6 Replies Latest reply on Sep 5, 2012 9:14 AM by sporobolus

    DAT file...

    malachydevlin

      I've been landed with an old dos based package to be converted into FileMaker, the files are in DAT format but won't come across in any readable format.

      I've tried changing to txt, CSV and tab.

      I've tried notepad and excel but all I get is 1 line data all over the show!

      The database must be COBOL as I have a trial of a COBOL DAT reader that shows the records fine but it's damn expensive and I was Hoping there is a workaround?

        • 1. Re: DAT file...
          comment

          advancesolutions wrote:

           

          all I get is 1 line data all over the show!

           

          That's not necessarily a bad thing. The real question is can you see the data you need in this one line, and if yes, what are the separators between fields and between records (you'll probably need a more serious text editor to answer the second part).

          • 2. Re: DAT file...
            malachydevlin

            thanks, actually if i rename the extention to TAB then open with textedit (mac) i can see a line for each record but the fields seem to be a little mixed up.

            here is what it looks like

             

            CAGH<AGHAIKEN             <A  00017AGH< ía   ía ,OLDREV DAVID D.              HILLSIDE                      PORTSTEWART                                                                               M PREPRESBYTERIAN MINISTER                   MOLDEXHUMED 11 OCT '26 REINTERRED 12 NOV '26

             

            thanks.

            • 3. Re: DAT file...
              comment

              I f you are on a Mac, try BBEdit or its free cousin TextWrangler, and turn on the 'Show Invisibles' option. I can't tell from your example what the extracted data should be, but it seems like you are very close to a solution.

              • 4. Re: DAT file...
                BobGossom

                Hi,

                 

                Your example looks like fixed length data. If so, and you can find the the record delimiter with a text editor, and the data then lays out nicely, you may be good to go. You should be able to figure out the lengths of the fields, and hopefully their names, by the data. Viewing in in a fixed spaced font, like Courier, will be vital. Lot's of ifs.

                 

                If the data is interspersed with code, you may be looking at a world of hurt trying to make sense of it with an editor. Here's one site that describes translating Cobol to Access. I don't know if it will be relevant or not.

                 

                Your time might be better spent finding someone who knows this stuff (and already has the tools). Here's a site that lists a lot of companies that write Cobol conversion programs. One of the may be willing to get the data out for you. Presumably it would cost less than buying the Cobol Reader, and could save you considerable time.

                 

                Bob Gossom

                • 5. Re: DAT file...
                  malachydevlin

                  thanks guys,

                  Yes i think although i could wrestle with these files myself I think I will see if I can outsource this.

                  The information and links provided by you all was very helpful.

                  • 6. Re: DAT file...
                    sporobolus

                    on 2012-09-04 9:31 advancesolutions wrote

                    The database must be COBOL as I have a trial of a COBOL DAT reader that shows the records fine but it's damn expensive and I was Hoping there is a workaround?

                     

                    do you have the COBOL record layout? that would help interpret it as fixed

                    field (you'd still probably have a job of work to interpret numeric values, but

                    the text should be easier)

                     

                     

                    also have a look at these:

                     

                    <http://sourceforge.net/projects/cobol2j/>

                    <http://record-editor.sourceforge.net