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Import, match and replace


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I published this question a couple of weeks ago in the Import & Export-forum. But I got no respons, and take it nobody knew what to do. So I take a chance with you portal-guys instead. I am really eager to know if it is possible to solve my problem. I have no experience what so ever with portals. Here is my question:

I maintain a list of journals, which are managed by FMPro41 and Web Companion. A part of the list is created by importing an Excel-file provided by a database host. This list contains a lot of journals. For certain reasons I would like to be able to:

a) import match, and replace information in a record that in a certain field is identical whereas other fields may differ. But not change information in some of the fields. Every journal is supposed to have a unique identifier called ISSN (International Standard Serial Number).

[in my original posting, there was a little more text, but I can solve that part of my problem with two fields Created-date and Changed-date.]

Is this at all possible?



What I want to achieve is being able to add keywords to all records, not overwriting or erasing them everytime I get an update from our provider. It is just impossible to browse through thousands of records and comparing the old list to the new one, adding new journals and deleting those that are no longer provided. And thereafter put new keywords to the newly added journals. I get a new list three or four times a year.

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As long as you can come up with a simple set of rules that a dumb program can follow to figure out which fields to keep and which to replace, it can be done.

I would import the information into a separate FM file related by ISSN, loop through the records in this new file, compare each new record to its related record which already exists, and perform the required operations (replace field, create a new record, etc.).


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Alas if life was that simple, just tell the stupid program what to do. What do I do when I'm sillier than it? ;-)

Is there a link somewhere I missed, that leads to a page that explains how to work with related records?

Basically I need to change two fields if there is an ISSN-match, or create a new one if there isn't. The name of the two fields are "Title" and "Holdings" (Or rather "Titel" and "Best

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Can you upgrade to Filemaker 5? Filemaker 5 has the nice feature of being able to update specific fields in matching records. You simply specify the match field and the fields that you want updated.

Of course this is pretty slow.

LiveOak's suggestion of importing into a file, relating by ISSN, then looping to update or using a Replace is often a quicker solution to process, but longer to program.

How many records are you dealing with?

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Hello Kurt

Yes, I may be able to upgrade to FM5.5

We have around 1500 records, it differs and the amount of records will most certainly increase.

In my case speed is not the most important factor.

Since the content in our journal list comes from several different databases, and the local library-collection of actual printed journals; I have a couple of different FM3-files with holdings from all resources. I have a main file into which I import all holdings-files manually now and then. Since the same journal may exist in more than one database, and possibly printed in our library, I can't mix the different holdings in the same file. The file I am having trouble with is one of the holdings-files, the other FM3-files are pretty static and not at all as big as the trouble-file. Updates to the main file is done when needed, not every second minute (or even day or week).

Perhaps I should try FM5.5.

What about the - if no match at all create a new record -question?



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