Dynamic data import / export

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Examples

We present a constantly growing collection of examples here, illustrating how to use FlowHeater with practical tips. These range from the simplest "hello world" to some quite powerful Definitions for importing / exporting CSV text files, the dynamic conversion of data between databases and the generation of test data in a variety of forms.

Note: If you cannot locate a specific example for the actual task you are contemplating, refer to some of the other examples. The general methods applied in FlowHeater are always consistent and so by extension one of these examples will be found to approximate your requirements.

It is a tradition to begin by writing a “hello world” program when first learning a new programming language. Have no fear, we are not expecting you to learn programming; we merely wish to demonstrate to you that FlowHeater is just as flexible and capable as custom programming is.

All the examples are explained step by step, so you can easily repeat them yourself and for your convenience they are all included in the FlowHeater download. You will find the examples in the folder "..\Examples\EN". Click here for the download page.

Our recommended approach

You are advised to repeat the "hello world" examples to begin with, step by step. All in all this should not take you longer than 30 minutes and it is really worth your while. The fundamental methods of operation are all explained there. It will not matter whether you later want to export data from an SQL Server database into a CSV file or import data from Excel into an Oracle database; the methods used are always the same. Once you have mastered the general techniques you will soon discover new ways of using the software for your own uses.

Hello World examples

Introductory practical examples of FlowHeater in general use

  • Hello World 1, generating test data in CSV format

    The first example shows how CSV test data can be generated with FlowHeater.

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  • Hello World 2, generate CSV test data

    Taking the Hello World 1 Definition we produced a little further, let us now produce some more dynamic results with FlowHeater.

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  • Hello World 3, generating test data with fixed column widths (flat file)

    Now we get more ambitious. First we will use the method already explained for writing a CSV format text file, but will convert it to a flat file (a text file with fixed string lengths, equivalent to fixed column widths) and also insert an incremental number on each line.

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General examples

These illustrate FlowHeater's basic functions

  • Format numbers as character strings

    This example describes the standard method to transform numbers into strings and how FlowHeater can be used to sidestep the standard format options of the WRITE Adapter.

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  • Simple If-Then-Else example

    Here we see a short and simple example of how a conditional branch is defined in practice, demonstrating the use of the If-Then-Else Heater.

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  • Complex If-Then-ElseIf example

    This example primarily focuses on describing in greater detail the use of the If-Then-Else Heater and to demonstrate a much more elegant possibility of how such relatively complex structures (9 heaters in this case) can be replaced using a single .Net Script Heater.

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  • Example of filtering and grouping data

    This example demonstrates how data can be filtered and grouped during a transformation.

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  • An example of how to filter and group data, as well as how to consolidate grouped values

    This example describes how data can be filtered, grouped and values summed across groups during a transformation. As input let us assume the following small flat file, a report format text file (we do not always have CSV data).

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TextFile Adapter examples

These examples focus especially on the possibilities of the TextFile Adapter

  • Convert an MS DOS ASCII CSV to a Windows ANSI flat file

    With this example we wish to demonstrate how easy it is to convert text files to other formats (codepages and locales) with the TextFile Adapter and at the same time perform dynamic calculations.

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  • Convert a Windows ANSI flat file to an MS DOS ASCII CSV file

    With this example we wish to demonstrate how easy it is to convert text files to other formats (codepages and locales) with the TextFile Adapter and at the same time perform dynamic calculations.

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  • Processing of CSV header and footer rows

    In CSV or Flat File text files there are often header and/or footer rows included that contain additional information and require processing during the import/export process. With this example we wish to demonstrate to you how CSV header and footer rows are processed using FlowHeater Parameters.

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  • Import/Export vCard (line based) text files

    With this example we wish to demonstrate how to import and export vCard (contact data) version 2.1 files. Commonly referred to as electronic business cards, vCards can typically be imported into and exported from email clients.

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MS Excel Adapter examples

Import/export examples of using the MS Excel Adapter

MS Access Adapter examples

Import/export examples of using the MS Access Adapter

MS SQL Server Adapter examples

Import/export examples of using the MS SQL Server Adapter

  • CSV text file import into SQL Server

    This example describes how the SQL Server Adapter can be used to import a CSV text file into an MS SQL Server database table. It also explains how to configure FlowHeater for importing with insert or update SQL operations.

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  • Exporting a flat file (report) from MS SQL Server

    This example shows how text is exported as a flat file (report) from an MS SQL Server database by using a combination of the FlowHeater SqlServer Adapter and the TextFile Adapter.

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  • SQL Server Import IDENTITY (Auto Increment) fields

    This example demonstrates how to import into Auto Increment (IDENTITY) fields into an MS SQL Server database using the FlowHeater SQLServer Adapter and what to watch out for when importing an Auto Value (IDENTITY) column.

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  • CSV export divided into several files

    In this example we explain how to export with FlowHeater cumbersomely large SQL Server tables and split (segment) them into a series of CSV text files. The criterion for dividing the CSV files can be based on the content of a field or a fixed value for the maximum number of records to export.

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XML Adapter examples

Import/export examples of using the XML Adapter

  • General example of processing XML files

    We wish to illustrate the general methods of XML processing using the XML Adapter with the following example. All the examples described here are available as complete Definition files in the downloaded zip archive.

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MySQL Adapter examples

Import/export examples of using the MySQL Adapter

  • CSV text file import into MySQL

    This example describes how the MySQL Adapter can be used to import a CSV text file into a MySQL database table. It also explains how to configure FlowHeater for importing with insert or update SQL operations.

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  • Exporting only new MySQL records to a CSV text file

    With this example we want to demonstrate to you how to configure a dynamic FlowHeater Definition using Parameters to export to a CSV file from a MySQL table that when run automatically only selects records that have been inserted since the previous run.

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SQLite Adapter examples

Import/export examples of using the SQLite Adapter

  • Merging CSV and Excel data using an SQLite database

    In this example we demonstrate how data from a CSV text file and an Excel list can be merged into a large export text file in flat file report format.

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PostgreSQL Adapter examples

Import/export examples of using the PostgreSQL Adapter

  • CSV text file import into PostgreSQL database

    This example describes how the TextFile Adapter can be used to import a CSV text file into an PostgreSQL database table. It also explains how to configure FlowHeater for importing with insert or update SQL operations.

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OleDB Adapter examples

Import/export examples of using the OleDB Adapter

  • Import/Export/Update of Sharepoint lists

    As there is no native Adapter for Sharepoint in FlowHeater at present, we wish to provide a short explanation about how you can gain access to Sharepoint Portal Server lists by using the FlowHeater OleDB Adapter. The three scenarios of import, export and update are briefly described.

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DataTable Adapter examples

Import/export examples of using the .NET DataTable Adapter

  • General .NET DataTable Adapter example

    Here we describe the different fields of application for the .NET DataTable Adapter by way of a small example.

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  • MS Excel CSV import using VB.NET

    This describes a brief Visual Basic .NET example to illustrate how the .NET DataTable Adapter can be used to integrate any data source and target in FlowHeater. Of course the example is also provided as Visual Studio Solution source code.

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  • Simple DataTable XML export

    Simple example how to export a XML file by using the .NET DataTable Adapter.

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