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CSV Import

Top 5 Open Source CSV Importers

5 open source CSV Importer solutions to consider, ordered by number of GitHub forks as of 2023.

Christina Gilbert

Christina is the co-founder & CEO at OneSchema.

May 13, 2024

It's time: you're ready to throw out your CSV import script and want to invest in a CSV import feature. Here are 5 open source options to consider, ordered by number of GitHub forks as of 2023:

  1. Beamworks React CSV Importer: Most widely used open source solution
  2. CSVImporter: Backend-only solution for Ruby on Rails
  3. TableFlow: Newly launched in 2023, paid plans available
  4. YoBulk: Newly launched in 2023, paid plans available
  5. React-Importer: Sleek UI, more direct clone of paid solutions like OneSchema

Beamworks React CSV Importer

GitHub Repo | Website | Stars: 100 | Forks: 71 

Beamworks Features

The Beamworks React CSV Importer is the most widely-used open-source CSV file import solution. It uses the popular and highly reliable PapaParse library for CSV parsing. Its drag-and-drop data mapping interface is different than most CSV import solutions (which typically leverage a drop-down for selecting header mappings). While the UI has a data preview pane, it does not support validation or data editing. The library supports both TypeScript and React.

Beamworks supports files up to 1GB. A surprising supported advanced feature is screen reader accessibility.

Beamworks React CSV Importer is exclusively an open source project and is not affiliated with a for-profit company. They do not have paid tiers available.

Ruby on Rails: CSVImporter (Backend Only)

GitHub Repo | Stars: 587 | Forks: 68

CSVImporter Features

If you are open to building your own UI components, CSVImporter a great option. While it doesn’t have any front-end components, the library simplifies managing the backend of your CSV importer in Ruby on Rails. The library handles many of the common edge cases with CSV import (ASCII-8BIT formats, missing columns, empty rows, malformed headers, wild separators, etc). The library provides a Ruby DSL to define mapping between the CSV file's columns and your data model.

The library handles data validation, column mapping, data import, and reporting on your imports. If you leverage CSVImporter, it will be critical to build a user-interface to show error messages to your customers.

CSVImporter does not have paid plans available.

Goodby, CSV is a similar library for PHP.

TableFlow

GitHub Repo | Stars: 1.2k | Forks: 43

TableFlow Features

Launched in 2023, TableFlow is an actively maintained project. The developer UI is modern, however the platform lacks a data review pane that is common in most CSV file import solutions. If you'd like data transformation capabilities as a part of your upload flow, you'll need to build the UI components yourself.

TableFlow also has paid plans available.

YoBulk

GitHub Repo | Stars: 786 | Forks: 34

YoBulk Features

YoBulk is among the more fully-featured options for importing CSV files. It has a review pane and AI-powered column matching. YoBulk is actively maintained in 2023.

YoBulk is a self-hosted experience, including the dashboard. There is substantial configuration effort to launch the developer experience. YoBulk also has paid plans available.

React-Importer

GitHub Repo | Website | Stars: 67 | Forks: 3

React-Importer Features

React-importer features a modern user interface, including the upload, mapping, and data validation steps. However, the project only has 3 forks and was last updated in 2022.

React-importer does not have paid plans available.

How to Select an Open-Source Project

Here are a few recommendations for choosing between different open-source options:

  • Project activity Consider if the open-source project is currently actively maintained. Make sure you look at the active maintainers, commit activity, and issue activity.
  • Popularity and usage A widely-adopted library used by large companies is likely to be well-maintained for a long time.
  • License Make sure the open-source license aligns with your use case. Especially if you are planning to use the CSV importer in a commercial application, make sure the license does not restrict commercial use.
  • Language, technology, and dependencies Make sure the library is compatible with your project.
  • Documentation Especially if you plan to extend the capabilities of the library, it's important the project is well-documented.

Tradeoffs Between Open Source and Hosted CSV Importers

While open source software is more customizable, a hosted solution will be easier and faster to launch. Here are a few questions to consider when making your decision:

  • How important is is it for your users to reliably import CSV data?
  • How many weeks of engineering time will it take to integrate an open-source solution as compared to paying for a SaaS data import tool?
  • Does my data need to remain on my servers, or can it be transferred to a 3rd party?
  • How extensive do I expect my customizations to be?

Advantages of a Hosted CSV Importer

Implementation Time

It's a lot easier to get your new data import launched with a hosted solution. Open-source will require a lot of customization and integration.

Maintenance

The CSV import process is a top driver of support tickets for many web applications. The two most difficult parts of CSV import to maintain are validation and parsing. As your validation requirements change, a SaaS solution will make it easier to add additional validations. They also have built out robust parsing layers to catch edge cases.

Scalability and Performance

An open source CSV importer will either run client-side or server-side. In the client-side case, performance will be limited by the browser memory of your customer's device. In the server-side case, your team will be responsible for spinning up and maintaining scalable infrastructure for validating and transforming CSV data in real-time. Hosted solutions offer better performance for less effort by hosting the infrastructure for you. This is an important consideration if your files are larger than 50k rows.

Support

With a paid CSV import solution, you'll have access to a support team to answer your questions and get help where needed. Open-source solutions have community support, but they are not obligated to help you.

Advantages of an Open-Source CSV Importer

Cost

Open-source solutions are free to use, unless you chose to upgrade to a hosted version. This makes open-source a great option for small teams and hobbyists.

Customization

While many of the hosted solutions have extensive customization features, no hosted option will be as flexible as an open-source solution. If you have developers with the necessary expertise, you can modify the code to suit your exact use case.

Security & Compliance

With a SaaS solution, your data will be transferred to a 3rd party. Though many of the hosted solutions support self-hosting or have flexible data retention policies, you will likely run into fewer questions from your security and compliance teams if you leverage an open-source solution.

Community Support

Popular open-source projects have active communities that provide support, documentation, and bug fixes. You can also contribute to the open-source project if you find bugs or security vulnerabilities.

Conclusion

In the evolving data integration landscape, CSV import remains an important method of getting data into web applications. Whether you're using CSV upload in an admin dashboard, for customer data onboarding, or data migration, the CSV format is here to stay.

It's important to choose a solution that is reliable, has an intuitive user interface, and is easy for your team to maintain.

If you are considering a SaaS solution, OneSchema is a developer favorite. It can be set up in less than 10 minutes and supports hosted and self-hosted options. OneSchema has dozens of customization options to make the your data import flow exactly match your desired experience without having to write extra code.

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CSV Import
August 2, 2023

Top 5 Open Source CSV Importers

5 open source CSV Importer solutions to consider, ordered by number of GitHub forks as of 2023.

Christina Gilbert
Christina is the co-founder & CEO at OneSchema.

It's time: you're ready to throw out your CSV import script and want to invest in a CSV import feature. Here are 5 open source options to consider, ordered by number of GitHub forks as of 2023:

  1. Beamworks React CSV Importer: Most widely used open source solution
  2. CSVImporter: Backend-only solution for Ruby on Rails
  3. TableFlow: Newly launched in 2023, paid plans available
  4. YoBulk: Newly launched in 2023, paid plans available
  5. React-Importer: Sleek UI, more direct clone of paid solutions like OneSchema

Beamworks React CSV Importer

GitHub Repo | Website | Stars: 100 | Forks: 71 

Beamworks Features

The Beamworks React CSV Importer is the most widely-used open-source CSV file import solution. It uses the popular and highly reliable PapaParse library for CSV parsing. Its drag-and-drop data mapping interface is different than most CSV import solutions (which typically leverage a drop-down for selecting header mappings). While the UI has a data preview pane, it does not support validation or data editing. The library supports both TypeScript and React.

Beamworks supports files up to 1GB. A surprising supported advanced feature is screen reader accessibility.

Beamworks React CSV Importer is exclusively an open source project and is not affiliated with a for-profit company. They do not have paid tiers available.

Ruby on Rails: CSVImporter (Backend Only)

GitHub Repo | Stars: 587 | Forks: 68

CSVImporter Features

If you are open to building your own UI components, CSVImporter a great option. While it doesn’t have any front-end components, the library simplifies managing the backend of your CSV importer in Ruby on Rails. The library handles many of the common edge cases with CSV import (ASCII-8BIT formats, missing columns, empty rows, malformed headers, wild separators, etc). The library provides a Ruby DSL to define mapping between the CSV file's columns and your data model.

The library handles data validation, column mapping, data import, and reporting on your imports. If you leverage CSVImporter, it will be critical to build a user-interface to show error messages to your customers.

CSVImporter does not have paid plans available.

Goodby, CSV is a similar library for PHP.

TableFlow

GitHub Repo | Stars: 1.2k | Forks: 43

TableFlow Features

Launched in 2023, TableFlow is an actively maintained project. The developer UI is modern, however the platform lacks a data review pane that is common in most CSV file import solutions. If you'd like data transformation capabilities as a part of your upload flow, you'll need to build the UI components yourself.

TableFlow also has paid plans available.

YoBulk

GitHub Repo | Stars: 786 | Forks: 34

YoBulk Features

YoBulk is among the more fully-featured options for importing CSV files. It has a review pane and AI-powered column matching. YoBulk is actively maintained in 2023.

YoBulk is a self-hosted experience, including the dashboard. There is substantial configuration effort to launch the developer experience. YoBulk also has paid plans available.

React-Importer

GitHub Repo | Website | Stars: 67 | Forks: 3

React-Importer Features

React-importer features a modern user interface, including the upload, mapping, and data validation steps. However, the project only has 3 forks and was last updated in 2022.

React-importer does not have paid plans available.

How to Select an Open-Source Project

Here are a few recommendations for choosing between different open-source options:

  • Project activity Consider if the open-source project is currently actively maintained. Make sure you look at the active maintainers, commit activity, and issue activity.
  • Popularity and usage A widely-adopted library used by large companies is likely to be well-maintained for a long time.
  • License Make sure the open-source license aligns with your use case. Especially if you are planning to use the CSV importer in a commercial application, make sure the license does not restrict commercial use.
  • Language, technology, and dependencies Make sure the library is compatible with your project.
  • Documentation Especially if you plan to extend the capabilities of the library, it's important the project is well-documented.

Tradeoffs Between Open Source and Hosted CSV Importers

While open source software is more customizable, a hosted solution will be easier and faster to launch. Here are a few questions to consider when making your decision:

  • How important is is it for your users to reliably import CSV data?
  • How many weeks of engineering time will it take to integrate an open-source solution as compared to paying for a SaaS data import tool?
  • Does my data need to remain on my servers, or can it be transferred to a 3rd party?
  • How extensive do I expect my customizations to be?

Advantages of a Hosted CSV Importer

Implementation Time

It's a lot easier to get your new data import launched with a hosted solution. Open-source will require a lot of customization and integration.

Maintenance

The CSV import process is a top driver of support tickets for many web applications. The two most difficult parts of CSV import to maintain are validation and parsing. As your validation requirements change, a SaaS solution will make it easier to add additional validations. They also have built out robust parsing layers to catch edge cases.

Scalability and Performance

An open source CSV importer will either run client-side or server-side. In the client-side case, performance will be limited by the browser memory of your customer's device. In the server-side case, your team will be responsible for spinning up and maintaining scalable infrastructure for validating and transforming CSV data in real-time. Hosted solutions offer better performance for less effort by hosting the infrastructure for you. This is an important consideration if your files are larger than 50k rows.

Support

With a paid CSV import solution, you'll have access to a support team to answer your questions and get help where needed. Open-source solutions have community support, but they are not obligated to help you.

Advantages of an Open-Source CSV Importer

Cost

Open-source solutions are free to use, unless you chose to upgrade to a hosted version. This makes open-source a great option for small teams and hobbyists.

Customization

While many of the hosted solutions have extensive customization features, no hosted option will be as flexible as an open-source solution. If you have developers with the necessary expertise, you can modify the code to suit your exact use case.

Security & Compliance

With a SaaS solution, your data will be transferred to a 3rd party. Though many of the hosted solutions support self-hosting or have flexible data retention policies, you will likely run into fewer questions from your security and compliance teams if you leverage an open-source solution.

Community Support

Popular open-source projects have active communities that provide support, documentation, and bug fixes. You can also contribute to the open-source project if you find bugs or security vulnerabilities.

Conclusion

In the evolving data integration landscape, CSV import remains an important method of getting data into web applications. Whether you're using CSV upload in an admin dashboard, for customer data onboarding, or data migration, the CSV format is here to stay.

It's important to choose a solution that is reliable, has an intuitive user interface, and is easy for your team to maintain.

If you are considering a SaaS solution, OneSchema is a developer favorite. It can be set up in less than 10 minutes and supports hosted and self-hosted options. OneSchema has dozens of customization options to make the your data import flow exactly match your desired experience without having to write extra code.

It's time: you're ready to throw out your CSV import script and want to invest in a CSV import feature. Here are 5 open source options to consider, ordered by number of GitHub forks as of 2023:

  1. Beamworks React CSV Importer: Most widely used open source solution
  2. CSVImporter: Backend-only solution for Ruby on Rails
  3. TableFlow: Newly launched in 2023, paid plans available
  4. YoBulk: Newly launched in 2023, paid plans available
  5. React-Importer: Sleek UI, more direct clone of paid solutions like OneSchema

Beamworks React CSV Importer

GitHub Repo | Website | Stars: 100 | Forks: 71 

Beamworks Features

The Beamworks React CSV Importer is the most widely-used open-source CSV file import solution. It uses the popular and highly reliable PapaParse library for CSV parsing. Its drag-and-drop data mapping interface is different than most CSV import solutions (which typically leverage a drop-down for selecting header mappings). While the UI has a data preview pane, it does not support validation or data editing. The library supports both TypeScript and React.

Beamworks supports files up to 1GB. A surprising supported advanced feature is screen reader accessibility.

Beamworks React CSV Importer is exclusively an open source project and is not affiliated with a for-profit company. They do not have paid tiers available.

Ruby on Rails: CSVImporter (Backend Only)

GitHub Repo | Stars: 587 | Forks: 68

CSVImporter Features

If you are open to building your own UI components, CSVImporter a great option. While it doesn’t have any front-end components, the library simplifies managing the backend of your CSV importer in Ruby on Rails. The library handles many of the common edge cases with CSV import (ASCII-8BIT formats, missing columns, empty rows, malformed headers, wild separators, etc). The library provides a Ruby DSL to define mapping between the CSV file's columns and your data model.

The library handles data validation, column mapping, data import, and reporting on your imports. If you leverage CSVImporter, it will be critical to build a user-interface to show error messages to your customers.

CSVImporter does not have paid plans available.

Goodby, CSV is a similar library for PHP.

TableFlow

GitHub Repo | Stars: 1.2k | Forks: 43

TableFlow Features

Launched in 2023, TableFlow is an actively maintained project. The developer UI is modern, however the platform lacks a data review pane that is common in most CSV file import solutions. If you'd like data transformation capabilities as a part of your upload flow, you'll need to build the UI components yourself.

TableFlow also has paid plans available.

YoBulk

GitHub Repo | Stars: 786 | Forks: 34

YoBulk Features

YoBulk is among the more fully-featured options for importing CSV files. It has a review pane and AI-powered column matching. YoBulk is actively maintained in 2023.

YoBulk is a self-hosted experience, including the dashboard. There is substantial configuration effort to launch the developer experience. YoBulk also has paid plans available.

React-Importer

GitHub Repo | Website | Stars: 67 | Forks: 3

React-Importer Features

React-importer features a modern user interface, including the upload, mapping, and data validation steps. However, the project only has 3 forks and was last updated in 2022.

React-importer does not have paid plans available.

How to Select an Open-Source Project

Here are a few recommendations for choosing between different open-source options:

  • Project activity Consider if the open-source project is currently actively maintained. Make sure you look at the active maintainers, commit activity, and issue activity.
  • Popularity and usage A widely-adopted library used by large companies is likely to be well-maintained for a long time.
  • License Make sure the open-source license aligns with your use case. Especially if you are planning to use the CSV importer in a commercial application, make sure the license does not restrict commercial use.
  • Language, technology, and dependencies Make sure the library is compatible with your project.
  • Documentation Especially if you plan to extend the capabilities of the library, it's important the project is well-documented.

Tradeoffs Between Open Source and Hosted CSV Importers

While open source software is more customizable, a hosted solution will be easier and faster to launch. Here are a few questions to consider when making your decision:

  • How important is is it for your users to reliably import CSV data?
  • How many weeks of engineering time will it take to integrate an open-source solution as compared to paying for a SaaS data import tool?
  • Does my data need to remain on my servers, or can it be transferred to a 3rd party?
  • How extensive do I expect my customizations to be?

Advantages of a Hosted CSV Importer

Implementation Time

It's a lot easier to get your new data import launched with a hosted solution. Open-source will require a lot of customization and integration.

Maintenance

The CSV import process is a top driver of support tickets for many web applications. The two most difficult parts of CSV import to maintain are validation and parsing. As your validation requirements change, a SaaS solution will make it easier to add additional validations. They also have built out robust parsing layers to catch edge cases.

Scalability and Performance

An open source CSV importer will either run client-side or server-side. In the client-side case, performance will be limited by the browser memory of your customer's device. In the server-side case, your team will be responsible for spinning up and maintaining scalable infrastructure for validating and transforming CSV data in real-time. Hosted solutions offer better performance for less effort by hosting the infrastructure for you. This is an important consideration if your files are larger than 50k rows.

Support

With a paid CSV import solution, you'll have access to a support team to answer your questions and get help where needed. Open-source solutions have community support, but they are not obligated to help you.

Advantages of an Open-Source CSV Importer

Cost

Open-source solutions are free to use, unless you chose to upgrade to a hosted version. This makes open-source a great option for small teams and hobbyists.

Customization

While many of the hosted solutions have extensive customization features, no hosted option will be as flexible as an open-source solution. If you have developers with the necessary expertise, you can modify the code to suit your exact use case.

Security & Compliance

With a SaaS solution, your data will be transferred to a 3rd party. Though many of the hosted solutions support self-hosting or have flexible data retention policies, you will likely run into fewer questions from your security and compliance teams if you leverage an open-source solution.

Community Support

Popular open-source projects have active communities that provide support, documentation, and bug fixes. You can also contribute to the open-source project if you find bugs or security vulnerabilities.

Conclusion

In the evolving data integration landscape, CSV import remains an important method of getting data into web applications. Whether you're using CSV upload in an admin dashboard, for customer data onboarding, or data migration, the CSV format is here to stay.

It's important to choose a solution that is reliable, has an intuitive user interface, and is easy for your team to maintain.

If you are considering a SaaS solution, OneSchema is a developer favorite. It can be set up in less than 10 minutes and supports hosted and self-hosted options. OneSchema has dozens of customization options to make the your data import flow exactly match your desired experience without having to write extra code.

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