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Convert CSV files into a SQLite database

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Convert CSV files into a SQLite database. Browse and publish that SQLite database with Datasette.

Basic usage:

csvs-to-sqlite myfile.csv mydatabase.db

This will create a new SQLite database called mydatabase.db containing a single table, myfile, containing the CSV content.

You can provide multiple CSV files:

csvs-to-sqlite one.csv two.csv bundle.db

The bundle.db database will contain two tables, one and two.

This means you can use wildcards:

csvs-to-sqlite ~/Downloads/*.csv my-downloads.db

If you pass a path to one or more directories, the script will recursively search those directories for CSV files and create tables for each one.

csvs-to-sqlite ~/path/to/directory all-my-csvs.db

Handling TSV (tab-separated values)

You can use the -s option to specify a different delimiter. If you want to use a tab character you'll need to apply shell escaping like so:

csvs-to-sqlite my-file.tsv my-file.db -s $'\t'

Refactoring columns into separate lookup tables

Let's say you have a CSV file that looks like this:

Clark,1,President,,REP,John R. Kasich,5
Clark,2,President,,REP,John R. Kasich,0
Clark,3,President,,REP,John R. Kasich,7

(Real example taken from the Open Elections project)

You can now convert selected columns into separate lookup tables using the new --extract-column option (shortname: -c) - for example:

csvs-to-sqlite openelections-data-*/*.csv \
    -c county:County:name \
    -c precinct:Precinct:name \
    -c office -c district -c party -c candidate \

The format is as follows:


If you just specify the column name e.g. -c office, the following table will be created:

CREATE TABLE "office" (
    "value" TEXT

If you specify all three options, e.g. -c precinct:Precinct:name the table will look like this:

CREATE TABLE "Precinct" (
    "name" TEXT

The original tables will be created like this:

CREATE TABLE "ca__primary__san_francisco__precinct" (
    "county" INTEGER,
    "precinct" INTEGER,
    "office" INTEGER,
    "district" INTEGER,
    "party" INTEGER,
    "candidate" INTEGER,
    "votes" INTEGER,
    FOREIGN KEY (county) REFERENCES County(id),
    FOREIGN KEY (party) REFERENCES party(id),
    FOREIGN KEY (precinct) REFERENCES Precinct(id),
    FOREIGN KEY (office) REFERENCES office(id),
    FOREIGN KEY (candidate) REFERENCES candidate(id)

They will be populated with IDs that reference the new derived tables.


pip install csvs-to-sqlite

csvs-to-sqlite --help

Usage: csvs-to-sqlite [OPTIONS] PATHS... DBNAME

  PATHS: paths to individual .csv files or to directories containing .csvs

  DBNAME: name of the SQLite database file to create

  -s, --separator TEXT       Field separator in input .csv
  -q, --quoting INTEGER      Control field quoting behavior per csv.QUOTE_*
                             constants. Use one of QUOTE_MINIMAL (0),
                             QUOTE_ALL (1), QUOTE_NONNUMERIC (2) or QUOTE_NONE
  --skip-errors              Skip lines with too many fields instead of
                             stopping the import
  --replace-tables           Replace tables if they already exist
  -t, --table TEXT           Table to use (instead of using CSV filename)
  -c, --extract-column TEXT  One or more columns to 'extract' into a separate
                             lookup table. If you pass a simple column name
                             that column will be replaced with integer foreign
                             key references to a new table of that name. You
                             can customize the name of the table like so:

                                 --extract-column state:States:state_name

                             This will pull unique values from the 'state'
                             column and use them to populate a new 'States'
                             table, with an id column primary key and a
                             state_name column containing the strings from the
                             original column.
  -f, --fts TEXT             One or more columns to use to populate a full-
                             text index
  -i, --index TEXT           Add index on this column (or a compound index
                             with -i col1,col2)
  --shape TEXT               Custom shape for the DB table - format is
  --filename-column TEXT     Add a column with this name and populate with CSV
                             file name
  --no-index-fks             Skip adding index to foreign key columns created
                             using --extract-column (default is to add them)
  --version                  Show the version and exit.
  --help                     Show this message and exit.

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