7 Replies Latest reply on Apr 11, 2012 5:31 PM by taylorsharpe

    Need help with exporting data back to dBASE4 file.

    billyfburnett@earthlink.net

      I have no problem importing dBASE4 file into FM, but can not export back all the data, in particular the numeric fields. Only fields with a value of 10,000,000 or more will export back to dBase4 with the correct data. Please help!

        • 1. Re: Need help with exporting data back to dBASE4 file.
          taylorsharpe

          One thing you have to remember is that when importing, dBase has set some parameters about fields that FileMaker doesn't care about such as what type of number field and how many decimal places or whatever.  FileMaker can read that fine, but when exporting, since FileMaker doesn't have those definitions, it just generically exports the number fields.  Usually dBase IV file format is used just for transferring data.  It also has other issues like field names can't  have more than 8 characters and FileMaker field names get truncated.  I guess other than recognizing this issue with FileMaker dBase exports (which may actually be dBase III), where are you trying to go with the data and is there a better way.  Could you use an ODBC connection?  Or a CSV or tab delimited export work our how about Excel or XML?  What program are you trying to get it into? 

          • 2. Re: Need help with exporting data back to dBASE4 file.
            billyfburnett@earthlink.net

            Thanks for your help. We are a small water and wastewater utility that serves 1,500 customers and use Visual dBASE as our customer billing software. we presently use handheld computers to read read the water meters in the field. Due to the difficulty in viewing the small screens in bright sun light, we are experimenting with using the new Apple high resolution IPAD. Since Visual dBASE is not yet compatable with Apple products, we are trying the FileMaker software for the meter reading function.

             

            We convert the Version 7 dBASE meter reading file to a dBASE4, which we also have to do for our present handheld, and import it in to FM which works fine. When the file is exported from FM back to dBASE all of the numeric data comes back as zeros. We could convert the numeric fields to text(character fields in dBASE) prior to exporting to FM and convert back to numeric fields after FM exports back to dBASE. I would rather not have to do that if I can find a way around it. We only use one field from the meter reading file to update the main Customer file with the new meter readings.

             

            Again, thanks for any help you may offer.

             

            Billy Burnett

             

            billyfburnett@earthlink.net

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            • 3. Re: Need help with exporting data back to dBASE4 file.
              billyfburnett@earthlink.net

              Thanks for your help. We are a small water and wastewater utility that serves 1,500 customers and use Visual dBASE as our customer billing software. we presently use handheld computers to read read the water meters in the field. Due to the difficulty in viewing the small screens in bright sun light, we are experimenting with using the new Apple high resolution IPAD. Since Visual dBASE is not yet compatable with Apple products, we are trying the FileMaker software for the meter reading function.

               

              We convert the Version 7 dBASE meter reading file to a dBASE4, which we also have to do for our present handheld, and import it in to FM which works fine. When the file is exported from FM back to dBASE all of the numeric data goes back as zeros. We could convert the numeric fields to text(character fields in dBASE) prior to exporting to FM and convert back to numeric fields after FM exports back to dBASE. I would rather not have to do that if I can find a way around it. We only use one field from the meter reading file to update the main Customer file with the new meter readings.

               

              Again, thanks for any help you may offer.

               

              Billy Burnett

               

              billyfburnett@earthlink.net

              • 4. Re: Need help with exporting data back to dBASE4 file.
                taylorsharpe

                I just looked over at the www.dbase.com web page and it says that dBase supports ODBC connections and I would try that first.  ODBC ferrets out many of these field issues in that it is an open standard.  That way you make importing a direct step from one database to the other without having to save an exported file that has to be reimported.  Do you think you could give that a try?

                • 5. Re: Need help with exporting data back to dBASE4 file.
                  taylorsharpe

                  The following web page says that dBase supports CSV format which FileMaker also supports. 

                   

                  http://www.dbase.com/Knowledgebase/faq/import_export_data.asp  

                  • 6. Re: Need help with exporting data back to dBASE4 file.
                    billyfburnett@earthlink.net

                    I have never set up a ODBC connection and I'm pretty much in the dark.  I will research and give it a try.  If you have any advice on where to start would be helpful.

                     

                    Thanks again.

                     

                    Billy Burnett

                     

                    billyfburnett@earthlink.net

                    • 7. Re: Need help with exporting data back to dBASE4 file.
                      taylorsharpe

                      The FileMaker ODBC overview is at http://www.filemaker.com/support/technologies/odbc.html

                       

                      An ODBC driver has to be installed on the server machine and the client machine to let the database talk to each other through the operating system.  You could do it either way where FileMaker is either the server or the client.  Usually you set up the server ODBC driver on an actual server machine.  So if you have FileMaker Server running, you'll need the ODBC driver from FileMaker installed on the client machine that has dBase.  If you're a Windows guy, you configure it in the ODBC Control Panel.  If you are using dBase as the Server, you'll need the ODBC driver from dBase for the FileMaker client machine to talk to dBase. 

                       

                      No, ODBC is not the easiest to set up.  But once it is set up, it allows easy transfer of data directly from database to database from then on.  So if this is a one time setup, you might try the CSV import.  If you plan to do this a number of times, setting up ODBC would be beneficial.