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field type for product number won't import correctly

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  • field type for product number won't import correctly

    I'm having problems importing Excel files into A5v9. I have Excel 2000. Back when I was using A5v6 and A5v7 I learned to save my excel files as Excel Version 4 before trying to import into Alpha Five. I also learned to use 8-character field names.

    Now, with Version 9 I have the Alpha DAO import and it is supposed to support all Excel files mush better than the previous ADO import genie. I am still using Excel 2000. No matter if I save as Excel version 4 or keep the files in the Excel 2000 version I can't get the import genie to give me the correct field type.

    I have some price list files where the Product_Number field is set to "Text" in the Excel file. When I use the default import settings in the Alpha DAO genie that field is set to "Exponent/Numeric". Even when I re-set the default field type settings for that field to "Character" using the genie I get the same result. The result in all cases using the import genies is that this field is blank (or sometimes a zero) whenever the product number is a non-numeric entry.

    A product number like "XYZ001" will not come over in the import. It will be blank, or a zero. A product number like "0001234" will come over as "1234". A product number like "5678123" will come over fine, as "5678123".

    When I use the CSV/ASCII import genie I can set the field types and everything comes over fine. But can I set up a CSV operation in the control panel? I haven't been able to figure it out. I can use the Alpha DAO or the ADO import genies and everything seems okay accept for this one problem. Is this a problem with the genie, my version of Excel, or the ODBC driver?

    I've been reading until my eyeballs are burning and I've been experimenting all day. Sure would be nice if I could get the Alpha DAO genie to do what I want. Where do I go next?

    Strange that I can use the ASCII import genie and set the field types for my prices to numeric but I can't use the DAO genie to set my product number field to character.

    Please, help. Thank you,
    Sean

  • #2
    Re: field type for product number won't import correctly

    I've given up trying to import directly from an Excel file. I figured out how to save an operation for importing using a CSV file. This seems to work.

    There must be something that Excel does that A5 can't handle in some cases. I'm not smart enough about these things to figure it out. Seems to me the AlphaDAO should work on Excel2000 files but I can't make it work.

    Now my approach for importing my price lists is to open the Excel file in OpenOffice Calc and export as a CSV file. Then I use the ASCII Import genie and save as an operation.

    Sean

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: field type for product number won't import correctly

      Alpha DAO can over ride a field definition.

      Look at this attached image.
      Al Buchholz
      Bookwood Systems, LTD
      Weekly QReportBuilder Webinars Thursday 1 pm CST

      Occam's Razor - KISS
      Normalize till it hurts - De-normalize till it works.
      Advice offered and questions asked in the spirit of learning how to fish is better than someone giving you a fish.
      When we triage a problem it is much easier to read sample systems than to read a mind.
      "Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler."
      Albert Einstein

      http://www.iadn.com/images/media/iadn_member.png

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: field type for product number won't import correctly

        Thanks Al,

        Yes, I found that and thought it would be my solution. But the records still imported at zeros in that field when the product number did not start with a number.

        I think there is some weird thing in the Excel file that A5 doesn't like.

        The CSV import works. I can live with that.

        Thanks,
        Sean

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: field type for product number won't import correctly

          Since you have letters in your product fields, you can only bring that into a character field.

          A target numeric field will act as you've indicated when posting a character field into it..
          Al Buchholz
          Bookwood Systems, LTD
          Weekly QReportBuilder Webinars Thursday 1 pm CST

          Occam's Razor - KISS
          Normalize till it hurts - De-normalize till it works.
          Advice offered and questions asked in the spirit of learning how to fish is better than someone giving you a fish.
          When we triage a problem it is much easier to read sample systems than to read a mind.
          "Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler."
          Albert Einstein

          http://www.iadn.com/images/media/iadn_member.png

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: field type for product number won't import correctly

            Thanks Al,

            Yes, I understand. In fact, I am trying to import a column that is formatted as text in the Excel file into a character field in A5. That is why I am so confused as to why it is not working.

            When I export as CSV and import the CSV file everything comes over fine. Only when I try to import from the Excel file do I have this problem. I figure there is something in the way the Excel file is wrapping the data in this column. It says it is formatted as text but A5 seems to think differently.

            Thanks,
            Sean

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: field type for product number won't import correctly

              Can you send a small example of data to me?

              Something isn't making sense....
              Al Buchholz
              Bookwood Systems, LTD
              Weekly QReportBuilder Webinars Thursday 1 pm CST

              Occam's Razor - KISS
              Normalize till it hurts - De-normalize till it works.
              Advice offered and questions asked in the spirit of learning how to fish is better than someone giving you a fish.
              When we triage a problem it is much easier to read sample systems than to read a mind.
              "Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler."
              Albert Einstein

              http://www.iadn.com/images/media/iadn_member.png

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: field type for product number won't import correctly

                I just started having the same problem when some data values changed. I tried many combinations of specifying the "id" column as text in Excel, but there is a problem when converting to dbf. I am going to use the intermediate step of CSV to solve the problem.

                Here is what I found.
                Specifying cell format of "text" vs. "General" makes no difference when saving as DBF. Excel seems to just look at the value when deciding what to do with it. If all values are the same "type" (character or numeric) then they export from Excel corretly and ADO override settings can be used to get format you want in Alpha. We know that dbf format was dropped from Excel Save As in Office 2007, even though older formats like SYLK were retained. Maybe they had "issues". Using Save As in Excel 2003 gives the same bad results, so the problem seems not to be with Alpha.

                Attached is a sample file if anyone has more insight.

                Bill.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: field type for product number won't import correctly

                  Today in the stranger than truth segment of our show, we find that the legacy import operation works, but Alpha DAO doesn't.( or after playing with it, I didn't make it work...)

                  It does require that you change the import field type to character in the legacy import operation (suggested thought it should be numeric)

                  Sounds like a bug report...
                  Al Buchholz
                  Bookwood Systems, LTD
                  Weekly QReportBuilder Webinars Thursday 1 pm CST

                  Occam's Razor - KISS
                  Normalize till it hurts - De-normalize till it works.
                  Advice offered and questions asked in the spirit of learning how to fish is better than someone giving you a fish.
                  When we triage a problem it is much easier to read sample systems than to read a mind.
                  "Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler."
                  Albert Einstein

                  http://www.iadn.com/images/media/iadn_member.png

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: field type for product number won't import correctly

                    This is the response I got from Selwyn.
                    I am not sure that it is a bug.
                    If you are using AlphaDAO, then you can't have a column of data in which some of the rows have numeric values and some have character values, as your spreadsheet appears to have.

                    the 'classic' import is more forgiving, but the alphaDAO goes through the Microsoft MDAC and it is probably much less forgiving.
                    So I will have to avoid AlphaDAO for this type of import unless I am certain there is no variability in the import data.

                    Bill.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: field type for product number won't import correctly

                      An update. From a thread in Features Request forum I found a way to solve the problem in Excel.

                      We know that formatting the column as text does not solve the problem. Instead use the menu item Data -> Text to Column wizard. Step through the 3 pages and select Text on page 3. This does the equivalent of putting an apostrophe at the beginning of numeric cells, without the manual hassle. Then the entire column will import into Alpha as text.

                      Using CSV as an intermediate file is the other alternative.

                      Bill.

                      Comment

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