Importing Data
Jan 17, 2005

I did my first large data import about 4 years ago. It was 20 years worth of subscriber data from a newspaper based in San Francisco's south bay area. That was really challenging at the time. Since then I have done about 20 other small to large data imports from everything from Oracle to Filemaker pro and numerous excel spread sheets. The first task of doing a data import is mapping the data from the old DB layout to the new DB layout. The renaming of columns is pretty trivial the one to many relationships are more tricky, espicially when all the data is in one glob. Today I have been rebuilding/upgrading my import script, I think this may be my last version which is pretty exciting for me. Over the last few years I have primarily created custom scripts to import data creating the data map by hand, then testing rigourously to make sure notihing breaks because of the import. The script does the mapping (with a little assistance ) and all the testing. The first version was like many first versions, pretty ugly. The upgrade/rebuild is coming along nicely and is a massive streamlining of the version 1 software.

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Jimmy Brake is a businessman, writer, and father he lives in Oakland California with is wife and little girl. When he can pull himself away from family and business he enjoys body boarding and surfing.

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