Loading data from and to CSV or other TAB DELIMITED or similar file format is essential in day to day operation. With MySQL it is easy to load data into table using files and exporting data into CSV files is quite easy. No need to use any external tool it can be done right there from the query tool/command prompt, no specific GUI tool required.

Let’s see how?

Exporting data as CSV file directly using simple MySQL Query

Simply add INTO OUTFILE [FILE_PATH] in your query and you are done. Here is a simple example:

SELECT * FROM [TABLE]
INTO OUTFILE 'X:/[FILE]'

Above statement uses default options for file export of result set of a query, but it is simple to override them. By default file will be TAB DELIMITED file. We can always override as showed in example below:

SELECT * FROMĀ  [TABLE] INTO OUTFILE 'X:/[FILE]'
FIELDS TERMINATED BY ',' OPTIONALLY ENCLOSED BY '"'
LINES TERMINATED BY '\n'

OR

SELECT * INTO OUTFILE 'X:/[FILE]'
FIELDS TERMINATED BY ',' OPTIONALLY ENCLOSED BY '"'
LINES TERMINATED BY '\n'
FROMĀ  [TABLE]

The beauty is it don’t really matter where you place FROM TABLE clause, any of the style would work from above example. Don’t forget that we can use all our complex join or where conditions which we really use with SELECT.

Full Syntex:

SELECT
[ALL | DISTINCT | DISTINCTROW ]
[HIGH_PRIORITY]
[STRAIGHT_JOIN]
[SQL_SMALL_RESULT] [SQL_BIG_RESULT] [SQL_BUFFER_RESULT]
[SQL_CACHE | SQL_NO_CACHE] [SQL_CALC_FOUND_ROWS]
select_expr [, select_expr ...]
[FROM table_references
[WHERE where_condition]
[GROUP BY {col_name | expr | position}
[ASC | DESC], ... [WITH ROLLUP]]
[HAVING where_condition]
[ORDER BY {col_name | expr | position}
[ASC | DESC], ...]
[LIMIT {[offset,] row_count | row_count OFFSET offset}]
[PROCEDURE procedure_name(argument_list)]
[INTO OUTFILE 'file_name' export_options
| INTO DUMPFILE 'file_name'
| INTO var_name [, var_name]]
[FOR UPDATE | LOCK IN SHARE MODE]]

Importing data from CSV file directly using simple MySQL Query

Here is the simplest way to do it:

LOAD DATA INFILE 'X:/[FILE]'
INTO TABLE [TABLE]

Similar to Export option of MySQL it will expect file to be TAB DELIMITED if we don’t specify any option for it in it’s simplest form. So if you simple EXPORT file without any custom specification as a first query example it would simple LOAD DATA from that file, but if you have a file with custom separator than it needs to be specified.

LOAD DATA INFILE 'X:/[FILE]'
INTO TABLE [TABLE]
FIELDS TERMINATED BY ',' OPTIONALLY ENCLOSED BY '"'
LINES TERMINATED BY '\n'

Full syntex:

LOAD DATA [LOW_PRIORITY | CONCURRENT] [LOCAL] INFILE 'file_name'
[REPLACE | IGNORE]
INTO TABLE tbl_name
[CHARACTER SET charset_name]
[{FIELDS | COLUMNS}
[TERMINATED BY 'string']
[[OPTIONALLY] ENCLOSED BY 'char']
[ESCAPED BY 'char']
]
[LINES
[STARTING BY 'string']
[TERMINATED BY 'string']
]
[IGNORE number LINES]
[(col_name_or_user_var,...)]
[SET col_name = expr,...]

So exporting and importing data from MySQL seems quite easy and we do not need to write any programming statement to format them just a simple query can do it.

References: (For more reference please refer)
http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.0/en/select.html
http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.1/en/load-data.html