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Fixed Field Length Imports

FileMaker Magazine


Even in today's interconnected world, you'll still find systems which are so legacy that the only thing you get out of them is some type of output which was popular back in the late 80's and early 90's. One of those formats, which isn't actually an import format, is PCL (Printer Command Language). Yep, there's still a lot of education institutions which will output a PCL file as an export, which is simply just fixed length text with instructions about how a printer should handle the output. It's probably from the heavy use of the good old dot matrix printer days. PCL, however, is used for more than just dot matrix printers.

The great thing about ANY structured content is that you can easily parse and extract exactly what you need from it - so long as you decipher the formatting. PCL, CSV, HTML and JSON - they're all just structured data. This video and its associated file is all about parsing a fixed field length PCL file.

It's a collection of scripts and information about how to go about dynamically parsing a well structured PCL based text file. So, if you're doing development for a business or educational institution, which still only provides PCL output, and you want a clean way to parse the data into your FileMaker solution, then you'll find everything you need to do so successfully and flexibly within the provided file and video.

Click the title or link to this article to view the video.

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