csv format to DBase III format

William coriolis_wong at yahoo.com.hk
Fri Jan 6 03:52:11 EST 2006

Peter Otten wrote:
> coriolis_wong at yahoo.com.hk wrote:
> > I need to transfer csv format file to DBase III format file.
> > How do i do it in Python language?
> http://aspn.activestate.com/ASPN/Cookbook/Python/Recipe/362715
> Peter


I create a dbf file, it can be opened by Excel but it cannot be opened
by Access. Where
is the error in my script. My script is as follows:


import struct, datetime,itertools,time

def dbfwriter(f, fieldnames, fieldspecs, records):

    """ Return a string suitable for writing directly to a binary dbf

    File f should be open for writing in a binary mode.

    Fieldnames should be no longer than ten characters and not include
    Fieldspecs are in the form (type, size, deci) where
        type is one of:
            C for ascii character data
            M for ascii character memo data (real memo fields not
            D for datetime objects
            N for ints or decimal objects
            L for logical values 'T', 'F', or '?'
        size is the field width
        deci is the number of decimal places in the provided decimal
    Records can be an iterable over the records (sequences of field

    # header info
    ver = 3
    now = datetime.datetime.now()
    yr, mon, day = now.year-1900, now.month, now.day
    numrec = len(records)
    numfields = len(fieldspecs)
    lenheader = numfields * 32 + 33
#   lenrecord = sum(field[1] for field in fieldspecs) + 1
    num = 0
    for field in fieldspecs :
         num = num + int(field[1])

    lenrecord = num + 1

    hdr = struct.pack('<BBBBLHH20x', ver, yr, mon, day, numrec,
lenheader, lenrecord)

    # field specs
    for name, (typ, size, deci) in itertools.izip(fieldnames,
#       name = name.ljust(11, '\x00')
        name = name.ljust(11)
        fld = struct.pack('<11sc4xBB14x', name, typ, size, deci)

    # terminator

    # records
    for record in records:
        f.write(' ')                        # deletion flag
        for (typ, size, deci), value in itertools.izip(fieldspecs,
            if typ == "N":
#               value = str(value).rjust(size, ' ')
                value = str(value).rjust(size)
            elif typ == 'D':
#               value = value.strftime('%Y%m%d')
                value = value
            elif typ == 'L':
                value = str(value)[0].upper()
#               value = str(value)[:size].ljust(size, ' ')
                value = str(value)[:size].ljust(size)
            assert len(value) == size

    # End of file

# -------------------------------------------------------
# Example calls
if __name__ == '__main__':

    import sys, csv
    from cStringIO import StringIO
#   from operator import itemgetter

    # Create a new DBF
#   f = StringIO()

    f = open('test.dbf','w')
    fieldspecs = [('C',11,0),('C',11,0),('D',8,0),('N',12,2)]
    records = [['MORNS','555','19950626','17.40'],\

    dbfwriter(f, fieldnames, fieldspecs, records)



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