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Import Data - new String options

I'd like to request a couple of new options in the "Data Formats" section of the "Import Data File" wizard. These would be for String data items and both would be checkboxes.

The first would be "Remove Trailing Whitespace" and (as you'd expect) would remove trailing whitespace such as tabs or space characters from all String items. I frequently deal with string data items that are right-padded with unwanted spaces and it would be very handy to be able to remove these during the import rather than having to write a script to remove them later.

The second would be "Empty string as NULL" which when set would interpret an empty String item as NULL when inserting records into the database. This test should take place after the removal of trailing whitespace by the first option such that strings consisting of nothing but spaces may be interpreted as null.

Thanks for your consideration.

Hi Steve,

Thanks for your suggestions. I'll comment your suggestions point by point below.

  • "Remove Trailing Whitespace" Good idea. We will add this as a candidate for new functionality and add your vote for it.
  • "Empty string as NULL": Similar functionality will actually be included in the next maintenance release (9.5.7).
    When editing the Data formats section in the import wizard  two more options has been added to the "Null Value Text" drop down. The "Blank" option will mean that blank string data will get imported as NULL.  The "Whitespaces" option will mean that string data only containing whitespace will get imported as NULL.

Fantastic! Thanks Ulf.


I had a chance today to try the new "Blank" and "Whitespaces" options for "Null Value Text" in the Import File dialog. Works great, does what you'd expect. Thanks guys!

This change doesn't appear to have been included in the release notes, though.



Thanks for the heads up on the release notes. The entry was missing but has just been added.



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