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Import file into Web app

 
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Hello,

I got this question from someone at work. Could someone please shed some light on this?

"would be possible for us to accept certain file formats for upload, read the data, and prefill the application?

Specifically, I was wondering if we could ask people to upload their Quicken or TurboTax files (.qdf, .qxf, .tax, etc) or a .pdf of a tax form and we could prefill all of their data into the application.

Of course, we might need to be able to read all kinds of documents and see how we can pull the data we need out of each one, and maybe build a different app for that but I’m just starting with the idea.. "


Ours is an Spring based online web application for credit that takes the user's information, so they're trying to add these options.
 
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Yes, web apps can accept file uploads, whether they're Spring-based or not.

The question of reading the file is independent of that, and you'll need to give some thought as to what file formats make sense to support.
 
Prasanna Raman
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Thank you. The aim is to be able to import the customer's documents, let's say their tax forms, and pre-fill information from that document onto the Web app. Would it be possible to do something like this? I'm not sure how we'd look for pieces of information we need from the document.

 
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Yes, when I was working we had all kinds of applications where people uploaded spreadsheets and the like and we extracted data from them. So yes, it's possible.

As for your specific requirements... well, you don't quite have any yet, I guess. But every time somebody says "We want to upload a file of type X and extract data Y and Z from it" you're going to have to write some code which knows how to extract Y and Z from an X file. Don't try to write any fancy generalized code which works for everything yet. Instead just take it one request at a time, and if you see you're getting a lot of requests which are similar but not identical you can consider refactoring at that point.
 
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