A delimiter is a character that separates text strings. Common delimiters are:

  • Commas (,)

  • Semicolon (;)

  • Quotes ( ”, ’ )

  • Dash (-)

  • Pipes (|)

  • Slashes ( / \ ).

By default, the COPY FROM function accepts commas (,).


The syntax for COPY FROM is as follows:

COPY table_name FROM 'file_path' (DELIMITER 'delimiter');

Two parameters need to be specified in the syntax:

  • table_name: the table that will receive data from the file.

  • file_path: a link to the file location in the server.

  • DELIMITER 'delimiter': the delimiter used in the CSV file.


Let’s have a look at the step-by-step below:

Step #1: Create a CSV File

First, you should create a CSV file and store it on your local computer. In this case, we use Dash ( - ) character to separate the text.

create a table - 1.0 modify a table - 1.2 drop a table - 2.2 rename a table - 2.0

Step #2: Import FIle from Local to Server

You can use the syntax below for importing the file to the server:

aws s3 cp ~/[file location on your local computer] s3://[server location]/[file name]

Next, import the file to the server using the above syntax:

aws s3 cp ~/Documents/feature2.csv s3://oxla-testdata/cayo/feature2.csv

If it’s successfully imported, you will get the following result:

upload: Documents/feature2.csv to s3://oxla-testdata/cayo/feature2.csv

Step #3: Connect to Oxla Server

Connect to the Oxla server using the command below:

psql -h buildfarm.oxla.com -p 6000

You are now in the Oxla environment if you get the output below.

psql (15.1 (Ubuntu 15.1-1.pgdg22.10+1), server Oxla 1.0)
WARNING: psql major version 15, server major version 0.0.
         Some psql features might not work.
Type "help" for help.

Step #4: Create a Table

Before creating a table, check for duplicate tables with the statement below:


In return, you will retrieve a list of existing tables in Oxla.

| name                       |
| supplier_scale_1_no_index  |
| features                   |
| orders                     |
| features2                  |
| featurestable              |
| featurestable1             |
| featurestable10            |
Ensure you are not creating duplicate tables.

Create a “featurelisttable” table using the command below:

CREATE TABLE featurelisttable (featurename string, version float);

Step #5: Copy the CSV File Into Table

Because we are using Dash ( - ), we need to add a DELIMITER param with a specified character, as shown below:

COPY featurelisttable FROM 's3://oxla-testdata/cayo/feature2.csv' (DELIMITER '-');

You will get the following successful result:

(0 rows)

Otherwise, you will get the error message below:

ERROR: unexpected data at line: 1 col: 0 position: 108, expected , but got:

Step #6: Retrieve the Table

To verify that the data was imported correctly from the server, retrieve all the data using the SELECT statement:

SELECT * FROM featurelisttable;

You will have the same data in the table as in the CSV file.

| featurename     | version  | 
| create a table  | 1        |
| modify a table  | 1.2      |
| drop a table    | 2.2      |
| rename a table  | 2        |