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dbase .dbf


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Generally I think FM is greatest thing since sliced bread......until...

I have a file.dbf on a server used by server side appications.

Needed to add some text to several records in one field. In this specific case; a "keyword" field for a search algo that uses the file.

Downloaded the dbf file.

No import function or open function.

FM converts it to FM format; ok I'll go with that...

I add my data to the desired field and records with Import|Match|update

Made a tweak with the great built in Find/Replace function.

Looked for Save As dbf NOT

File Export as DBF

Did this as unsorted and all fields in original table order.

(can't remember if it was the Trial FM8 or my FM7) that at time would warn about truncated fields and records BAD BAD BAD)

Pretty sure I started getting clean "exports" with FM7 for no apparent reason of change on my part.

Tried to use the new dbf file at the server side with bad results.

My developers response after looking at my work on the dbf was:


"Are you uploading this actual database? And what are you using to edit it?

The Keywords field has been modified to be a character field, only to accept a maximum of 8 characters. Other fields have been modified as well.

ou should be using an actual DBF tool. I use CDBF - which is a pretty solid tool.



I used the one free support call to FMinc....they better not call me up with a follow on survey...rather disappointing, but I expected as much; just hate that yucky feeling after being addressed like I only recently discoverd my computer mouse......with vauge answers....

Anyway so now that I want to try and do something "advanced", I use that term loosely, as this is pretty simple task I think...I'm advised to use a Windows based $35 app to do what my warm and friendly FM environment cannot ??!!!

What good then is the DBF export functionality.

What's it used for :?

Good grief it sure seems like it ought to be a basic and simple task for FM and or the FM developers to provide for this.

Maybe I should ask in a nutshell...

Being that FM CANNOT edit .dbf's properly what the heck do you power users do when confronted with .dbf edits ?



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Here is what one developer told me today that makes the most sense or confirms the maddness....

"The missing link is that Miva Merchant (and other) DBFs are not all created

equally. Just as all MS Word files are not completely compatible, all DBF

files are not compatible either. There are certain functions in some DBF

editors that break Merchant DBF files...there is no rhyme or reason, they

just do. For example, in older versions of DBF utils, packing a Merchant DBF

file that had memo fields would corrupt the memo field file. (Don't know if

that is still true--don't use the newer DBF version, just the old one and


Edited by Guest
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Your own response pretty much says what I was going to say.

I'll add this, if you haven't already done so, you should Read the Online Help about File Formats to see what can be expected when importing and exporting the different ones.


Experiment with the different formats for the particular problem you have, and see if a different export/import format will work better.

I usually find that a Tab Separated Text or Comma Separated Text work the best between the different applications, and I prefer the Tab, as it os easier to read in a Text Editor like BBEdit or TextWrangler, and to manipulate the file to my satisfaction for import into FileMaker.



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