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Table-Driven Approach to Multi-File Interface

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000062359D
Original Publication Date: 1986-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-09
Document File: 3 page(s) / 53K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Stetler, WC: AUTHOR

Abstract

Some APL applications require a means for collecting data from various sources. Each of these sources may use unique nomenclature and naming conventions, even when the same field content is intended. A Header Field Descriptor is designed to accompany the data and contain the field names and starting position of the field data for the file. In this manner, the file content is described to the APL application. The Header Field Descriptor represents one of three ingredients providing a flexible means to correlate the incoming data from each of several source files. Two tables were created to be used in conjunction with the Header Field Descriptor for allowing multiple source fields to be run sequentially by the APL application.

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Table-Driven Approach to Multi-File Interface

Some APL applications require a means for collecting data from various sources. Each of these sources may use unique nomenclature and naming conventions, even when the same field content is intended. A Header Field Descriptor is designed to accompany the data and contain the field names and starting position of the field data for the file. In this manner, the file content is described to the APL application. The Header Field Descriptor represents one of three ingredients providing a flexible means to correlate the incoming data from each of several source files. Two tables were created to be used in conjunction with the Header Field Descriptor for allowing multiple source fields to be run sequentially by the APL application.

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The figure shows an example of the control flow using this interfacing technique and representative data, and should be referred to frequently during the following description of the technique's operation. HEADER FIELD DESCRIPTOR The header field descriptor accompanies the data in the source print file and describes the file content using the following format:

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Standard header identifier (iii) is used to locate the header field descriptor in the source print file. The number of rows of field descriptor is specified by xx on line
1. This number in the above example must be 02 since two rows of field description follow. The field descriptor contains two items each. The yy denotes the leftmost column containing the data corresponding to the field referred to by the name that follows. A blank separates the column number (yy) and the field name (name1-N) as well as the next combination of field descriptors. These blanks are used as delimiters by the APL programs. The figure shows an assumed file format for a print file showing example data content for each field name -- i.e., data 'tttt' resides in the field named ATCM. This file with Header Field Descriptor added is shown with file name-file type-file mode (fn-ft-fm) of FILEA0209 DATA A1. Note that the sequence of field descriptors may vary. INPUT FILE TABLE The Input File Table contains fn-ft-fm for each file to be accessed. The last four digits of the file name is inserted from the APL application program parameter specified when this program is invoked. This mechanism will provide common vintage data -- i.e., print files run on the same day from each source system. The remainder of the file name is used to identify the column of the Field Definition Table which contains the field names to be expected for that file. The figure shows the Input File Table with the first entry FILEA0209 DATA A1 and subsequent entries of additional print files named 'FILEB----', 'FILEC----'. These files reside on the A disk and, thus, may be
accessed by the APL application. FIELD DEFINITION TABLE The Field Definition Table contains in the first of several fixed length columns the field names into which the c...