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IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000060204D
Original Publication Date: 1986-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-08
Document File: 1 page(s) / 11K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Chang, PY: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

A method is described which facilitates creation of fixed-length files from DIF* and SYLK** formats. In order to create a fixed-length file, it is necessary to know how long each field should be. For instance, if in record 1 the contents of the first field is a length of 3 and in record 2 the contents of the first field is a length of 10 and all other records have contents in the first field which do not exceed 10, the length of the first field must be 10. The records which have contents in the first field which are less than 10 will be padded with blanks to make the field a length of 10. Also, Merge with File requires field-type information, i.e., whether the field contains character data or math data. The DIF and SYLK files are not stored in fixed length format and do not maintain field-type information on a column basis.

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Extract File Description Information From File Itself

A method is described which facilitates creation of fixed-length files from DIF* and SYLK** formats. In order to create a fixed-length file, it is necessary to know how long each field should be. For instance, if in record 1 the contents of the first field is a length of 3 and in record 2 the contents of the first field is a length of 10 and all other records have contents in the first field which do not exceed 10, the length of the first field must be 10. The records which have contents in the first field which are less than 10 will be padded with blanks to make the field a length of 10. Also, Merge with File requires field-type information, i.e., whether the field contains character data or math data. The DIF and SYLK files are not stored in fixed length format and do not maintain field-type information on a column basis. Therefore, the field-length and -type information needs to be extracted to convert those files to fixed-length files. In accordance with the method, an initial pass is made through the DIF and SYLK files to determine the maximum length for each field. For field-type information, assume a field is math until a record is reached where that field does not contain math data. * Trademark of Software Arts Products Corporation. ** Trademark of Microsoft Corporation.

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