Importing and Exporting Data
Back in the Stone Age, cavemen never really had any issues with data incompatibility—stones and one’s own memory were the only storage media. Copying data involved pulling out the old chisel and getting busy on a new slab of granite. Now, of course, the situation is much different. Hundreds of data storage strategies exist, the most commonplace of which includes spreadsheets and various types of relational databases. Working in a complex, even convoluted fashion, you often need to convert data from one storage type to another, say between a spreadsheet and a database, or between an Oracle database and MySQL. If this is done poorly, you could spend hours, and even days and weeks, massaging the converted data into a usable format. This chapter seeks to eliminate that conundrum by introducing MySQL’s data import and export utilities, as well as various techniques and concepts central to lessening the pain involved in performing such tasks.