Microsoft Excel to MySQL: the process of migrating data from both databases

Microsoft Excel to MySQL: the process of migrating data from both databases

 With Microsoft Excel, you can perform numerous functions and statistical operations on a set of data. Majority of companies use Excel for the storage of client data and sales’ records. However, there is need for a company to always seek better means to secure their data. Hence, the need for an upgrade in the database management system.

There are a few conditions to consider when trying to migrate from one database to another. Open source DBMS such as PostgreSQL and MySQL are most suitable for companies that have no plan to increase their new system’s TCO. Therefore, the company has to weigh both the pros and the cons of the selected database systems. For example, a company will choose to migrate from MS Excel to MySQL because they lack strong database development team. This is because PostgreSQL is a complex DBMS that is most appropriate for large and complicate database that incurs a lot of resources.

Strategies of migration

There are several strategies involved in migrating from MS Excel to MySQL. The simplest is to export data from source file into CSV file. Then, empty MySQL tables are created and data is imported here using ‘LOAD DATA’ command line.

In spite of this, the migration process may incur some risks due to human ‘database administrator’ factor that can lead to data loss or data corruption.

Software for data migration

Intelligent Converters, a company established in 2001 to solve all database migration problems has created a tool called ‘MS Excel to MySQL’. This tool permits the export of large and complex Excel spreadsheets into destination file. This user-friendly interface accepts line command arguments as well.

It is also used for the transformation of data and scheduling of the process of conversion. When MySQL server refuses direct connection, this tool is used to export data into MySQL script file.

Intelligent types mapping.

MySQL, unlike MS Excel, has more comprehensive set types. In MS Excel, INTEGER and DOUBLE are undistinguished, thus, numeric data are converted as MySQL DOUBLE. This is done to prevent loss of data. By so doing, the resulting MySQL data is inaccurate.

As a solution, this converter goes to each column and collects statistics during the process of conversion. An update is made in the column when all values are casted to be more accurate.

For instance, there is a set of values:




The converter creates a column of MySQL which corresponds to type DOUBLE. Then, the column the are converted to INTEGER.

This technique called ‘intelligent type mapping’ is much better because of the greater result collected at the end of the conversion especially when data is exported from CSV files to MySQL. As expected, CSV files store all data in the format of texts. What follows is the analysis of data in Excel to MySQL converter. Then,the most appropriate type such as date or numeric gets any of the values from the CSV fields.

Learn more about migration from MS Excel to MySQL at:



Edward Powell