Hi Richard, there may be some newer functions such as List() and GetValue() which can make parsing easier and in the sample you mentioned, it would help a great deal but if all you have is first and last name, it wouldn't make much difference. Surprisingly, answer 5063 was last updated September 10, 2008 so they obviously didn't change their calculation to take advantage of newer functions and they even still wrapped their carriage return with quotes which hasn't been necessary since 2005 (I think). I suppose FM finds is easier for them to use calculations which can apply to ALL versions instead of using their new functions to make things easier for us. In general, you are better off to search for calculation solutions on any of the forums (or simply post a question on a forum, indicating your FM version) and letting someone give you the best calc which should take advantage of newer abilities. I'm afraid I couldn't recommend calculations or processes provided in the FileMaker Knowledge Base.
Parsing is not an exact science and the best method would depend upon the data. There are also some gotchas to watch out for, such as a person having TWO first names, ie, Billy Ray or Bobbie Sue and do you have middle initials in any of your data?
If you provide a cross sampling of the types of data you are working with, we can step you a lot closer, a lot faster. :smileyhappy:
I had not thought of the initials and I see in the second example the compiler forgot the comma after the last name.
The date and numbers of the mining license varies from record to record, as does the number of licenses. Some will only have one year, and some could have 6 . It will not be a real problem to have the first and last in one field but the db that I am importing to uses that form and it does facilitate a Find.
Here are two examples
"Ault, Geo. A.","66-07-14","311hg"," "," "," "," "," "," ","-","ml"
"Arnold A.","67-04-10","605","68-04-22","2?","69-05-19","327"," "," ","-","ml"
Thanks for your suggestions.