Contents of the FLIMPORT.DOC file
FLIMPORT creates a Paradox table from fixed-length ASCII format records.
ASCII tables can have either comma-delimited, variable-length fields or
fixed-length fields and records. With fixed-length records, there usually
is no marker to indicate the start of each field; you need to know the
starting point and length of each field to interpret the data in these
FLIMPORT lets you define a specification file that contains this
information. It then uses this specification file to either create a new
table or append records to an existing table.
To start FLIMPORT, at the DOS prompt enter the command
A Paradox-like menu appears with the options Create, Modify, Print, Import,
Length, and Exit. Press the F1 function key for help anywhere in the
Create lets you build a new import specification from scratch. At the Spec
File Name prompt, enter the name of the specification file you want to
create, including drive and path. Enter import specifications as described
Modify lets you change any import specifications you have previously
created. When prompted, enter the path and file name of the specification
file to change. Change the import specifications as described below.
Print prints a formatted list of import specifications from a file. Before
choosing this option, be sure your printer is on and ready.
Import is what actually imports data into a Paradox table. At the Spec File
Name prompt, enter the name of the specification file to use. Import loads
this file into memory and uses it to import data into the table.
Length displays the length of your fixed-length records. If you have
trouble importing records, use this option to compare the actual record
length with the length you entered into the specification file.
Entering import specifications
After you choose Create or Modify and enter a file name, two forms appear
onscreen. In the Table/Source Specs form, enter information about the table
and file to be imported (the source file). In the Field Spec form, enter
information about Paradox fields and the origin of the data used to
populate them. Enter data as you do in Paradox. The up and down arrow keys
move you between fields; the F3 and F4 function keys (Up Image and Down
Image) move you between the two forms.
Table and source specifications
The "Table/Source Spec" form has four fields to describe the Paradox table
and the file to be imported into it.
In the Table Name field, enter the name of the Paradox table you're
importing the records into. Don't type the .DB suffix; this is assumed by
In the Action field, type the word Create or Append or Overwrite.
Create builds a new table from scratch, as long as no table with that
name already exists.
Append adds new records to an existing table. CAUTION: Do not append
new records to an indexed table, as FLIMPORT treats all tables as
unindexed; it adds records to the end of the table, not in key
Overwrite builds a new table; if a table with that name already
exists, it is overwritten.
In the Source field, enter the name of the file containing records to
import. Include drive and path, if necessary.
In the Record Length field, enter the length of all records in the source
FLIMPORT reads ASCII text from the source file until it encounters a
carriage return/linefeed, which marks the end of the record. FLIMPORT
expects all records to be the same length; the fields are fixed-length, and
every record usually has the same number of fields. However, FLIMPORT can
handle one special case: Characters or fields that aren't of interest can
be truncated from the end of a record; if there are fewer characters in the
record than specified, FLIMPORT pads the rest of the record with blanks. If
there are more characters in the record than specified, they are ignored.
The Field Spec form lets you describe fields in the Paradox table and
source records. Here you enter the Paradox field names and types, along
with information about where to find the source data to populate them.
On the Field Name line, enter the name of the Paradox field to contain the
On the Field Type line, enter a valid Paradox field type:
N = numeric format
$ = dollar format
S = integer format
D = date format
Annn = character format of size nnn
On the Starting Position line, enter the starting position in the source
file's records where the field begins.
On the Field Length line, enter the length of the source field.
After you have described the first field, press PgDn to get a fresh form
for the next field. The following keys move you through the stack of Field
PgDn displays the next field spec. If you are in the last field spec,
it displays a new blank form.
PgUp displays the previous field spec. If you are in the first field
spec, it displays the last field spec.
Home moves to the first field spec; End moves to the last.
Del deletes the current field spec.
Ins inserts a blank field spec form in the middle of the stack.
To leave Create or Modify, press the F10 function key to see the
Specification Menu. The options are Save, Cancel, Print, Import, and
Save (or the F2 function key) writes the current specifications to the disk
file you specified after choosing Create or Modify. If an incorrect value
exists in any field, the save is canceled and the cursor positioned in the
incorrect field. This prevents saving any invalid specification.
Cancel lets you leave Create or Modify without saving and return to the
Print sends the current specification to the printer.
Import lets you import a file according to the current specifications. As
with Save, you are prompted to correct any invalid specifications before
Resume lets you go back to editing your import specifications. Esc does the
Choose Import from the main menu and enter the name of the specification
file. FLIMPORT first loads and verifies this file, then imports the records
from the source file to the Paradox table. It validates source fields
against the corresponding Paradox field types. If discrepancies occur,
FLIMPORT either prints or displays all invalid fields. Invalid source
fields are imported as empty (null) fields.
To avoid import problems, use the following table as a guide. It describes
which ASCII formats can be successfully imported into each Paradox field
type. As a general rule, both leading and trailing blanks are ignored. A
source field that contains all blanks is imported into Paradox as an empty
Field Type Acceptable Values
N (numeric) All numbers, including those containing
a decimal point; leading blank spaces,
dollar signs, and commas are ignored;
a minus sign can indicate a negative value.
$ (dollar) Same as N (numeric)
S (integer) Same as N (numeric), but any numbers
to the right of the decimal point
are ignored; maximum value is +32767
and minimum value is -32767.
D (date) The following formats are valid:
You can also use a dash instead
of the slash to separate parts of
A (character) Any valid ASCII character can be
imported; after removing trailing blanks,
the remaining value cannot be longer than
the Paradox field.
Cancelling the Import
To cancel an import in progress, press [Ctrl][Break]. FLIMPORT returns you
to where you began the import. The table contains all the records imported
before you cancelled the operation.