View Full Version : Partially Filling Out a Webform from a CSV

11-07-2012, 01:57 AM
Hi there,

First time poster. I'm looking for some direction in this long-term project I have for work (due sometime in March).

I work for a martial arts studio and we put on a tournament twice a year. We would like to transition our applications for said tournament to online. Basically, I have a CSV file, which contains Name, Studio, Age, Rank.

We would like to use that information to create personalized applications with the above information and allow for checkboxes for additional events.

I just would like some direction. Saying "AJAX" isn't very helpful. I'd love to have the time to learn, and maybe eventually someday I will, but right now I'd just love some direction or guidance.

Thanks so much for reading!

11-07-2012, 03:50 AM
You didn't mention a website for your martial arts studio, but I'm guessing that you do have a website.

I would normally say that you install or create a PHP/MySQL database system
where admin people can log-in and add/edit/delete information in the database.
That of course is PHP, MySQL, AJAX, JQuery, etc. And yes, there is a learning
curve for that. Programming experience required.

But, in your case, you don't have the time for the learning curve to develop
such a site. So, I'm going to say that you should use Google Docs Spreadsheet.
"Google Drive ... on the cloud" so to speak.

Anyone can create a free Google Account (you don't need a gmail address either).

You then create a new spreadsheet.
Add the columns you want and populate the sheet.
Now, whoever created (the admin) it can add anyone they want as a "shared user".
That means you might have 4 other people in your martial arts studio that can
also log-in and make changes to that spreadsheet. This spreadsheet can be
edited by any PC anywhere in the world, as long as the Google Account has
permission (a shared user).

Now ... here's the magic ...

A PHP script can also be given permission to read-only the data from that
spreadsheet. A PHP script that is part of your martial arts website.
That means you can have a web page on your site that does whatever you
wish with that data. If the data changes, the website will automatically be
using the latest data. No more CSV files on your PC, no more uploading them.
It's all "on the cloud".

So you have two parts ...

1) Using Google Docs to handle the spreadsheet instead of a CSV file.
You can specify anyone you want to have access to the spreadsheet.
All you need is to know their Google Account email address.

2) You can use PHP to read the spreadsheet data and do things on your website.
This will require PHP scripting knowledge. I suspect this is where you'll get stuck.
Yes, you'll have to learn PHP and/or hire a programmer.

If you create the spreadsheet, add columns, populate with data, I can give
you a real PHP example of how to access your data on your website. I can't
write the scripting for a complete "tournament" schedule, but I can get you
started with gathering the spreadsheet data.

You may even want to create a 2nd spreadsheet that a PHP script can use to
display the tournament "chart" on your website. As the tournament progresses
and someone updates the spreadsheet, the website will reflect the latest data.

PM (private message) me. I will give you my Google Account email address so
you can add me to your shared spreadsheet. I will then provide you with a
working example ... a PHP script you can use on your website.

To work in the other direction ... PHP script writing to the spreadsheet, is a bit
more elaborate. That will require some more advanced programming. I'm just
explaining a way to have people update the database (by hand), and the data
being used by a PHP script on your website ... eliminating the CSV data system you have.
No more dedicated PC that contains the CSV. You can use any PC to access the data
from anywhere in the world.

If you wish to have a complete automated database with dynamic online membership,
user profiles, etc. You should be using PHP with MySQL ... as originally mentioned.