Import CSV Data Problem

Posted on 2006-07-13
Last Modified: 2009-02-27

I'm having trouble importing data from a column from a CSV file. The column causing the problem, CustomerOrderNumber can be numeric or alphanumeric. In the sample file I'm trying to import (supplied by a 3rd party), the first row contains a customer order number of 123456, the second row contains X123456. The first row imports fine, however the second row is read as DBNULL.

I use the following code to open the file:

        Dim sConnectionString As String = "Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0;" & _
        "Data Source=" & Server.MapPath("\") & "CRMAdmin\Uploads\" & ";" & _
        "Extended Properties=""Text"""
        Dim objConn As New OleDbConnection(sConnectionString)

        Dim objCmdSelect As New OleDbCommand("SELECT * FROM " & strFilename, objConn)

I've imported Excel data before with no problem, after changing the registry setting HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Jet\4.0\Engines\Excel\TypeGuessRows to 1000 (this allows Jet to determine the datatype of the column).

For the CSV text import I've changed "MaxScanRows" to 1000 to no avail.

Is there any other setting I should change to import this CSV text file successfully?

Under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Jet\4.0\Engines\Text\
what are the following keys and allowed values?
- ImportFixedFormat
- ImportMixedTypes
Question by:obyapka
LVL 35

Expert Comment

ID: 17100803
what's the error that you are getting?
LVL 20

Accepted Solution

ElrondCT earned 125 total points
ID: 17101296
The problem you're running into is that, as you mention, Jet is determining the datatype of the column. if the majority of cells checked in a column is numeric, Jet assumes the entire column is numeric and gives DBNULL for the rest. (And if the majority is text, it may turn the numerics into nulls!). That obviously isn't a good thing if you have some of each.

I haven't tried to do this kind of an import in VB .Net. In Excel VBA, there's an option to specify whether a column should be treated as numeric or character data, though I found that I had to rename a .CSV file to .TXT or .PRN to get leading zeroes to be retained as text. However, MSKB article 257819, as well as other resources online, suggest that


will give you what you want, reading all of the data in that column as text if any of the items are text. Note that if all items are numeric, the column will still be numeric. You also need to put the setting "IMEX=1" in the Extended Properties of the connection string, to get Jet to look at the ImportMixedTypes setting.

Expert Comment

ID: 17102702

If you know the schema of the file you are importing, you could setup a schema.ini file to specify the data types of each column manually:

Hope this helps



Author Comment

ID: 17106815
changing the reg key ImportMixedTypes to Text appears to have fixed the issue.



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