Documentation

Data Outsource window

A Data Outsource allows you to load temporary data sets, much like a Data Subset. The difference is that the source of data is outside the database.

You can use the data set in the same way that you use a data set derived from a Data Subset building block. For example, you could print mailing labels from data in a text file, using Axisbase just to process information, but not store it.

There are two main options of sources: File and Code. Code is covered in separate documentation. The rest of this page covers file sources.

Options on the File tab

  • File name - Type the file path and name here for the source file, OR use the Browse button to select the file, OR leave it blank. If it is blank, then each time the data outsource is accessed, the user will be asked to choose a file.

  • Format - The option "One record per line" is used for delimited text files also known as CSV files. The option "Axisbase XML" is used to import XML files created by an Axisbase export. The option "Microsoft XML" is used to import data sets conforming to the Microsoft format for .NET data sets.

  • Skip malformatted records - If checked, then the process won't stop because of records that it can't understand. If not checked, the process will fail when it reaches a record it can't understand.

  • First line contains field names - If using the "one record per line" format, and this is checked, then the first line of the file is interpreted as field names only, not data.

  • Table name - Generally leave this blank, and it will be filled in when you use Test Import. Whatever is here will become the table name in the in-memory data set.

  • Delimiter - Enter the character that is used to separate fields in text files. The special sequence "\t" indicates the tab character.

  • Qualifier - Enter the character that is used to surround fields in text files, usually a double-quote character.

  • Decimal point character - Enter the character used for decimal points in the text file.

  • Date/time pattern - Either select one of the pre-defined date time formats, or type one using the codes:

    • yy - two digit year

    • yyyy - four digit year

    • M - month

    • d - day

    • h - hour in 12-hour time

    • H - hour in 24-hour time

    • m - minute

    • s - second

    • tt - am/pm designation

Test Import button

Always do a test import after filling out the basic information. This reads the input file and fills out the table name and list of columns, and alerts you of any errors.

After the test import, you can modify the columns. You can change the name or data type. If you set the data type to "skip this column", that column won't be imported.

Connecting a Data Outsource to something useful

After setting up a data outsource, it can be connected to a list or bulk operation in the same way a data subset is connected.

Or you can build a data subset on top of the outsource. In the data subset window, for a table's data source, choose "Start with the results of a Data Outsource". This technique allows you to dynamically merge or relate data from the database with data from a different source.

Nested Tables button

The Nested Tables button is used in a special circumstance when you are importing a master table and detail table together in the same import. In that case, the list of columns on the Data Outsource window only shows the master table columns. Press Nested Tables to see the Table Structure window, which shows a tree diagram of the tables in the import. From there, choose a table and press Columns to view and edit the column definitions for that table.

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