanging data between systems has always been a matter of format. The output systems needs to output in the expected input format for the inbound system - and it works the same way when going in reverse.

When it comes to data interchange formats, some of the most prevalent are arguably CSV (comma separated value) and Tab delimited.

The problem with these formats however, is that one person’s CSV is not necessarily another’s. The CSV “standard” actually has no standard. There is an RFC (Request for Comments) document to act as a guideline, but it’s not an “official” standard.

For FileMaker, the standard CSV export format is lacking one very important aspect. It does not include the field names as possible headers in the resulting file.

Added to this, is the fact that you can’t just specify any encoding format on all the various export options. You are limited to the formats specified by FileMaker per export type. There are some systems where you absolutely need a more up-to-date encoding format such as UTF-8.

FileMaker also exports hard returns as the vertical tab character and this needs to be fixed for some importing operations. This video and technique file addresses all of these issues and showcases how to take advantage of some of FileMaker’s other export formats in order to make sure your data does its interchange with other systems in the expected fashion!

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External links

Wikipedia CSV RFC 4180

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