Importing Microsoft Excel data

Microsoft Excel and Quickbase handle data in differently. Excel is a flat data model. In other words, it's one long list of items on a spreadsheet. Quickbase, on the other hand, is a multi-dimensional relational database. This means that to work with Excel data in Quickbase you should take the data that lived in a single spreadsheet and split it into multiple lists, where appropriate.

For example, instead of a long list of purchases that include the customer name, product and invoice amount, you could have three separate lists (which are called tables in Quickbase): Customers, Products and Invoices. Under this system, you need to type the customer name just once.

You can import data from Microsoft Excel by either importing the file or copying and pasting only the data that you need. Or, you can import the Excel (.xslx) or .csv file directly into Quickbase.

Step one: Does your spreadsheet fit into a Quickbase app at all?

Most Excel spreadsheets can translate easily into Quickbase. But, there's one exception. If you use a collection of Excel worksheets as forms, an import may have issues. For example, if your Excel file consists of 32 individual worksheets, each of which contains a few fields, you can't import them all at once. Quickbase expects to see a list of individual records on a single worksheet, and imports only the first worksheet in an Excel file.

Step two: Clean up your Excel spreadsheet

For best results, your data must fit the structure that works well in Quickbase. Clean up before import, and you'll save yourself work later.  If this is the first time you're importing data from Excel, read Preparing Excel data for import before proceeding.

Note:  If you need to import an additional worksheet from an Excel file, move that worksheet to the first position on the left, save your changes, and then import the .xlsx file.

Step three: Decide if you'll create a new app or import into an existing app

You must decide if you'll create a new app via import (in other words, if you'll convert your data into a new Quickbase app) or if you want to take your Excel data and make it fit into an existing Quickbase app, thereby importing into one or more existing tables.  

If you want to create a new app, read Importing data from Excel to create new apps.

If you want to import into an existing app, read Importing data from Excel into existing apps.

Related topics: