I recently had a good chat with Paul Graham of CMR Direct, to find out exactly how he was using our product TextPipe Pro. Most of our customers are in the US, so it was great having a local customer to talk to! I wanted to pick Paul's brains and find out what problems it was solving for him.
Paul had a 300,000 line customer data file from an AS400 mainframe which was formatted with fields running down the page. He needed to have fields running across the page, one record per line. Once the data was in CSV format he could easily append barcode data to it, import it into a database and then perform a mail merge.
Normally Excel would make quick work of a file formatted like this, but here size was a problem - Excel can't handle more than 65,000 lines. Next he tried MultiEdit, but it took over 4 hours to fix the file, during which his machine was unusable. Next Paul tried TextPipe Pro, which took only 4 minutes to chew through the file. Although TextPipe can be scheduled for overnight data processing, Paul used it interactively, which is a quite different to how our banking and government customers use it.
TextPipe handles many common data extract problems, like splitting fields that contain more than one piece of data, swapping field and date orders, and restricting search and replaces to fields where the actual codes don't match what the customer has said! It handles files larger than 10GB.
Simon Carter is the CEO of DataMystic, and has an IT consulting and programming background.