n.The process of incorporating data from an external source into an application.


Transferring data from one source to another may be merely copying. 'Import' connotes a transformation of the data in order to integrate it with existing data or by changing it to a useful form.


Knowles and Elliott 1997 This word came into use in the mid eighties. Like export, it usually now implies the movement of data into an application, most frequently data which is in another format and which has to be translated by the receiving application. So a user may add new records to a database by importing them from a source file which may be text or may be in the format of another database; a desktop-publishing system may import text and graphic files in a variety of formats and convert them to its internal representation.