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Re: Invalid input syntax for integer

From: Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>
To: Hans Edwin Winzeler <hewinzeler(at)gmail(dot)com>
Cc: pgsql-novice(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: Invalid input syntax for integer
Date: 2011-08-18 15:55:01
Message-ID: 23470.1313682901@sss.pgh.pa.us (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-novice
Hans Edwin Winzeler <hewinzeler(at)gmail(dot)com> writes:
> I am new to PostgreSQL and have a data format issue that I can't resolve.

> The input table from my .csv file (about 10 million records) that I am
> importing into PostgreSQL from a different program gives numbers in a format
> as follows, for example: 0-1788.000000 to indicate the value -1788.
> PostgreSQL gives me the error "invalid input syntax for integer" when I try
> to import the number (or invalid for numeric, real, double precision, etc.
> when I try to import it in those other formats). When I specify varchar(20)
> I get no problems and can import it, but then I can't use it numerically.
> How do I either:


>    - Import the value as NUMERIC or INTEGER or REAL or FLOAT or something
>    that I can use as a value rather than text, OR
>    - How do I convert the varchar(20) that I have already imported into a
>    numeric value?

Well, somehow you're going to have to get rid of that bizarre leading
zero.  The best way would be to fix the other program to not output such
a stupid data format.  If that's not feasible, you could fix the
intermediate text file using something like sed, or you could fix the
data after-the-fact in Postgres.  The usual way to do the latter is to
import the data initially into a temporary table that has a text column
to receive the weird data, and then use INSERT...SELECT... to transform
the data and insert it into the final table.  In this case you'd want to
use a function like regexp_replace() to delete the leading zero, and
then cast the result to a suitable numeric datatype.  So it'd look
something like

	INSERT INTO finaltable
	SELECT ..., regexp_replace(weirdcolumn, '^0-', '-')::numeric, ...
	FROM temptable;

			regards, tom lane

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