Just to be clear: are we talking about (1) the database module's import function, which allows a file of comma-separated values to be imported into an existing database, or (2) the Administration -> import, which copies the entire database activity from another course? I assume we have been talking about 2. The tracker issues I pointed to also refer to 2.
Now in your second paragraph when you say "importing the database format", I think you're talking about 1. This sounds like a good idea -- if you can get the data from the old databases. I'm not a database user, and I assumed database would have an export function, but I looked and I couldn't find one. But I suppose you get a screen listing of the old database (View list), then copy (ctrl-C) and paste (ctrl-V) into a text editor. Is that what you had in mind? If so, you still need to set up all the fields and templates in each new database. Not a job I would relish.
Backup and restore
Transferring a database from one course to another
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