Working with record files
One of the supported formats in PRODBX is the record file. This is a ASCII oriented 'flat' file. Typical in the record file structure is that the fields are identified, and the place of the fields can be random. (This is different with the field delimited files where the fields are written at a specified sequence in the record.
Example of a FAQ file (frequently asked questions):
This is an export of a Lotus Notes content handling frequently asked questions. Each question (record in the FAQ table) is written over multiple lines in the export. The fields (Columns) in each record are: Subject, Keyword, Question and Answer. They are written in the 'field name' specification of the tables and table mapping section. (The table name is always 'FILE')
To interpret the records PRODBX needs to know the constants used throughout the file:
The big question with record files is: how do I determine the various characters when they aren't visible in a normal text editor, and how do I find the hexadecimal representation of them?
If you aren't familiar with hexadecimal values, or you don't have an editor in which you can view the invisible characters, there is still the old DOS debugger on your system. Call the MS-DOS prompt on your system and point the directory to the one where your record file is in. Use the command DEBUG filename. Thereafter you use the 'd' (dump) command to view the contents of your file in both hexadecimal and ASCII representation.
The file of our example will look like this:
When your file contains visible ASCII characters as 'separators' or you know the way your file is build from the documentation of your application exporting the file, and you want to determine the hexadecimal value, the next table could be of any help. The upper (heading) row gives you the first hexadecimal digit, the first (heading) column the second.
Remark: it may be that your file contains other control characters specifying font, links, ... To use these it is issue of applying the correct function to the data in your file. See the functions section. Please remind there are many standard software to find to convert text standards to other text standards, like converting RTF (Rich text file) to HTML (HyperText Make-up Language) (Visit http://www.logictran.com)
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