Thread: CSV related

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    Originally Posted by paulh1983
    i am still not sure what you are trying to do.

    When a user does an upload (CSV file) look at the company column and use an algorithm to determine how closely it matches one of the company in your database, if it is 90%+ then replace user input company with that one. if it is less, display that row to the user and THEN give a drop down of companies. This way is far better.
    I have to disagree with you. When you have a known set of values, constraining the user's input to those values is much better than asking the computer to guess on the back end. Is it not possible that two different, legitimate company names could differ by less than the margin that user error can warp one of them?

    Also if users make mistakes with company, then how do you propose checking other details they may be entering for a company?
    Having converted a number of spreadsheet/free-form/flat-file "databases" into applications backed by a real RDBMS, I have to say that anything one can do to encourage consistent user input is a huge plus. Obviously it's not possible to check or constrain every field, but it's fallacy to suggest that the whole notion should be thrown out because it only partially mitigates the problem.
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    He has users who make mistakes. That's his problem. he's decided that his solution involves forcing the users to choose an excel drop-down rather than the CSV they already use, massively increasing the complexity of his system and only causing him more headaches. Nevertheless, he's ignoring this and pushing forward with his "let's introduce a closed-format proprietary spreadsheet software into the mix" plan.
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    Originally Posted by ManiacDan
    He has users who make mistakes. That's his problem. he's decided that his solution involves forcing the users to choose an excel drop-down rather than the CSV they already use, massively increasing the complexity of his system and only causing him more headaches. Nevertheless, he's ignoring this and pushing forward with his "let's introduce a closed-format proprietary spreadsheet software into the mix" plan.
    I'm not a fan of proprietary formats or tools, but having the computer silently alter a user's uploaded data based on guesswork is *not* a better idea than finding a way (any way) to constrain the user's input to correct values in the first place, IMHO.

    Picking the right way forward toward building such an interface is really requires more knowledge of the larger scenario. Are the users employees of a company, where a standard spreadsheet software or custom client could be deployed? Or are they private individuals, who cannot be expected to own a specific software? Are the CSV files generated by hand, or automation? If the former, in what program are the users working right now?

    Excel is by no means a necessary or even recommended way of solving this problem, but it's hard to guess what else might be available here.
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    i still don't know why user would enter the wrong company? I dont even know why i would be importing data about another company? I should only be interested in MY company in which case a login scenario would rectify the "invalid company name" scenario.

    Maybe you need to tell us what happens in that particular part of the system.
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