ITGS Syllabus

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Topic 59

Data transfer between a database and a spreadsheet by Nitish Gautam

This paper is about data transfer from a database to a spreadsheet. Databases are collections of records stored in a systematic way. Spreadsheets are similar, as a spreadsheet is a table of information. Both these technologies emerged in the 1960’s, and have become very popular since then.

Basically, data transmission is the transfer or conveyance of any kind of information from one place to another. It is basically to ‘move’ or copy or to transfer it from one place to another. In computer language, it is moving bits or bytes using programming languages, or in many cases, hardware. There are many types of data transfer, one is serial transfer, and the other is parallel transfer. The speed of data transfer is in bit rate.

One kind of database to spreadsheet transfer would be that a programmer makes a piece of code, and he tries to transfer the data. An example would be that someone transfers data from a Mysql database to a spreadsheet on another server. It will be useful to him in many ways, as he can adjust the data he needs, and from what place.

A short example can be:

Dim col As DataColumn
For Each col In table.Columns
colIndex += 1
excel.Cells(1, colIndex) = col.ColumnName
Next col
Dim row As DataRow
For Each row In table.Rows
rowIndex += 1
colIndex = 0
Dim col As DataColumn
For Each col In table.Columns
colIndex += 1
excel.Cells(rowIndex, colIndex) = row(col.ColumnName).ToString()
Next col
Next row
(note: that was just a small one)

To transfer data from a database to a spreadsheet, one would need programming language. And this means big lines of code for big databases. Mysql can be taken as an example. If one has a big Mysql database, and he has to transfer it to a spreadsheet, he would need code. This creates issues, because if there is an error with the database, then it takes a while to fix the error. And if more different types of data are being added, it is hard to control everything. We would have to spend time, which lots of people don’t have.

Also, databases and spreadsheets will have errors if they are used in transferring from one to another. The piece of code used to transfer it will also have error. Or, if hardware is used, it will also have some faults. But the main thing to remember is, databases and spreadsheet transfers are complicated, and are bound to errors.

Another thing is the operating system between the transfers. There are many beliefs that windows to windows transfers are faster, or that windows to linux transfers are slow, and so on. The point we can take is, that the operating system does matter, and it will be hard to transfer between different servers, for example. Not that it will be ‘hard’, it will make matters worse for control of the situation.

Also, scripts will have faults. Questions like ‘What if the scripts do the wrong thing for different types of data?’ come into mind.

Another thing to remember is, that people can ‘inject’ in Mysql. The point I am trying to make is, that databases are vulnerable to injections or basically, illegal access. Also, if a programmer makes a code for transferring from a database to a spreadsheet, the code will have vulnerabilities.


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