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Parsing of Large Text Files?


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Here's the situation:

At my job, we offer basically 'extended warranty's' on several computer server components.

We generate quotes for customers, by obtaining a copy of their weekly log output. (its a large file with everything from configuration to installed cards)

what we do currently is compare by hand the output of the installed cards and drives, to a database of the actual part numbers.

What i would like to do is create something in filemaker pro 8 to allow myself or my boss who create these quotes, the ability to go to this database, run a script or something - copy and paste in the sysconfig, and have it go line by line, and match up the line to the database of part numbers

If I could do that (and possibly eventually create the quotes within fmp instead of doing them in excel and then creating PDF's to email to customers) we could save ourselves a LOT of time and human error (miscounts and typo's)

Now i am a novice to FMP, but I am quick to learn programming and WYSIWYG type interfaces. My boss has more experience than me, so he can help me if i get stuck. But he has no idea the best way to tackle this problem

Thanks all!

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I would start by importing the text file into FileMaker. Each line will then be a single record. Next you'd set up a script with a Loop and Go to record (next) and yadda yadda yadda, the short answer is it sounds like a perfectly feasible and not terribly difficult project for FileMaker, including creating and emailing the PDF files.

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Yeah, is there any way to easily create some sort of text box to do it?

If not, thats not a problem, i have the ability to easily create a program to create a program we can run to automate the process partially

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Sorry, I don't understand the question. By "text box" do you mean a field? FileMaker will automatically create fields as needed when you open a text file. Or, you can set up the fields first and use Import.

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I mean instead of having the user import the file. We get the logs as an email.

It requires more steps to copy it, save it to a file on the desktop, go to fmp, go to the database, import it, run through the steps, then process it.

I was wondering about if there was a way to create a dialog box as part of the script. Where the user selects email, copys entire text, and pastes it into a text box and presses ok, then it would parse it out by putting each line into a field or even just parse it out right there.

i'm sure your suggestion is the only way to, but maybe there is a plugin or something for us

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Yes, you could create a FileMaker file with a field for the user to paste in the text from the email.

At that point (after the user pastes), you could export the contents of that field to a text file and then import it the way I described above. However, since you'd now have the data in FileMaker already, it would probably be just as well to parse it out line by line.

FileMaker has many fun text functions such as Middle, MiddleValues, MiddleWords, etc. Check out the online help, it's surprisingly good.

If you have a specific question like "how do I extract 'xyz' from the text "abc xyz bbq" I'll try to help a best I can. Or you may want to start a new thread.

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