Why CSV-based Integration?

A CSV file is a plain text file that stores comma-delimited data in a tabular format. The abbreviation CSV stands for "comma-separated values." CSV files are a simple, straightforward, lightweight, and flexible method for storing relational and tabular data. CSV files have a wide variety of applications and benefits. CSV files are:

  • Easy to read:Unlike some other data storage formats, CSV files are easily readable by humans, as they store information in plain text.
  • Lightweight:These files have a small footprint. The only additional space they take up is the header row and the commas between each data field.


ERP’s often need to move large amounts of data (such as catalogs, orders, or historical data) from one system to another for processing. The issue is that how one system structures and accepts data might be different from the destination system. 

Many rely on integration that uses CSV (comma-separated values) files to export and import text files of their data between systems. CSVs are a universal file type that many systems support, and they are comparatively easier to manage. 

Listed below are some of the advantages of this -

1. Keep and Connect Systems without APIs

Not all software systems have available APIs for integration. This is often the case for older “legacy” software. Integrating with these systems must be done without using APIs, meaning your best option might be file-based integration.

Most systems at least accept CSV via a manual import process, no matter the age of the software. Some offer the ability to automate the CSV import by pointing to an SFTP server.

2. Non-proprietary

CSV files are non-proprietary to any specific software vendor. Creating and sharing a CSV is a generic way to handle data. This makes them easy to interact with and share among people and systems. You can create CSVs by leveraging Excel or other spreadsheet software and most people are comfortable handling them this way. Regardless of the specific software you’re using, being able to import and export a CSV file is not unique to that software or brand.

3. Easier to Create Files

Since CSVs are plain-text files, it is easier for a web developer or other members of your team to create, view, and validate the data as a spreadsheet. All you need is a header row at the top and subsequent rows of data. You will be able to manipulate the data to organize it as you need. It is then easy to share this data across different systems.

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