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Text File Format (Text File Driver)

The ODBC Text driver supports both delimited and fixed-width text files. A text file consists of an optional header line and zero or more text lines.

Although the header line uses the same format as the other lines in the text file, the ODBC Text driver interprets the header line entries as column names, not data.

A delimited text line contains one or more data values separated by delimiters: commas, tabs, or a custom delimiter. The same delimiter must be used throughout the file. Null data values are denoted by two delimiters in a row with no data between them. Character strings in a delimited text line can be enclosed in double quotation marks (""). No blanks can occur before or after delimited values.

The width of each data entry in a fixed-width text line is specified in a schema. Null data values are denoted by blanks.

Tables are limited to a maximum of 255 fields. Field names are limited to 64 characters, and field widths are limited to 32,766 characters. Records are limited to 65,000 bytes.

A text file can be opened only for a single user. Multiple users are not supported.

The following grammar, written for programmers, defines the format of a text file that can be read by the ODBC text driver:

Format

Representation

Non-italics

Characters that must be entered as shown

italics

Arguments that are defined elsewhere in the grammar

brackets ([])

Optional items

braces ({})

A list of mutually exclusive choices

vertical bars (|)

Separate mutually exclusive choices

ellipses (...)

Items that can be repeated one or more times

The format of a text file is:

text-file ::=
   [delimited-header-line] [delimited-text-line]... end-of-file |
   [fixed-width-header-line] [fixed-width-text-line]... end-of-file
delimited-header-line ::= delimited-text-line
delimited-text-line ::=
   blank-line |
   delimited-data [delimiter delimited-data]... end-of-line
fixed-width-header-line ::= fixed-width-text-line
fixed-width-text-line ::=
   blank-line |
   fixed-width-data [fixed-width-data]... end-of-line
end-of-file ::= <EOF>
blank-line ::= end-of-line
delimited-data ::= delimited-string | number | date | delimited-null
fixed-width-data ::= fixed-width-string | number | date | fixed-width-null
NoteNote

The width of each column in a fixed-width text file is specified in the Schema.ini file.


end-of-line ::= <CR> | <LF> | <CR><LF>
delimited-string ::= unquoted-string | quoted-string
unquoted-string ::= [character | digit] [character | digit | quote-character]...
quoted-string ::=
   quote-character
   [character | digit | delimiter | end-of-line | embedded-quoted-string]...
   quote-character
embedded-quoted-string ::=
   quote-characterquote-character
   [character | digit | delimiter | end-of-line]
   quote-characterquote-character
fixed-width-string ::= [character | digit | delimiter | quote-character] ...
character ::= any character except:
   delimiter
   digit
   end-of-file
   end-of-line
   quote-character
digit ::= 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9
delimiter ::= , | <TAB> | 
custom-delimitercustom-delimiter ::= any character except:
   end-of-file
   end-of-line
   quote-character
NoteNote

The delimiter in a custom-delimited text file is specified in the Schema.ini file.

quote-character ::= "
number ::= exact-number | approximate-number
exact-number ::= [+ | -] {unsigned-integer[.unsigned-integer] |
   unsigned-integer. |
   .unsigned-integer}
approximate-number ::= exact-number{e | E}[+ | -]unsigned-integer
unsigned-integer ::= {digit}...
date ::=
   mm date-separator dd date-separator yy |
   mmm date-separator dd date-separator yy |
   dd date-separator mmm date-separator yy |
   yyyy date-separator mm date-separator dd |
   yyyy date-separator mmm date-separator dd
mm ::= digit [digit]
dd ::= digit [digit]
yy ::= digit digit
yyyy ::= digit digit digit digit
mmm ::= Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
date-separator ::= - | / | .
delimited-null ::=
NoteNote

For delimited files, a NULL is represented by no data between two delimiters.

fixed-width-null ::= <SPACE>...
NoteNote

For fixed-width files, a NULL is represented by spaces.

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