11 Jan

Load Delimited Data – CSV to MySQL, Excel to MySQL Database

Loading csv to MySQL or any delimited data files to MySQL database is a very common task frequently questioned about and almost every-time LOAD DATA INFILE come into rescue.

In this article I will explain you about all different scenarios and explain you how to get the data loaded directly from csv to MySQL database using single command.

Download PDF Tutorial: Load data CSV to MySQL

The Load Data Syntax:

LOAD DATA [LOW_PRIORITY | CONCURRENT] [LOCAL] INFILE ‘file_name’

[REPLACE | IGNORE]

INTO TABLE tbl_name

[CHARACTER SET charset_name]

[{FIELDS | COLUMNS}

[TERMINATED BY 'string']

[[OPTIONALLY] ENCLOSED BY ‘char’]

[ESCAPED BY 'char']

]

[LINES

[STARTING BY 'string']

[TERMINATED BY 'string']

]

[IGNORE number LINES]

[(col_name_or_user_var,...)]

[SET col_name = expr,...]

Consider we have to load file with following contents:

#File-name: example.csv

col-1,col-2,col-3

a,2,3

b,4,5

c,6,7

** Excel file can be easily exported as comma separated / delimited file (csv) by File-Save As option to load data.

1. A simple comma-saperated file with column header:

#table structure: example

 

col-1 col-2 col-3

Considering our MySQL table having same column sequence we can issue:

LOAD DATA INFILE ‘path/to/example.csv’ INTO TABLE example FIELDS TERMINATED BY ‘,’ LINES TERMINATED BY ‘\n’ IGNORE 1 LINES ;

This is a very common and simple scenario.

Quick updates:

- Ofcourse, if we don’t have column headers (col-1,col-2,col-3) in example.csv, IGNORE 1 LINES is not required.

- Note the file path. Here you should make sure your slashes are proper.

You may give path as: C:\\path\\file.csv or C:/path/file.csv.

- If we have datafile to be loaded stored on client ( Not on server ), we will add LOCAL keyword as given in Syntax.

So, the command will become:

LOAD DATA LOCAL INFILE ‘path/to/example.csv’ INTO TABLE example FIELDS TERMINATED BY ‘,’ LINES TERMINATED BY ‘\n’ IGNORE 1 LINES ;

- If we want to replace existing data by data being loaded from file, we will add REPLACE keyword before INTO TABLE.

Similarly if we want input rows that duplicate an existing row on a unique key value to be skipped, we will use IGNORE keyword before INTO TABLE.

2. Column sequence in file and table are different.

#table structure: example

 

col-2 col-1 col-3

In this case we need to specify column-name sequence of csv file in order to get data loaded in to proper columns.

LOAD DATA INFILE ‘path/to/example.csv’ INTO TABLE example FIELDS TERMINATED BY ‘,’ LINES TERMINATED BY ‘\n’ IGNORE 1 LINES (col-1,col-2,col-3);

3. csv / load data file have lesser number of columns than targetted table

#table structure: example

 

col-1 col-2 col-3 col-4

Consider, col-1 is auto-increment and not provided in csv.

LOAD DATA INFILE ‘path/to/example.csv’ INTO TABLE example FIELDS TERMINATED BY ‘,’ LINES TERMINATED BY ‘\n’ IGNORE 1 LINES (col-2,col-3,col-4) set col-1=null;

Passing null value will make col-1 to take an auto-increment value.

Using SET you can assign values to those columns which were not available in csv and are not-null.

You may also use a function for doing some perticular task and set a value.

eg. SET col-x=rand();

4. Filling the extra date columns:

This is very similar to 3. Here, we are required col-4 to be filled with present timestamp value, a very simple way to do is altering table :)

ALTER TABLE example CHANGE COLUMN col-4 col-4 TIMESTAMP DEFAULT CURRENT_TIMESTAMP;

And then,

LOAD DATA INFILE ‘path/to/example.csv’ INTO TABLE example FIELDS TERMINATED BY ‘,’ LINES TERMINATED BY ‘\n’ IGNORE 1 LINES (col-1,col-2,col-2=3) set col-4=null;

It should automatically fill the current_timestamp values for us.

5. Loading data with caculated columns:

#table: example

 

col-1 col-2 col-3 col-4

LOAD DATA INFILE ‘path/to/example.csv’ INTO TABLE example FIELDS TERMINATED BY ‘,’ LINES TERMINATED BY ‘\n’ IGNORE 1 LINES (col-1,col-2,col-3, @var1) SET col-4 = @var1/100;

Similarly we can alter a string variable as well by altering the variable as follows:

SET col-4 = replace(@var1,"find","replace")

 

6.  Loading csv with table value lookup:

Consider you’ve got a csv with col1 and col2 data and the 3rd column data is availble in another table. You can load the referenced data using a sub-query as follows. You have to make sure you get single row in return may be by using distinct or limit clause.

LOAD DATA INFILE ‘path/to/example.csv’ INTO TABLE example FIELDS TERMINATED BY ‘,’ LINES TERMINATED BY ‘\n’ IGNORE 1 LINES (col-1,col-2) SET col-3 = (SELECT field-name FROM linkedTable where keyfield=col-1);

7. Other ways of loading separated files to MySQL:

CREATE TABLE csv_foo LIKE foo;

ALTER TABLE csv_foo MODIFY COLUMN id INT(10) UNSIGNED NOT NULL;

// remove auto increment

ALTER TABLE csv_foo DROP PRIMARY KEY;

// drop key as no keys are supported in csv storage engine

Alternatively you may do:

CREATE TABLE csv_foo AS SELECT * FROM FOO LIMIT 0;

// Ignores key definitions and auto-increment

 

// Make sure you don't have any nullable columns.

Now,

STOP MYSQL SERVER

 

under data directory replace csv_foo.csv file by available data-file.csv. (Rename it to csv_foo.csv)

START MYSQL SERVER

 

We may need to do: REPAIR TABLE csv_foo;

Well, this is not a “good” way though.

8. Loading multiple files:

Documentation says that MYSQL LOAD DATA will not be able to do it for us.

We have a separate option available for the same, mysqlimport.

You may want to refer: mysql-import

Conclusion: I hope we have covered common scenarios which shall mostly help; rest will always be answered here.

Go through user comments below, you may get some specific use cases for for typical load data or csv to mysql conversion questions and probable solutions too.

76 thoughts on “Load Delimited Data – CSV to MySQL, Excel to MySQL Database

  1. thanks…. but i’m developing new system since here they only use excel to store evrythng..
    anyway thanks for the idea..

    –> just wanna ask if u know how to autogenerate the excel file either to text or csv with the font color as one column after the next? mmm.. example is like below:

    i want output in csv like this: (is it possible)

    Zeera, blue, 22, blue, London, black

    its mean Zeera and 22 are in blue color while London in black color..

    i need to make comparison afterwords..

  2. Hi,
    I’m not much into dev but I can sense it’s possible. There are PHP classes to generate Excel-worksheets available. “Google”ing right keywords will give you the solution.

  3. morning Kedar..

    about the your earlier suggestion..

    LOAD DATA INFILE ‘file.csv’ INTO TABLE tablename (col1,col3,col5,col2…);

    i do it but it still not in order.. it does not follow the (col1,col3,col5,…..).. it just insert from col1,col2 until the end…

    any suggestion?

  4. How is your csv?

    See below example:
    Table:
    ——
    CREATE TABLE `mytable` (
    `a` int(11) default NULL,
    `b` varchar(5) default NULL,
    `c` varchar(5) default NULL,
    `d` varchar(5) default NULL
    ) ENGINE=MyISAM DEFAULT CHARSET=latin1;

    CSV:
    —-
    1,b,d,c
    1,bb,dd,cc
    1,bbb,ddd,ccc

    Syntax:
    ——-
    Load data infile ‘d:/test.csv’ into table mytable fields terminated by ‘,’ optionally enclosed by ‘”‘ lines terminated by ‘\r\n’ (a,b,d,c);

    This loads data in proper order.

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-- Kedar Vaijanapurkar --