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Import and Export Tools

Fixed-length Data Format

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