Recollector User’s Guide

 

Importing Data into the Collection

 

You can import data right after collection setup has been completed, when there are as yet no data records in the collection.  You can also import data later, after the collection already has data in it. In this case the import operation can add new records, update existing records, or both.

 

Data to be imported must be in one of two formats:

 

 

Notes:

 

 

To begin the import operation, make sure the collection window is open and that either the “List” tab or the “Image Gallery” tab is selected. (Importing is not allowed from the Item Details tab of the collection window.)  Select, from the File menu, either Import Records from Excel or Import Records from File.  In either case you will be initially prompted for the file to import (the “.xls” or “.xlsx” file, in the case of Excel; the text file, in the case of importing from file). If you are importing from a file, make sure that file is not open in any other program. If you import records from a file, the program will read the first line to determine whether the file is comma-delimited or tab-delimited. If it cannot determine which character is the field delimiter, the program will ask you whether tab or comma is the field delimiter.

 

Recollector does extensive checking to ensure that the data to be imported are consistent with the Recollector database.  Before proceeding to perform the import, Recollector will, in almost all cases, produce a report showing possible problems due to mismatches between the collection database and the data to be imported.  The kinds of problem that will be reported are shown in the following table, with an indication of whether the problem is critical (no import can be performed), severe (probably import should not be performed, and the import data should be adjusted), or mild (generally not serious enough to warrant canceling the import, but worth noting before proceeding):

 

Severity

Description

CRITICAL

None of the field names in the data to be imported match the names of fields in the collection database. This will probably only happen if the data to be imported do not have field names in the first row.  You should inspect the spreadsheet or file to be sure that row 1 contains field names (and those field names should match the field names in the collection database).

SEVERE

One or more of the columns in the spreadsheet or file lacks a field name in row 1. If the import is executed, data from such columns will be skipped. You should examine the spreadsheet or file to see whether you want the blank-labeled column(s) to be imported. If you do, insert the correct field name in place of the blank name.

SEVERE

The same field name appears in row 1 for two or more columns of the data to be imported.  If the import is executed, only one of the same-named columns will have its data imported; the other column(s) with the same row 1 name will be skipped. You should examine the spreadsheet or file to see whether the row 1 names should be adjusted, so that duplicate column names are eliminated and each column has the right name corresponding to the field of the collection database into which it should be imported. Note: The report will list the duplicated column names.

MODERATE

One or more of the columns in the spreadsheet or file have a name in row 1 that does not match any field name in the database. If the import is executed, data from such columns will be skipped. You should examine the spreadsheet or file to see whether these non-matching column names correspond to data that you want to import.  If so, edit the row 1 name to exactly match the name of the intended destination field in the collection database. Note: The report will list the column names that don’t match field names in the collection.

MILD

Some of the data rows in a delimited text import file have more columns than are found in row 1.  It is row 1 (the column labels) that determines how many columns of data will be imported.  If the import is executed, any rows with additional columns will have the data in those additional columns ignored.

MILD

One or more fields defined for the collection database are not found in the row 1 labels of the data to be imported. If the import is executed, the imported records will have blank values inserted into such fields not present in the spreadsheet or file. The report will list the fields in the database that are not found in the imported data spreadsheet/file.

MILD

The data to be imported contains an “ID #” column (or the equivalent name, if you have renamed the “ID #” field) that includes values that match the “ID #” of an existing record in the collection.  If you proceed with the import, you will be additionally prompted as to what should be done when an imported record has an “ID #” value matching an existing record.  The choices are:

  • Skip records with duplicate “ID #” values.
  • Overwrite an existing record with the imported record when the “ID #” value matches, blanking out any non-imported columns.
  • Overwrite an existing record with the imported record when the “ID #” value matches, but leave the values in any non-imported columns as they were.
  • Add all imported records, even though doing so will create at least some records with identical “ID #” values.

 

After examining the report of errors and warnings, decide whether to proceed with the import operation.  If you cancel, you can then go into the spreadsheet or file and fix any problems (typically problems with the row 1 field-name labels).  Then you can re-execute the import request, presumably resulting in a cleaner bill-of-health shown in the error/warning report.

 

If you proceed with the import, and if the last warning class was present (duplicate “ID #” values), another dialog box will be shown to let you select one of the choices, corresponding to what is shown in the last row of the table, above:

 

 

Note: In the rare case where the structure of the data to be imported exactly matches the collection database (exactly the same number of columns imported as there are fields in the collection; all row 1 names in the import data match corresponding field names in the collection; no duplication of “ID #” values between the import data and the existing collection data), no error/warning report will be produced, and the import will be executed as soon as the import spreadsheet or file has been identified.

 

After the import operation is complete, a message box will report the number of records successfully imported, as well as how many records, if any, were overwritten due to matching “ID #” values (if the “replace” option was selected for duplicate “ID #” records).  If there were duplicate “ID #” values and the “skip” option was chosen, the number of records successfully imported excludes the skipped records.  If all import records were skipped, because they all contained “ID #” values that matched existing records, this will be reported.

 

The collection window’s list of records will be updated immediately following the import, to reflect the newly added data.


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