Another thing or three about CSV files:
They are output as plain ASCII text files - you can actually open them up
with something like Notepad or Wordpad and look at them and work with them.
This has the advantage of making them platform independent. That is, just
about any computer operating system has the ability to read a plain ASCII
file. So with the ability to read that type of file and knowing that data
fields are separated with a particular character (as comma, semi-colon, pipe
between applications and computers.
Yes - I do use them or their brother type of file: fixed field length files.
Again, these are plain ASCII files with the data fields occupying specific
character positions within a record that is usually either 80 or 128
characters long. This works well also, but often at the expense of a lot of
wasted space to fill out fields that can be long, but are short in some
cases, with blanks to get the proper field positioning within a record.
As for how do I use it - one way that it gets used where I work is to
transfer data from an on-line timekeeping system into the company's
accounting system. Another more generic way to use it might be in this
scenario: presume you have a database program and a spreadsheet program.
They can't talk directly to one another because they don't know the other's
native file format. But both can write and read CSV files. So the CSV file
becomes a vehicle for data exchange between the two applications.