EXTOL Business Integrator: Dealing with Proprietary Flat File Data (Part 2)

Continuing from my previous blog on dealing with proprietary flat files, EXTOL Business Integrator includes a tool to address another complexity of flat files – repeating blocks of records. EBI’s record fragment, allows you to handle multiple format flat files having record formats repeating in blocks or groups.

To illustrate the issue of repeating blocks of records, consider the following record occurrence where the record names are A, B, and C…

A

B

C

B

C

A

B

C

B

C

As you can see, records B and C repeat as a block under each occurrence of record A.

With this problem now illustrated, we can talk about EXTOL’s solution: the record fragment. The record fragment is a schema structure devised by EXTOL to identify the repeating blocks of formats. In the case above, the records within the schema would look something like this:

record A

record fragment

record B

record C

This structure allows those creating rulesets the ability to iterate over the blocks of records if need be (by using the record fragment in the schema) while keeping the records separate within the fragment itself for individual mapping (by using the records in the schema).

What makes this an even better solution is EBI’s flat file wizard. The flat file wizard is intelligent enough to identify where record fragments are needed and will automatically create them for you from sample data.

Hopefully these blogs have instilled confidence so that you can face your first or next proprietary data transformation request without fear. It’s as simple as visually identifying the data, and letting EBI do the rest.

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