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Loads CSV data into Datahike (or on GitHub) with a single function call.


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(require '[datahike.api :as d]
         '[datahike-csv-loader.core :as dcsv])

(dcsv/load-csv "data.csv")

;; or
(def cfg {:store ...})
(dcsv/load-csv "data.csv" cfg)

;; or (map contents elided here and described below)
(dcsv/load-csv "data.csv" cfg {:schema [{:db/ident :name
                               :ref-map {...}
                               :tuple-map {...}
                               :composite-tuple-map {...}})

;; or (ditto)
(dcsv/load-csv "data.csv" cfg {:schema {:unique-id #{...}
                               :ref-map {...}
                               :tuple-map {...}
                               :composite-tuple-map {...}})

Reads, parses, and loads data from data.csv into the Datahike database having (optionally specified) config cfg, with likewise optional schema-related options for the corresponding attributes. Each column represents an attribute, with keywordized column name as attribute ident, or otherwise, an element in a heterogeneous or homogeneous tuple (more on tuples below).

Datahike config

If cfg is omitted, and the last argument:

  1. is also absent, or has empty :schema, :ref-map, and :composite-tuple-map, cfg is inferred to be {:schema-flexibility :read}.
  2. has a non-empty value for one or more of :schema, :ref-map, and :composite-tuple-map, cfg is inferred to be {}, i.e. the default.

Schema options

Each file is assumed to represent attributes for one entity "type", whether new or existing: e.g. a student with columns student/name, student/id. This also means that attribute data for a single "type" can be loaded from multiple files: for example, another file with columns student/id and student/course can be loaded later.

:schema in the last argument can be specified in one of two ways:

  1. Full specification via the usual Datahike transaction data format, i.e. a vector of maps, each corresponding to an attribute.
  2. Partial specification via a concise format like the map returned by datahike.api/reverse-schema, albeit with slightly different keys, each having a set of attribute idents as the corresponding value. Available options:
:unique-id:db/unique value :db.unique/identity
:unique-val:db/unique value :db.unique/value
:index:db/index value true
:cardinality-many:db/cardinality value :db.cardinality/many

For example, a value of #{:user/email :user/account-id} for the key :unique-id indicates that the attributes in the set are unique identifiers.

Ref- and tuple-valued attributes, i.e. those with :db/valueType :db.type/ref or :db.type/tuple, are however specified separately, via :ref-map, :tuple-map, or :composite-tuple-map, each a map as follows:

:ref-map:db.type/ref attribute idents to referenced attribute idents
:composite-tuple-mapComposite :db.type/tuple attribute idents to constituent attribute idents
:tuple-mapOther (homogeneous, heterogeneous) :db.type/tuple attribute idents to constituent attribute idents

Unspecified schema attribute values are defaults or inferred from the data given: for instance, except with :db.type/ref and :db.type/tuple, :db/valueType is inferred. Note also that only one cardinality-many attribute is allowed per file for semantic reasons. Examples in the rest of this document use the partial :schema specification style for brevity.

Attributes already in schema

load-csv also handles data for attributes already present in the schema, e.g. if a file with identical or overlapping column names was loaded earlier, in which case the corresponding columns should be left out of :schema, although they would be excluded anyway from any schema transaction before the data proper is loaded. That said, this behaviour hasn't yet been tested, so caution is advised.


Data in a reference-valued attribute column must consist of domain identifier (i.e. an attribute with :db.unique/identity) values for entities already present in the database; these are automatically converted into entity IDs. For example:

(d/transact conn [{:db/ident :course/id
                   :db/unique :db.unique/identity
(d/transact conn [{:course/id "CMSC101"
                   :course/name "Intro. to CS"}
(dcsv/load-csv "students.csv" cfg {:schema {:unique-id #{:student/id}
                                            :cardinality-many #{:student/course}}
                                   :ref-map {:student/course :course/id}})
;; values for :student/course will consist of their corresponding course entity IDs 

With CSV contents such as:


Support for loading entity IDs directly can be added if observations of such use cases in the wild are reported.

:tuple-map and :composite-tuple-map

First: an introduction to tuples for the uninitiated.

load-csv can load data from multiple columns into any of the three kinds of tuples available in Datahike (as in Datomic, for which the documentation just linked to is written): composite, heterogeneous, and homogeneous. Composite tuples are automatically created and transacted by the database when their constituent attributes are transacted (and retained independent of the tuple attribute); heterogeneous and homogeneous tuples consist instead of user-created vectors, with no independent constituent attributes.

In addition to :schema specification as necessary, the ident of and columns belonging to each tuple need to be specified. This should be done via :composite-tuple-map or :tuple-map as appropriate, with key-value pairs each consisting of a tuple attribute ident and a vector of corresponding attribute idents (for composite tuples) or keywordized column names (for other tuple types); whether each entry in :tuple-map is homogeneous or heterogeneous is inferred from its column data value types.

For example, roughly working off this schema definition, to create a composite tuple attribute from attributes (columns) student/id, course/id, and semester/year+season:

(load-csv "data.csv" cfg {:composite-tuple-map
                          {:reg/semester+course+student [:student/id :course/id :semester/year+season]}

This results in four separate attributes; a full :schema specification should include all of them (whereas a partial specification should of course only feature attributes as needed).

Another example, of creating a homogeneous tuple using columns station/lat and station/lon:

(load-csv "data.csv" cfg  {:tuple-map {:station/coordinates [:station/lat :station/lon]}

Here, the data in these columns are merged and transacted only as :station/coordinates; a full :schema specification need only include the tuple attribute.

As implied above, the db/valueType of tuple elements is inferred unless specified in :schema.

Current limitations

datahike-csv-loader currently doesn't support:

  1. Loading CSV files that don't fit into memory.
  2. Variable-length homogeneous tuples.
  3. Excluding columns from the import.

We are currently working on #1 and #3. We will address #2 and any other limitations that arise as necessary.


Copyright © 2022 Yee Fay Lim.

Distributed under the Eclipse Public License version 1.0.

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