How do I import data from other applications?
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If you have a large number of specimen records that you want to add to your database, you can use the Import command. The Import command reads XML files which have tagged values that follow a rigorous yet flexible and easily understood format. In a sense, XML files are �self-descriptive�, but formally they follow a standard adopted by the World Wide Web Consortium. The data type definition used by The Compleat Botanica is specified in the file CompleatBotanicaSchema.xml. Creating an XML file can be as simple as opening Notepad and typing in the tags and values. More commonly though, you�ll use a special XML viewer like �Microsoft XML Notepad�. Most newer applications use XML as a lingua franca so you�ll find this a very convenient way to move data between The Compleat Botanica and other applications. For a simple example of what a Compleat Botanica XML file might look like see the file Specimen.xml.

In addition to XML files, The Compleat Botanica can read delimited files such as comma separated values (CSV) and tab-delimited values (TXT).  Delimited files are exported from most common spreadsheet and database applications.  See the files Specimen.csv and Specimen.txt for valid delimited file samples.  Note that delimited files are available for importing and exporting specimen data; they are not used for filters, categories, or taxonomic records.

The Compleat Botanica stores data in four tables: one table contains your specimen records, another contains your customized categories, a third contains the taxonomic checklist and botanical spell-checker., and another one contains the vernacular list of common names. The Import command, which is available from the File menu, is coordinated with the current view. So to import new specimen records your current window must be one of the Specimen Views. Similarly, to import custom categories, your current view should be the Categories View; to import taxonomic records your current view should be the Checklist; and to import common names your current view should be the Vernacular Names View.

In addition to these four database record types, you can also import filters from another computer when your current view is the Filter View.

For step-by-step instructions see the document Index to importing data.

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Last reviewed March 25, 2004   


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