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A method to import data from free format spread sheet

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000033186D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Dec-01
Document File: 3 page(s) / 525K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Input data for a computer process is usually in a specific file format and data structure that is pre-defined by the process program. However, this article shows a method to input data in free format spread sheet. It is beneficial in the following matter; (a) the original input data (in free format table) does not need to be converted to a specific format and sturcture required by the process program. As far as the original data is in free format, the conversion might be done manually and it may cause human errors. (b) In the case an output data set, which is created by adding the process results into the input data, is required, the output data can be formed in a natual extension of the input data table format. It is easy to read by people who prepared original input data.

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A method to import data from free format spread sheet

     Assuming that there are multiple projects as users of a computer process. Each project prepares input data set for the process in a spread sheet file, but the spread sheet format varies by the project. Here, spread sheet (table) format includes row/column definitions of the table, data expression (e.g., "Left/Center/Right", "L/C/R", "1/2/3", "l/c/r", or ...) and so on. Traditionally, this type of variation cannot be accepted as a computer input and the data set must be converted manually into a specific data format/structure required by the computer program.

     The method introduced by this article enable the program to handle the orignal free format spread sheet as its input by defining the spread sheet structure on the program's GUI. It provides the following benefits;
(a) the original input data (in free format table) does not need to be converted to a specific format and sturcture required by the process program. This can avoid human errors that may occurs in the data conversion process.
(b) In the case an output data set, which is created by adding the process results into the input data, is required, the output data can be formed in a natual extension of the input data table format. It is easy to read/understand for the people who prepared original input data and upgrades their work performance.

The method is implemented in a software program that works in the following manner;
(1) The program open the free fo...