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Parsing a Field

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  • Parsing a Field

    I receive a daily text file of 40 - 50,000 records. I would like to import directly into Alpha 5 using the parsing tool. Unfortunately, this text file uses 3 records (or lines) for one logical record. In other words, it takes three lines of the text file to make up the complete record. Of course, the information is different in each line and each line needs to be parsed differently.

    I could use Excel to concatenate the three parts to each record into a single record and then import that. In thinking about it, the procedure would work but require a lot of operator steps even with a macro. If possible, I would like to do the whole thing in Alpha 5.

    I have written a script that will do the job using substr logic to break up the individual lines (records) and then use <tbl>.enter_begin() to write the parts out to a new table. It works fine but takes several minutes to execute.

    Can someone enlighten me on a faster way to get this accomplished? I haven't found any action script to help and my searches of help haven't suggested any other alternatives. I'm fairly new to all the xbasic commands so I am probably missing the obvious.

    Thanks for your help.

  • #2
    Re: Parsing a Field

    A line is terminated by a crlf? You need to read a line (store it in a variable), read another (store it in a second variable), read the third (store it in a third variable), concatenate the first and second variables less their crlf's with the third variable and write that to a line in a new text file for import.

    Left(somevariable,-2) will strip the chr(10) and chr(13) from the end of the variables.

    Look at the file.open(), file.read_line(), etc. These are low level and fast commands.

    Edited: You don't need to strip the crlf's out since the read_line() does that for you.

    Code:
    fil = file.open("C:\filetest.txt",FILE_RW_EXCLUSIVE)
    outfil = file.create("C:\importfile.txt",FILE_RW_EXCLUSIVE)
    while .not. fil.eof()
    	for i = 1 to 3
    		v1 = fil.read_line()
    		v2 = fil.read_line()
    		v3 = fil.read_line()
    		outline = v1+v2+v3
    		outfil.write_line(outline)
    	next i
    end while
    end
    My sample assumes the fields are comma separated, the last field in a line also has the comma.
    Last edited by Stan Mathews; 08-29-2008, 03:40 PM.
    There can be only one.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Parsing a Field

      Thanks Stan. I believe I understand that it is possible to do the concatenation from within Alpha5. I don't see file.read_line in my help. Also, I don't see a command to write the line back to the new file. Do I need to create an "empty" file on my computer, with the file name before running the code or is there also a command that takes care of establishing the file if it doesn't exist?

      Sorry for all the questions but sometimes it is hard to find things in help when you don't know the exact term.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Parsing a Field

        try this

        http://support.alphasoftware.com/alp...EAD_LINE().htm


        Tom Baker

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Parsing a Field

          Also, I don't see a command to write the line back to the new file.
          Line 9

          Code:
          outfil.[COLOR="Red"][B]write_line[/B][/COLOR](outline

          Do I need to create an "empty" file on my computer, with the file name before running the code or is there also a command that takes care of establishing the file if it doesn't exist?
          No, Line 2 does that.

          Code:
          outfil = file.[COLOR="Red"][B]create[/B][/COLOR]("C:\importfile.txt",FILE_RW_EXCLUSIVE)
          There can be only one.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Parsing a Field

            Thanks to both you and Stan. I didn't see the bottom of Stan's reply the first time. I'll give this a try. It is a good day when you learn something new. Thanks.

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