By Tim Dexter on Apr 14, 2010
CSV, a dead format? With today's abilities to generate Excel output (Im working on some posts for the shiny new Excel templates) and the sophistication of the eText outputs, do you really need CSV?
I guess so seeing as it was added after the base product was released as an enhancement. But I'd be interested in hearing use cases?
I used to think the same of text output. But now Im working in the public sector where older technologies abound I can see a use for text output. Its also used as a machine readable format, etc. BIP still does not support a text format from its RTF templates but its very doable using XSL templates.
Back to CSV, I noticed an enhancement in the big list of new stuff in the 10.1.3.4.1 rollup. You can now generate CSV from structured data ie a data template or a SQL XML query. This piqued my interest so I ran off a data template to CSV. Its interesting, in a geeky kinda way, I guess Im that way inclined.
Here's my data structure:
Poor ol Jennifer, she needs some help in the Admin department :0)
Pushing this to CSV and BP completely flattens the data out so you get a completely denormalized data output in the CSV.
Useful? Its a little confusing to start with but it is completely de-normalized so there is lots of repetition. But if it floats your boat, you got it!