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EDI EDI conversion

How to convert CSV files into a DB2 database with i‑effect®

Abstract - In this blog article we would like to explain to you with a practical example how to convert CSV data into a DB2 database using an EDI converter such as i‑effect®. Even though the article is limited to two data formats, they are interchangeable with any other format (XML, FLATFILE, EDIFACT, MYSQL, etc.).

Tuesday, 10. December 2019
Wie Sie CSV-Dateien mit i‑effect<sup>®</sup> in eine DB2-Datenbank konvertieren


First, the objective should be clearly defined. As a functional goal, there is the requirement to access the data generated by a storage system in real time and to store it in another storage location. This should be used for backup and statistical purposes: For example to extend the system with a visualization component at a later date.

The goal in this case is the automated conversion of CSV files into a DB2 database with error notification. The source CSV file represents a message, regularly created by a storage system, which represents the inflow and outflow of pallets. This message is a CSV file.

Visualization of the process in production CSV workflow example infographic


By defining the goal, a concrete task has now arisen: Conversion of the source file into the target format. In order to realize this task, a suitable technical solution for converting the data is required. Often the first thought is: "programming". Basically this thought is not wrong either. However, there has been standard software for converting data between standard formats for decades - namely EDI or EAI tools. Standard software of this type manages these tasks "out-of-the-box" with all the features that may be required, and this even without programming knowledge, because these are often required in companies for more complex programming work. For further consideration of this example, we now assume that a suitable standard software such as i‑effect® is available.

Source format

The first step is now the formal description of the source structure (for a CSV file this description is relatively simple compared to other formats). The standard software needs this description to read or create files of this type. To create this description you have to look at the intersection of all existing files (with CSV this is probably not necessary - in this case one file can be enough, since it already contains all elements). However, in this application case, when looking at several files, you will notice that there are also files where only one line per file is filled. So there may be 1-N lines in the file.

id;warehouse;pallet number;x-coordinate;y-coordinate;z-coordinate;action;date;time 1;L1;4711;1;2;4;outsourcing;31.10.2019;14:14 2;L2;4800;3;4;1;storage;31.10.2019;14:21 3;L3;4801;6;1;1;storage;31.10.2019;14:25

After analyzing the file, the description for this CSV file type can now be created. The format of such a description varies from software to software. However, the essential information is the same (see also CSV article in the glossary).

To be defined:
  • Fields and field types (and the sequence)
  • Separator
  • Line break


In the EDI mapping, the description created then looks as follows:

CSV EDI-Mapping Beschreibung
Target format

After looking at the source format, it is now necessary to analyze the target format. In this example, this is very simple, since the structure is to be transferred almost 1-to-1 to the database.

The following database structure is now used as the target format: CSV Datenbankstruktur definition für Zielformat

The DB2 file is defined as follows:


Conversion (Mapping)

In data mapping, the data are now assigned to each other, the mapping is the "route planner" for the data. The mapping for this task would look like this using a graphical mapping editor like i‑effect® *MAPGUI:

CSV Konvertierung zu DB2 mit i‑effect<sup>®</sup> MapGUI

The result of the following mapping therefore also looks as expected in the database:

CSV Ergebnis in der Datenbank

The result of the conversion can be traced in the EDI software.

CSV EDI-Mapping Ergebnis EDI-Software i‑effect<sup>®</sup> WebControl CSV zu DB2 EDI-Mapping Ergebnis in EDI-Software: i‑effect<sup>®</sup> WebControl überprüfen Back to overview
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