In the olden days, to get around unwanted record creation or field movement, the trigger characters were replaced with “tokens”, then reset, if desired, to their original values with another replace once the data was imported. Is there a better PanX way? Like a parameter telling the import to ignore commas?
In the past, I’d replace commas with some rare character. Then, after import, visit all the fields replacing any token character with a comma again. Another way might be to concatenate a blank record with a tab character at the beginning, before import - so commas are ignored (tab is now the field designator), then selecting and deleting that extra record after import.
I’m importing via the clipboard - maybe later replaced but pulling directly from the URL - a bunch of undisciplined text that needs to be parsed into records and fields. The “records” are designated by two FormFeeds(FF), but there are embedded FormFeeds and commas in text bodies. The same replace/replace idea worked for two FF. You’d replace the double FF with an FF+token character. Then change all remaining FFs to space - that gets rid of the extra embedded ones, then change the token back to a FF to get the end of record back before importing.
Another awkward dance was emptying a database. You couldn’t have a database without records, so you added a record with some unique content in one field, then searched for that record, then remove unselected, then cleared that search field so you’d be left with one empty record.
Is there a new/better way to empty the database? I always thought it would be fine after someone selected all the records and deleted the selection, that Panorama would - maybe after an “Are you sure?” - delete all the records and add that blank record so you would have that 1 required record without having to do the search and clear dance.
I’m starting through the training videos and I see a lot on adding records. But at this stage I’ll mostly be importing from the clipboard, seeing where my parsing scheme fails to take a situation into account, fixing that, emptying the database, and trying the import again.
I’ve seen import “helpers” but they seem designed for somewhat structured data. I’m dealing with incrementing through combinations of commas, periods, asterisks, brackets, and spaces to delimit what I’ll be pulling out as fields. It may mean also combining data from sequential records into one record - like the content of 3 fields is on one record, and the content for two more fields on the subsequent record.
I can increment my way through the clipboard text, pulling the content for various fields out and concatenating that data into another variable that is orderly/well behaved so it will import to with the correct record breaks and data distributed to their correct fields.
But I’ll be doing that over and over while developing the parsing code to handle the many variations. Aside from adding the blank “keep me” record and deleting all the rest, is there a fancier/faster way to empty the bucket and start again with an empty database - other than specifying some “replace the database with this” parameter on import?