Reply to post: Re: Document formats

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Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: Document formats

Speaking from experience, OpenOffice is quite versatile with it's import csv facility. It is possible that not all options were investigated because the user may have been describing the available options to those supporting him.

If the result was still scrambled at the end of investigating those options, my view is that the output from the "production system" was questionably formatted in the first place. Old versions of A Well-Known Accounts Package will happily export to CSV format without inverted commas in fields that have commas in them (e.g., stock descriptions), meaning that importing them back into the reciprocal import procedure is doomed to failure.

CSV is a very brittle data transfer medium unless the user knows what they are doing. Arguably XML is a better choice because, even if someone exporting the data inserts/deletes a column before exporting, the purpose of the column remains constant if it is subsequently re-imported.

To offer CSV format from a "production system" to primarily non-tech savvy users is not a good idea.

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