[R-pkgs] ODB : connecting OpenOffice Base with R
maressyl at gmail.com
Sun Jun 19 13:25:11 CEST 2011
The recently released "ODB" package was developped to manage HSQL
databases embedded in .odb files (the default when creating a database
with OpenOffice Base) via R.
The goal of this package is to access OpenOffice databases via R, to
process data stored in it or to automatize their building from scratch
The package provides 5 main functions :
- odb.create, to create a new .odb file from a template.
- odb.open, to produce an "odb" connection to a temporary copy of the
- odb.close, to close the connection and update the .odb file.
- odb.read, to import data from the database to R via "SELECT" SQL
queries built by the useR.
- odb.write, to update the database via "INSERT" or "CREATE" SQL queries
built by the useR.
A few other functions are also provided to manage .odb specificties such
as comments on table fields and stored queries. Some wrappers are also
provided to insert directly a data.frame in a database table without
writing the SQL query, list the table names ands fields or export the
database in a .sql file.
Other wrappers may be added in future versions to help users not
familiar with the SQL language.
connection <- odb.open("file.odb")
data <- odb.read(connection, "SELECT * FROM table WHERE id < 15")
odb.write(connection, "UPDATE table SET field='peach' WHERE id = 5")
.odb files, as any other OpenDocument files, are ZIP archives containing
the HSQL files. To establish the connection, the .odb file is unzipped
via the "zip" bash command if available, and the connection is made via
the RJDBC interface. The "odb" object produced inherits from the
"DBIConnection" class, thus all functions provided in the DBI packages
may be used directly on it to manage the database. The odb.read and
odb.write functions are only wrappers to such DBI functions, handling
frequent issues such as charset or factors considerations.
Notice the database files are copied in a temporary directory, thus any
update made to the database is not written in the .odb file untill the
odb.close call, so simultaneous access to a same database (via R and
OpenOffice) should not be considered.
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