Parse a CSV file


This example shows how to use the csv_parse.lua module to parse CSV files. This code is designed to handle well formed CSV files. However CSV implementations can vary, so you should test it using realistic samples.

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Using the Code [top]

  • Import the Parse a CSV file channel from the Builtin: Iguana Files repository
  • Experiment with the code to find out how it works
  • Then add the module to your Translator project
  • Copy the require statement from the channel and add it at the top of your script
    Note: This module uses require to return a single function
  • Adapt the code to your own requirements
  • Use the parseCsv() function to parse CSV data
  • You will need to write From Translator code to read your CSV files and push them onto the Iguana queue for processing in your Filter or To Translator component
  • Interactive scripting help is included for this module

This is the github code for the main module:


How it works [top]

  • The parsing code is based on this code from Lua user’s wiki, with the following additions:
    • We changed the assert to an if statement to give a more informative error
    • We changed the code to allow for spaces before/after separators when using quoted fields
    • We changed the code to allow for spaces at the start of a line when using quoted fields
    • We wrapped the parseCsvLine() function in the parseCsv() function that accepts multiple lines
  • You can use different field separators by passing them as the Separator (2nd) parameter to the parseCsv() function, for example:
    • To use a tab separator: parseCsv(Data, '\t')
    • To use a “|” separator: parseCsv(Data, '|')
  • The parse will handle the following:
    • Quoted and unquoted fields
    • Separators within quoted fields
    • Escaped quotes (“”) within quoted fields
      Note: See the “Speedie” nickname in the 2nd row of 9th sample message
    • The parse will raise an error for an un-escaped (“) quote in quoted field
      Note: The 10th sample message raises an error for this reason
  • The parse will handle spaces before/after separators when using quoted fields
  • The parse will handle spaces at the start of a line when using quoted fields
  • Limitation: The parse does not handle quotes in an unquoted field, it just reads them like any other character
    Note: Technically this violates CSV rules but I have seen it occasionally

    • A un-escaped  quote (“) will be shown as a single quote (“), when it could be considered an error
    • An escaped quote (“”) will be show as two quotes (“”) when it should probably be shown as one quote (“)

More information [top]

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