Exporting/Saving from Excel to CSV and importing into other programs Salesforce.com

I am confused. When I export from Excel into CSV and I open the format of any of the records in a column (see attached) all it says is the format is GENERAL. Okay that is fine but what is it. A string, a number or what. I am having a terrible time importing into Salesforce.com as I get errors on import. Not knowing or understanding what is being sent out and what needs to be pulled in it is confusing to know just what General is. I have searched for a solution as I would think there would be an answer to that. What is the GENERAL format and how do most programs accept that. I would think it would be a generic older format that is acceptable by most programs easily. Not knowing whether a column with only numbers in it or another column with alpha numeric is handed off so that other applications can determine what value is assigned string or number is a mystery. Can someone solve this for me. Is the data type determined coming from an Excel CSV in GENERAL format or is the application doing the import determining the data type....? Any help is greatly appreciated.
RUA Volunteer2?Tableau Trainer & Consultant Sales Exec.Asked:
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Bill PrewIT / Software Engineering ConsultantCommented:
CSV files have no indicator of data type, they are just lines of data with a delimiter.  So when you open a SCV in Excel, since the is no way from the CSV file for it to know the data format of each column, it just uses the General format.

The target system that loads the data into their "database" will take the character data from the CSV file, and do a conversion of needed on any data that is say a date field, or a numeric field, before placing it in it's database.

What that means is they will specify the type of  data they expect in each column (text, date, decimal, ...) and you need to make sure the contents of that field are valid for that type.  So you can't pass "XYZ" in a field that it want's to treat as a date.  But you need to get the types from the target system.

All that said, keep in mind that if the CSV is created from an Excel file, then the existing formatting of the columns in that Excel file can impact the text that it writes to the CSV file.  So if Date has to be in YYYY/MM/DD format in the CSV file for the target system to handle that, you may need to adjust the format of the source Excel sheet before exporting to a CSV to get that.

Hope this helps some.


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NorieAnalyst Assistant Commented:
How are you importing the file to Salesforce.com?

What errors are you getting?

Are you using the import wizard?
RUA Volunteer2?Tableau Trainer & Consultant Sales Exec.Author Commented:
I am using the Data Loader and I am getting errors like the following.

"MALFORMED_ID:Assigned To ID: id value of incorrect type: 13
Error fields: OwnerId "

Here is what I am trying to do. I am trying to import data into the the TASK table from the above attached CSV

The bottom section contains the columns found in the attached CSV the top is obviously the fields I am trying to import to...but cannot.
RUA Volunteer2?Tableau Trainer & Consultant Sales Exec.Author Commented:
Thank you for the support.
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