About the Custom data type

The Custom data type is used to process fields in data sources that contains non-standard character data. For example, the Custom data type can be used to read data from foreign-language applications that implement certain characters in a non-standard or unsupported way.

By default, the Custom data type in ACL stores ASCII values. However, you can create a special file named custom.dat that contains substitute values for any or all standard ASCII character values. You can create the custom.dat file using any text editor. There are no restrictions on the character substitutions that can be made.

Custom.dat is a standard text file with two values on each line. The first value is the character to be replaced, and the second value is the character to replace it with. The values can be specified using any of the following methods, or combination of methods:

The custom.dat file is read when ACL starts up, so you cannot edit the file while ACL is running. None of the values specified in the custom.dat file should exceed 255, which is the largest value that can be stored in a byte. You can use any text editor to view the custom.dat file.

For example, if the data field to be read is ASCII, but the data source uses the hexadecimal values A4 for the dollar sign and A5 for commas, and the character code 5 to represent decimal point, you can use a custom file to substitute the required values. The custom.dat file would need to include the following lines:

XA4 C$
XA5 C,
5 C.

The first line substitutes the dollar sign ($) whenever the hexadecimal value A4 is encountered.

The second line substitutes a comma whenever the hexadecimal value A5 is encountered.

The third line substitutes a period whenever the character code 5 is encountered.

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