Defining ACL tables manually

If ACL is unable to identify the file format of a file-based data source it selects the Other file format option on the File Format page in the Data Definition Wizard. You can also select this option if you want to define a file manually. When this option is selected, the Data Definition Wizard walks you through the steps needed to define the file, but you need to provide all of the information required for ACL to create a table layout from the file.

To define an ACL table manually:

  1. Select File > New > Table.

    The first page displayed in the Data Definition Wizard depends on your configuration. If integration with ACL Server is enabled the Select Platform for Data Source page is displayed, otherwise the Select Local Data Source page is displayed.

  2. Complete one of the following steps to select the location of the file:
    • If the Select Platform for Data Source page is displayed and you want to use ACL to define the file, select Local and click Next. In the Select Local Data Source page select Disk and click Next.

    • If the Select Platform for Data Source page is displayed and you want to use an ACL Server to define the file, select ACL Server and select the server profile from the drop-down list, and then click Next. In the Select ACL Server Data Source page select Flat Files and click Next.

    • If the Select Local Data Source page is displayed select Disk and click Next.

  3. In the Select File to Define dialog box, locate and select the file you want to create the ACL table from and click Open.
  4. In the Character Set page, verify that the correct character set option has been selected and click Next.
  5. In the File Format page, the Other file format option will be selected if the Data Definition Wizard cannot identify the file as a more specific type. This means that the ACL table must be manually defined. You can also reclassify a file that has been assigned to a different file type if you want to define the ACL table manually. Click Next to proceed to the next page.
  6. In the File Properties page, complete the following steps:
    1. Verify the file type identified by the Data Definition Wizard. If you want to change the type, select the file definition type from the following options:
      • Fixed Length – Select this option if all the records in the file are an equal length, and each field is located in the same location in every record.

      • Variable Length – Select this option if records in the file vary in length. The next page of the wizard allows you to further classify the file type as a file that contains a single record type that varies in length, a Print Image (Report) file, or a file that contains more than one record type.

      • Skip to Finish – Select this option to move to the Final page of the Data Definition Wizard without defining fields in the ACL table layout. You should select this option if you want to define the table layout manually in the Table Layout dialog box, or if you are unable to define a file using the Data Definition Wizard.

    2. Enter a value greater than 0 in the Bytes to Skip text box to skip the specified number of bytes from the beginning of the file. For example, if the first 300 bytes only contains header information, you can enter 300 to omit this section of the file from the table definition.
    3. Modify the value in the Record Length text box to increase or decrease the record length identified by the Data Definition Wizard. The record length refers to the length of each record in fixed length files, or the length of the longest record in variable length files. If the values in a field are misaligned to the right, the record length value likely needs to be increased. If the values in a field are misaligned to the left, the record length value likely needs to be decreased.
    4. Select the Hex checkbox to view the data in hexadecimal format. This option is useful if you are working with unprintable characters or compressed data, such as packed numeric data originating from an IBM mainframe computer.
    5. Click Next.
  7. If you selected Fixed Length or Variable Length in the previous step, select one of the following options in the File Type page and click Next.
    • Data File (Single Record Type) – Select this option if each field in the record has a fixed start and end point, and each record in the file is the same length.

    • Print Image File (Report File) – Select this option if the data file is an electronic version of a printed report that includes consistent formatting. This type of data file has detail records that contain the information being reported on, and often include header and/or footer records that include additional information, such as customer details and totals.

      Important

      Before you attempt to define a print image file using this option, you should try selecting the Print Image (Report) File option in the File Format page of the Data Definition Wizard (step 5 above), which uses a more straightforward process for defining print image files.

    • Multiple Record Type File – Select this option if the data file includes more than one type of record, but is not formatted as a report.

    • Skip Field Identification – Select this option to move to the Final page of the Data Definition Wizard without defining fields in the ACL table layout.
  8. If you selected Data File (Single Record Type) in the previous step, complete the following steps:
    1. In the Identify Fields page, complete any of the following actions to modify the fields identified in the record, and click Next.
      • Delete an existing field separator by clicking on the field separator line you want to remove.

      • Move an existing field separator by clicking and dragging the field separator line to the new location.

      • Create a new field separator by clicking the grid in the position where you want to add the field separator.

    2. In the Edit Field Properties page, complete the following steps:
      1. In the preview table in the bottom half of the page, click the column heading of the field you want to edit properties for.

      2. If you do not want the field to be included in the ACL table layout, select Ignore this field.

      3. In Name, keep the name assigned by ACL for the field in the table layout, or enter a different name.

      4. In Column Title, enter the column title to display in the default ACL view. If a column title is not specified the Name value is used.

      5. Select the appropriate data type for the field from the Type drop-down list. For information about the supported data types in ACL, see ACL data types.

      6. If the selected data type is Numeric, you can specify the number of decimal places in the Decimal text box. The Decimal text box appears automatically when you select the corresponding data type.

      7. If the selected data type is Datetime, specify the format that matches the data in the Input Format text box. The Input Format text box appears automatically when you select the corresponding data type. For more information about date and time formats, see Formats of date and time source data.

      8. When you have edited all of the fields you want to modify, click Next.

  9. If you selected Print Image File (Report File) or Multiple Record Type File in step 7, complete the following steps:
    1. In the Record Field Introduction page, the Data Definition Wizard displays any records it has identified automatically in the data file. Select Add/Edit Record Types if you want to create new record types or modify the existing record types identified by the wizard, and click Next to continue.
    2. In the Identify Record/Line Types page, complete any of the following steps to specify the record types in the data file:
      • To add a new record type, enter a name for the record type in the Select the type to define drop-down list, select the text that defines the record in the preview table using the Include or Exclude buttons to include or exclude text from the record as appropriate, and select the Heading line checkbox if the record is a header record.

      • To edit an existing record type, select the record type you want to edit in the Select the type to define drop-down list, modify the unique text that defines the record by selecting text in the preview table using the Include or Exclude buttons to include or exclude text from the record as appropriate, remove previously selected text by choosing the entry in the list and clicking Delete, or select the Heading line checkbox if the record is a header record.

    3. In the Identify Fields page, complete the steps outlined above in step 8a.
    4. In the Edit Field Properties page, complete the steps outlined above in step 8b.
  10. In the Final page, verify the settings for the new ACL table and click Finish.
  11. Enter a name for the ACL table you are adding to the project, or keep the default name, and click OK.


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