One of my jobs is to upload product data to the company store. The data is initially pulled from the company database by my supervisor, and she puts it into an Excel spreadsheet and exports as CSV. I then convert the CSV file into the format the store software desires and upload it. I generally use a combination of short Java programs I've written and OpenOffice Calc to make the adjustments.
Somewhere in the process, product numbers sometimes get converted to dates. I've noticed OO Calc sometimes does this, and I imagine Excel has a similar annoying feature. I've Googled until my fingers bleed trying to find a way to turn it off in OO, and I can't find a solution. Even if I did, my supervisor's use of Excel could be the culprit. Often, these conversion problems aren't noticed until the products are already listed on the e-store, and I haven't had the opportunity to trace the process and find the definite source of the problem
What is the best way to handle CSV data in such a way that none of the initial values are changed when it's passed around to different programs?