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To better make use of Catmandu is helps to first understand its core concepts:
Items are the basic unit of data processing in Catmandu. Items can be read, stored, and accessed in many formats. An item can be a MARC record or a RDF triple or one row in an Excel file.
Importers are used to read items. There are importers for MARC, JSON, YAML, CSV, Excel, and many other input formats. One can also import from remote sources such as SPARQL, Atom and OAI-PMH endpoints.
Exporters are used to transform items back into JSON, YAML, CSV, Excel or any format you like.
Stores are database to store your data. With database such MongoDB and ElasticSearch it becomes really, really easy to store quite complicated, deeply nested, items.