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In fixed-length data format, a standard width is expected for each field in the record. Suppose, for example, you have a record with LASTNAME = "Smith", FIRSTNAME = "Jane", AGE = "36". 25 characters might be set aside for LASTNAME, 20 characters for FIRSTNAME, and 3 characters for AGE. The resulting record, exported in fixed-length format, would look like:
Smith Jane 36
Groups of records are exported line-by-line, one line after another. A file of records in fixed-length format might look like:
USER TEST 29 JONES SUSAN 47 SMITH JOE 38
In order to use fixed-length data format, both applications (the exporting application and the importing application) must be able to recognize the format.
Reviewed/Updated: March 4, 2007