Dynamic data import / export

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Up to 100,000 records can be processed with the freeware version!

Support for several processing steps in a Definition

Several processing steps in a DefinitionSeveral processing steps in a DefinitionAs of this version FlowHeater now supports several processing steps within a single Definition (.fhd file). Any number of processing steps can be added to a Definition, which are then run consecutively in the sequence given.

Tip: FlowHeater Parameters are “globally” available within a Definition. This makes a number of interesting new options available for processing import/export data. For example, it is possible to record specific data from an upstream processing step in FlowHeater Parameters and use these values in a downstream processing step, e.g. as filter criteria.

Note: Heaters/Functions that are configured to fire “at the start” or “at the end” of the run now apply to each processing step! For example, if a script or SQL command must only be run at the very end of a Definition then this script (.NET Heater) or SQL command (SQL Heater) should only be defined in the last processing step.

Restrictions: At present several processing steps is only supported when using “Mass Data Mode”. The use of several processing steps is not presently supported with “Memory Mode”, and any attempt to use it this way will terminate with an error report.

Preview of later development: We offer here a brief outlook on future functionality that will profit from this new feature. The development of an “internal” memory-like Adapter is planned, using which will simplify the assembly, merging and processing of data from several sources that can then finally be exported.

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FlowHeater Server optimizations

FlowHeater Server - Exit CodesFlowHeater Server - Exit CodesFlowHeater Server is enhanced with some powerful new functions by this version. Not only is it possible to monitor folders for the appearance of new files, but also now for modified files. Processing starts as soon as the file is no longer open in any other process.

In addition, it is now possible to check “Exit Codes” to determine if tasks executed were “Successful” or terminated with “Warnings” or with “Errors”. Formerly, only a fixed value of “0” could be checked, indicating success. Particular exit codes can be specified, as well as ranges like “0-10” or combinations such as “0, 5-10, 200”. Also new is that exit codes are given for warnings. The most recent run of a task is now highlighted in color in the task list. Yellow indicating the task ended with warnings and red when the task last ended with an error.

Notification options have also been extended. Email notifications can now be sent for warnings as well. Previously emails were only possible for successful runs or fatal errors.

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New option in AutoID Heater to increment "only every X records"

Increment only every X recordsIncrement only every X recordsAs of this version of FlowHeater you are able to establish a counter using the AutoID Heater that only increments when a specified number of records/rows have been processed. This makes it relatively straightforward to handle very large exports, for example, where the output must be split into multiple CSV files (every X records start a new export file). Naturally this option supports the use of FlowHeater Parameters. This way the maximum number of rows in a CSV export file can be dynamically set by a runtime parameter in Batch Mode.

e.g. FHBatch.exe /SetParameter MAX-REC=10000 export-csv.fhd

In order for this to function properly the counter generated must of course be saved in another FlowHeater Parameter and this Parameter is then used as a placeholder in the output filename of the TextFile Adapter.

e.g. export$FILEID$.csv

This will trigger the Textfile Adapter to output a new file automatically each time the AutoID counter value is incremented.

There is a short video example of this included in the AutoID Heater documentation.

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New CMD Heater – executing an external script or program

This version adds another powerful function (Heater) to FlowHeater. With the new CMD Heater it is possible to not only dynamically execute external programs, but also run scripts (Perl, PHP, PowerShell, etc.) while an import/export is being run. The actual FlowHeater process will pause until the external processing is complete. Possible output from the external process can be redirected via FlowHeater Parameters for subsequent use by the FlowHeater Definition. If execution of the external program/script aborts with an error then the exit code of the task can be checked by an IF-THEN-ELSE Heater and if necessary the FlowHeater run also aborted using the Stop Heater.

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Excel Adapter with update and lookup functions

The Excel Adapter has undergone a complete overhaul for this version and now sports a host of new features. For instance it is now possible to perform updates of Excel rows/records in a similar way to the database Adapters and you can choose whether data is inserted, updated or both options used in combination. According to key fields you define, the Excel Adapter checks whether the record exists for updating or else will insert it into the sheet. The target area of the sheet for imported data can optionally be cleared before the import starts. This makes sure that when the imported amount of data is shorter than a previous import, no redundant data is left behind in the Excel sheet.

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