Every now and then we have a client that needs to, on a regular basis, import data from one system to another and a lot of the time we go for the good old csv file. In the past i have always just written a simple function that reads each line of the file, splits it into cells and import it into the database. But this simple code never fully handles csv’s correctly. I kept thinking “there has to be a simpler way“.

So i got thinking…

Csv files are just like data tables, data tables can be queried… surely there must be a way to just treat this file as a datasource. After a bit of playing around and reading i can up with the following solution.

It requires that the csv data be saved to a file and then we can just use an OleDataAdapter to perform almost any simple SQL statment against it!

  using System;
  using System.Data;
  using System.Data.OleDb;
  using System.IO;
  public static DataTable ReadCSVFileIntoDataTable(string pFilePath)
      string fullPath = Path.GetFullPath(pFilePath);
      string file = Path.GetFileName(fullPath);
      string dir = Path.GetDirectoryName(fullPath);
      string connString = "Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0;"
          + "Data Source=\"" + dir + "\\\";"
          + "Extended Properties=\"text;HDR=No;FMT=Delimited\"";
      string query = "SELECT * FROM " + file;
      DataTable dt = new System.Data.DataTable();
      OleDbDataAdapter da = new OleDbDataAdapter(query, connString);
          da.Fill(dt );
      catch (InvalidOperationException /*e*/)
      { }
      return dt;

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