Last week Connections finally had the highly requested CSV export feature added. It included four export tools which could batch export addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and dates. For many, having these export options is more than enough to meet their needs for creating email or address lists. Others, though, still need a far more comprehensive export option. I’m happy to announce that this week’s update includes this export option. Even better it is free for everyone. In testing, it was able to easily export nearly all the data for almost 30,000 entries in a test database. I expect this export tool to easily export hundreds of thousands of entries with no trouble on a decent web host. So this export tool has been proven to be robust and reliable in testing.
However, there are a couple limitations to this export. I do not think these limitation will affect most but it is important to know that they exist.
- Many of the fields in Connections are repeatable fields. An example being the address fields. You can add as many addresses as you wish to an entry. Each address can be given a type such as “Home”, “Work”, “School” and “Other”. If you add more than one of a single type, only the first of that type will be included in the export. For example, if you add two “Work” addresses, only the first will be included in the export. Now, suppose you have three addresses added to an entry but all with a different type, all three will be included in the export. This is a limitation that applies to all the repeatable fields in Connections.
- Connections has support for adding custom metadata to its entries, however, this metadata is not exported. As an example, the info added by the free extensions Education Level and Income Level is metadata. It is this metadata which will not be included in the export.
With all these export tools available, there is still one area not completely covered and is Categories. The categories are exported as part of the new comprehensive export but there is not a way to export only the categories. This will be added in the next update and as an added bonus a free bulk category import will be added too. These free import/export tools along with the CSV Import extension should meet almost everyone’s needs.