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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • When tasked with importing data from an external source, consider importing it into a separate db/table and then building/extending the necessary functionality on top of that (versus importing the data right into your existing data).

    Data import is a large part of what we do. We collect property appraisal data, tax collection data from banks.... the list goes on. There are so many reasons this lesson is valid. If nothing else, if there is a bug in the import, you don't have to go through the hassle of actually parsing the file (or whatever) again - just tweak your program code and run with it.

    In our case, since we deal with a lot of numbers, if people find a problem we immediately get bitched at. It's a trivial thing to write some SQL to prove the numbers we imported were those in the file. "Go beat on the people that generated this file! See, we balance to it. It's not our problem."

    Good post, Purdy :)