Back4App

Importing CSV files

Introduction

Importing CSV files allow users to import data easily into Parse tables.

Prerequisites

To begin with this tutorial, you will need:

Step 1 - Create a New Back4App App

First of all, it’s necessary to make sure that you have an existing app created at Back4App. However, if you are a new user, you can check this tutorial to learn how to create one.

Step 2 - Create a Class for importing data

In your newly created App, go to the Database Browser and click the Create a class button

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Choose to crate a Custom class and give it a name. I called mine TestClass but you can call yours anything you like. Remember that by convention classes start with an Uppercase letter, are CamelCase and does not contain special characters such as spaces and symbols. Click Create class when you’re done.

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Step 3 - Creating the CSV file

The CSV file must be in the correct format in order to be imported.

Correct format parameters:

  • Separation character must be a comma , and NOT a semicolon ;.
    • Adjust your Spreadsheet software to output commas as separation characters
  • First line will be the Column Names
  • Parse will automatically convert Strings, Numbers and Booleans
  • Dates must have two columns:
    • date.__type specifies the Date type
    • date.iso specifies the Date Format
  • GeoPoints must have three columns:
    • geo.__type specifies the Geopoint type
    • geo.latitude specifies the Latitude
    • geo.longitude specifies the Longitude
  • Arrays are passed in double quotes

So, for your reference, a few examples:

Three columns: columnStringA will hold strings, columnStringB will also hold strings, columnNumberC will hold numbers

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columnStringA,columnStringB,columnNumberC
stringA,StringB,12
stringA2,StringB2,13

Two columns: columnStringA will hold strings, columnBooleanB will hold Booleans

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columnStringA,columnBooleanB
stringA,TRUE
stringA2,FALSE

Two columns: columnStringA will hold strings, columnArrayB will hold arrays

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columnStringA,columnArrayB
stringA,"[1,2,3]"
stringA2,"["A", "B", "C"]"

Two columns: columnStringA will hold strings, second column will hold a date in the ISO format

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columnStringA,date.__type,date.iso
stringA,Date,2020-01-16
stringA2,Date,2020-01-17

Two columns: columnStringA will hold strings, second column will hold a GeoPoint

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columnStringA,geo.__type,geo.latitude,geo.longitude
stringA,GeoPoint,1,2
stringA2,GeoPoint,-5,-6

You can find a sample CSV file for download here:

Download it here

Step 4 - Importing the Data

With your newly created class selected in the Database Browser, on the top right corner of the screen, click the Notes button and select Import data

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Click the Upload a file button, choose your CSV file and click the Import button

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Step 5 - Wait for an eMail confirmation

As CSV files can get quite big, an asynchronous operation is fired to import your data in background, which means you will not see any progress of importing nor success message. At the end of the operation you will receive an email message either telling the operation was successful and your data was imported, or telling the operation wasn’t successful and explaining which coluns/lines failed.

If you try to refresh your dashboard before receiving this email, you might see missing data or even no data at all, as the operation is still ongoing.

Once you get the email an if your import was successful, we recommend hard refreshing your browser (CMD + Shift + R on a Mac, CTRL + Shift + R in Windows, both for Chrome) to ensure the new schemas are retrieved and your data displays properly.