Q

Importing fixed-width data

In this expert response, MySQL guru Mike Hillyer explains how to import information in rows of fixed-width data.

We are in the process of migrating a small Microsoft Access application and information from various mainframe sources onto MySQL. We have not found a reliable way on importing column-delimited data into a table in MySQL. The steps in your previous tip on this subject were not clear. Can you elaborate and also offer info on doing this in an environment like ours? I need to import a column-delimited table where each row is 400 characters wide. Is there a MySQL command, or series of commands, that will let me specify how to import the information contained in each row? For example, Social Security numbers are in columns 1-9, last names are in columns 10-30, first names are in columns 31-51, etc....?

Importing fixed-width data is a common request and, having answered it several times, I have an FAQ entry for it. You can check it out here.

See the original tip that inspired this question.

This was first published in July 2006

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