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Main Chapter Getting Started Manual Programmer Manual

Import and Export Tools

How to Export Data

The following menu shows the options used to export data:

VA FileMan ...                                         [DIUSER]
      Other Options ...                                   [DIOTHER]
        Data Export to Foreign Format ...        [DDXP EXPORT MENU]
          Define Foreign File Format           [DDXP DEFINE FORMAT]
              **> Locked with DDXP-DEFINE
          Select Fields for Export      [DDXP SELECT EXPORT FIELDS]
          Create Export Template      [DDXP CREATE EXPORT TEMPLATE]
          Export Data                            [DDXP EXPORT DATA]
          Print Format Documentation    [DDXP FORMAT DOCUMENTATION]

If you know how to print file entries, you already know most of the procedures to export file entries. The Export Tool is based on the standard VA FileMan Print File Entries option.

NOTE: For more information on the Print File Entries option, please refer to the "How to Print Reports from Files" chapter of the "VA FileMan Getting Started Manual."

The Export Tool creates a specially formatted print output. Some limitations apply to data exports that do not apply to setting up a regular print (e.g., WORD-PROCESSING-type fields cannot be exported). Some capabilities are available when exporting that are not when you are printing (e.g., the records you export can be longer than 245 characters, if you are using a delimited format -- see the description of the Maximum Output Length FOREIGN FORMAT attribute). These differences are discussed below.

The steps to export data are:

  1. Make sure there is a FOREIGN FORMAT file entry available to export your data in the format expected by the receiving application.

  2. Select the fields you want to export (Select Fields for Export option). This creates a SELECTED EXPORT FIELDS template.

  3. Create an EXPORT Template. This is where you combine the SELECTED EXPORT FIELDS template with a desired FOREIGN FORMAT.

  4. Export Data Option. This is where you select which entries to export, and perform the export.
1. Make Sure a FOREIGN FORMAT File Entry is Available

First, you need to determine an ASCII data format (some form of delimited or fixed-length) that your foreign application will recognize. This is the format you will need the Export Tool to generate.

This data format must be set up in advance, as an entry in the FOREIGN FORMAT file (#.44). The following are the major format parameters stored in a FOREIGN FORMAT file entry:

Some formats are already set up in advance in the FOREIGN FORMAT file, targeted towards specific foreign applications. These include:

Keep in mind that applications are often updated. A format that worked for one version may not work for a different version, or a more efficient, simpler format might be possible for a different version.

NOTE: The full details of the export parameters that can be set up for exporting are described in the "FOREIGN FORMAT File Attributes Reference" section.

In many cases, you will be able to use an existing FOREIGN FORMAT file entry for your export. If you need to create a new FOREIGN FORMAT file entry (rather than using an existing entry), set up the new entry with the Define Foreign File Format option.


Reviewed/Updated: March 4, 2007