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Processing delimited file into a database

Posted on 2010-09-20
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I have several semicolon-delimited files which contain hundreds of thousands of records in each. My objective is to reliably import them into a MS SQL database that I set up. I figured the easiest way to do this was to write a simple VB.NET application to process it.

The tricky part is that the values in the columns are not contained in quotes, and the last column has values that actually contain semicolons. There are a total of 5 columns.

Does anyone have recommendations on how I can best import these files into MS SQL?
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Question by:elorc
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4 Comments
 
LVL 11

Accepted Solution

by:
ladarling earned 2000 total points
ID: 33716769
If you know that columns 1 through 4 will not contain semicolons, you can reliably use the Split() function on the semicolon to break the rows down into values, since you will know that the first 4 members of the array will map to columns 1 through 4, and that all indexes after 3 (the fourth index in the array) need to be concatenated back into column5, below is a prototype of that scenario....
 

        Dim sr As New IO.StreamReader("c:\somefile.txt")

        While Not sr.EndOfStream
            Dim values() As String = Split(sr.ReadLine, ";")
            For i = 0 To 3 'These are the first 4 columns
                'Do something values(i)
            Next
            Dim col5 As String = String.Empty
            For i = 3 To UBound(values) ' These will all be parts of column 5
                col5 &= values(i)
            Next
            'Do something with col5 here then move on to the next row
        End While

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LVL 11

Assisted Solution

by:ladarling
ladarling earned 2000 total points
ID: 33716803
Oops... that should actually be:
For i = 4 To UBound(values) ' These will all be parts of column 5
                col5 &= values(i)
Next
 
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LVL 75

Expert Comment

by:käµfm³d 👽
ID: 33717988
Can you not use the Import/Export wizard?
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:elorc
ID: 33724946
Kaufmed: I can't. The import/export wizard is unreliable. I tried it initially but as expected it failed with cryptic error messages.
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