Sourcetable Integration

Export AWS CLI to CSV

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    Welcome to the comprehensive guide on exporting AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) outputs to CSV format. Delving into AWS CLI data through spreadsheets is a game-changer for many organizations, offering a window into more refined, actionable insights. Whether it's for creating detailed, repeatable exports, storing them securely on Amazon S3, or customizing them with SQL-like precision, exporting to CSV can significantly enhance your data management strategy. On this page, we'll explore the essence of AWS CLI, the methods to seamlessly convert CLI outputs to CSV files, practical applications of such exports, a unique alternative to traditional CSV exports using Sourcetable, and a helpful Q&A section to address common inquiries regarding the process of exporting AWS CLI to CSV.

    What is AWS CLI?

    The AWS CLI (Amazon Web Services Command Line Interface) is an open source tool provided by Amazon Web Services. It serves as a unified utility that allows users to interact with various AWS services. Through the convenience of command line shells, it enables the execution of commands for managing AWS resources. The tool is designed for minimal configuration, making it accessible for quick and straightforward use.

    Functionality-wise, the AWS CLI is capable of automating commands via scripting, which can control multiple AWS services. This means that tasks typically performed through the AWS Management Console can be executed directly from the command line, offering an equivalent level of service management. Whether the user is operating on Linux, macOS, or Windows, the AWS CLI adapts to common shell programs, Windows Command Prompt, and PowerShell to offer a flexible and efficient way of handling AWS services.

    Additionally, the AWS CLI extends its capabilities to remote operations, such as running commands on Amazon EC2 instances through remote terminal programs like PuTTY or SSH. It also supports browser-based command execution via AWS CloudShell, enhancing productivity through the ability to experiment with service APIs and utilize other tools within a browser environment.

    Exporting AWS CLI Data to CSV

    Using --output and --query Options

    To export data from the AWS CLI to CSV format directly, you can use the --output option with the argument text to output the information in plain text. Afterward, you can convert this text output to CSV by replacing spaces with commas. This is done using tools like sed, tr, awk, or paste. Additionally, the --query option enables you to format your output as CSV by filtering the data you want to export. It is important to note that if your CSV output contains spaces, it may cause errors. To overcome this, ensure proper formatting with the --query option to handle spaces correctly.

    Direct CSV Output with --output csv

    The AWS CLI also allows you to output data in CSV format by using the --output csv option. This method is straightforward and can be combined with the --query option to filter the output. However, similar to the text method, you should be cautious when dealing with CSV output that contains spaces as it can lead to errors. Properly using the --query option to specify the format can help avoid these issues.

    Using jq for JSON to CSV Conversion

    While you can use the jq command to convert JSON output from the AWS CLI to CSV format, it is not always the most straightforward approach. It can be used to process JSON output and format it as CSV. However, if the CSV output contains spaces, this method may introduce errors. It is also worth noting that the .[][] notation might be necessary when using jq to ensure the correct CSV format is achieved. Nevertheless, using jq is an alternative method when the direct CSV output from the AWS CLI is insufficient for your needs.

    Sourcetable Integration

    Streamline Your AWS CLI Data Management with Sourcetable

    Transitioning from traditional methods of managing AWS CLI data to Sourcetable can significantly enhance your data handling capabilities. Sourcetable eliminates the need to export your AWS CLI data to a CSV file and then import it into another spreadsheet program. This seamless integration allows you to sync your live data directly from AWS CLI, providing real-time access and updates within the intuitive spreadsheet interface of Sourcetable.

    With Sourcetable, you can effortlessly automate your workflows, saving valuable time and reducing the risk of errors associated with manual data transfers. This automation extends to the aggregation of data from multiple sources, simplifying complex data analysis tasks. Sourcetable's familiar spreadsheet format makes it an accessible tool for both technical and non-technical users, thus democratizing business intelligence across your organization.

    Common Use Cases

    • A
      Sourcetable Integration
      Use case 1: Generating reports for resource inventory
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      Sourcetable Integration
      Use case 2: Extracting and formatting billing information
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      Sourcetable Integration
      Use case 3: Automating dataset extraction for analysis
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      Sourcetable Integration
      Use case 4: Migrating data to third-party tools

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is it possible to output the AWS CLI to CSV?

    Yes, it is possible to export AWS CLI output to CSV using tools like jq or by using the --output text option and processing the output.

    How can I output the AWS CLI to CSV without using jq?

    You can use the --output text option and then replace spaces with commas using utilities like sed, tr, awk, or paste to format it as CSV.

    How do I handle spaces in column values when exporting AWS CLI to CSV without jq?

    Using utilities like sed, tr, awk, or paste directly may not work properly if a column value contains spaces. You would need to implement additional logic to handle such cases.

    How can I output AWS CLI to CSV using jq?

    You can use the jq command with a query to get the csv output natively. An example is: aws ec2 describe-instances --output json --query 'foo' | jq -r '.[][] | @csv'.

    Is using .[][] with jq required for all CSV queries?

    No, using .[][] is not required for all queries. It depends on the structure of the JSON output and the specifics of the data you want to extract.


    The AWS CLI offers versatile options for exporting data to CSV format, catering to various preferences and requirements. Users can utilize the powerful jq command to output CSV natively with the @csv argument or employ the .[][] notation for structuring the CSV output. For those preferring not to use jq, the AWS CLI can also produce CSV output by combining the --output text option with tools like sed, tr, awk, or paste to format the data. However, if you're looking for a more streamlined and efficient way to work with AWS data in a spreadsheet, consider using Sourcetable. Sourcetable allows you to import your data directly into a spreadsheet, bypassing the need for manual CSV exports. Sign up for Sourcetable today to get started and elevate your data management experience.

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