Importing data

You can import data from iBase databases, other databases, excel spreadsheets, or text files. Before you can import any data, you define how the source data is to be interpreted during the import in an import specification. You can run the import specifications singly or in a batch (if you first set up an import batch specification).

Planning imports

Before you create an import specification, compare the data that you would like to import with the database structure to determine the item types to import. In addition, determine the fields that are mandatory, and the fields that can be used as identifiers (used to decide whether data matches records in the database).

Note: If you are importing entities or links that use multi-line text (append only) fields, you might want to test the import first. You can only add text to the end of fields of this type - you cannot delete or edit existing text without removing the record.

Validating and protecting the data

During the import, you can check that values imported into Selected from Code List type fields are valid; any invalid values are reported as errors during the import.

You can protect existing data by turning on the Do not update existing field values with blank values checkbox. This option prevents existing data from being overwritten by blank values in the source data.

If you set up comprehensive record matching, you can control how records are created or updated. For more information, see:

Manipulating the data

When you import data, you can transform field values in source records before you assign them to iBase fields. You can:
  • Copy a value to assign it to more than one field.
  • Merge two or more values to assign them to a single field.
  • Split a value to assign parts to several fields.
  • Update specified values with new ones (for example where the source data uses a different code list) by creating a substitution file.
  • Trim unwanted space from the start or end of a source field.
For more information, see Transforming source data.

Recording the results of the import

You can record the results of the import by saving new and modified records in a set.

If required, you can log the numbers of new and modified records to a file.

Note: If you use auditing with a Microsoft™ Access database, and the audit level is set to 4 then the audit log only records the start and end of the import. It does not log the individual records.

Handling errors

You can save the errors that might occur during the import to a file. You can then fix the problems with the source data by editing the error file, and reimport the remainder of the data by using the error file as the source for the import.

Bulk imports and importing XML data

A bulk import allows significantly faster importing and importing from XML files. It is also useful for importing large quantities of data without user intervention. System administrators can set up a bulk import, that uses an import specification, although there are a few minor differences between a standard and a bulk import.

Note: In a case-controlled database, you can only import data into the case in which you are currently working.

After importing large numbers of records, you might want to compact your database.