A lot of important data collected in the last 40 years by corporations and governments resides in Cobol data files.
Today languages other than Cobol are often used for data processing and programs in these languages need to read legacy Cobol data files. Also you may want to convert Cobol data files to modern formats such as CSV, DBF, Excel, Oracle, etc.
Data Readers do just that -- they convert Cobol data files to modern formats and make it available to programs in languages such as VB, C++, Java.
Cobol data files do not contain information about their own organization and record structure. That is, if you have just a Cobol data file and you do not have a Cobol program capable of writing or reading this file, you cannot correctly interpret the data contained in this file.
For every Cobol data file that you want to be able to read and interpret, you need the following:
Even if you have all 3 components as described above, reading and interpreting the data is still difficult:
With TextPipe Pro you can:
Cobol EBCDIC files: TextPipe can read EBCDIC files, typically used in mainframes and frequently forming legacy data to be imported to new systems. TextPipe can correctly handle packed, zoned and can translate binary numbers garbled as a result of character-by-character conversion of EBCDIC files by file transfer tools such as IND$FILE and Kermit. Provides a valuable junction between your legacy data and your new applications.
Fixed format lines - unlimited length.
Delimited Files - pretty much any delimiter, unlimited fields.
dBase and other database files via ODBC/OLE connector (unlimited fields).
Binary files: Many binary files consist of a header followed by a series of fixed-format records. TextPipe allows you to skip the header (if any) and export fields from the following records - with translation of binary numbers if needed. Ability to process "Packed Decimal" - COBOL Comp-3 type numbers.
Page Image Files (and other multi-record blocks), single or multiple records per page, with or without headers and footers, fixed format blocks or tag/flag-defined fields.
HTML files and captured/saved web pages: TextPipe's ability to define single or multi-line blocks based on tags and to extract fields within them also based on tags makes it ideal to import data from structured web pages and HTML files (e.g. convert your Chrome bookmark or address file to a database or mailmerge file). Special routines are included to make data import quick and easy from HTML tables on web sites.
Take files posted as a result of users completing HTML forms on web pages and convert them into databases.
As an alternative to input from files (of any length), data may be parsed from the system clipboard (very useful for extracting data from emails and web pages).
Your proprietary package doesn't provide a utility to export your collection? No problem, just have it print catalogue cards to a print file. TextPipe will read the print file and extract the data for you.
Change date and time formats. Read foreign language dates. Extract integer Year, Month, Day, Hour, Minute, Second. Generate Day of Week. Create four digit years from two digit years with intelligent century choice for Year 2000 (Y2K) conversions. Translate to and from Julian Day Numbers (days since 4713 B.C.) with or without fractional days. Translate "seconds since 1970" date/times.
Unit Conversion?The information you are importing contains data in square meters, but your database requires it in square feet? No problem, TextPipe has conversions built in for distance, area, volume, weight, energy, temperature and time. If it doesn't have the unit conversion you need, you can provide your own conversion rules.
Export numeric data as decimal, hexadecimal and scientific formats. With or without leading zero file for fixed length fields.
Split and combine input fields.
Reassemble and re-parse improperly parsed groups of input fields produced by other products.
Analyze name information. Parse out names into title, first name, middle names, last name, name suffix components. Get usable mailing names from those telephone list CD-ROMs by cutting out noise phrases like "Teen Phone", "Fax Line", "Residence" etc. Correctly recognize multi-word surnames like "Van der Pohl" and "de la Salle". Optionally strip accents for use with software which cannot handle accented characters.
Name Parsing? The CD-ROM you bought has names like "de la Mere Michael S Arnold Jr Dr Psychtrst Residence" in it. You can hardly use it as a mailing list in that format. No problem, TextPipe will remap it to "Dr Michael S Arnold de la Mere Jr" (and if you want, it will even leave off the "Jr" or export the name in fields as "Dr","Michael","S Arnold","de la Mere","Jr") at a fraction of the cost of other data mapping products.
Genderize names, creating default male, female or couple titles from first names. Create appropriate salutations. 10,000 first names are pre-programmed and you can import 10,000 more.
Analyze street address information. Parse out into suite designator, suite number, street number, street name, street designator, street direction, odd/even and put non-civic address elements into a separate field. Produce a "standardised" address if required.
Analyze City address line, parsing out into City, State/Province, Postal/Zip and substituting approved abbreviations. Recognize US, Canadian, British and most European postal code formats.
Change the case of fields on output, UPPER CASE, lower case, Proper Case (correctly handling capitalization exceptions like McDonald or WordPerfect).
Generate Soundex codes. Soundex codes permit you to match "sound-alike" words, which is handy for de-duplication of lists. For example Beaulieu and Bewley share the soundex code B400.
Optionally strip accents, changing matinée to matinee, for example. Some software "breaks" when presented with accented characters. This can cause a problem when importing accented name and address data from legacy files into some mailing programs unless you remove the accents to "unaccent" it by removing each accent by substituting the unaccented character.
Calculate arithmetic expressions involving the the input fields (e.g. totals and percentages).(2.0b)
Perform additional transformations using "plugin" programs which you write in almost any computer language.
Eliminate duplicate records (and non-identical records containing effectively duplicate data) based on individual field analysis.
With or without field name headers (e.g. for Microsoft Word mail merge).
Fixed format lines.
WordPerfect merge file.
System clipboard for pasting into other matrices (e.g. Microsoft Excel) or databases.
Insert "header" and "trailer" blocks in output files. This gives the ability, for example, to generate web pages of list-type data directly from a database.
Command Line Interface permits calls from shortcuts, batchfiles or other programs needing sophisticated input parsing.
Interleaved Output. You may wish to use your output file as input to a mailmerge program which prints several mailing pieces on a single sheet of paper. Interleaving records permits you to maintain the same sequence as your input records after cutting up the output stack.
Standalone product. TextPipe does not rely on the presence of the database engines of other products (its competition often does).