I want to use a csv file of products for a shopping cart.. the csv file will be updated daily via ftp.. Am I best to read from the csv file to populate the cart or have the file dumped into the database and populate the cart that way?
how many items in the csv file?
will the columns in the csv file be subject to change?
will you need to sort, say to display together, any of the products?
will you need to join any of the csv records to other records in your database - apart from users purchase record?
I suggest to use XML instead is is much convenient and you can easily read data from them. Of course importing CSV into a database is also possible.
I would recommend importing the CSV into MySQL. I just dealt with a similar situation for a client of mine who has 3,500+ products which are exported to CSV from their internal system. Using MySQL makes it a lot easier to work with in terms of searching and manipulating the data.