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Seeking a simple method to convert pro-isam files


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#1 Nick Fankhauser

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Posted 15 November 2001 - 05:26 PM

Hello-

I am trying to extract the data from an old application written in Pro-IV that is no longer supported by the vendor (SCT/Mentor.) I have no previous experience with Pro-IV.

It appears that the files are in the proprietary pro-isam format (they have .pro extensions).

Can anyone suggest an inexpensive tool or method for extracting the data from these files? I'd prefer not to buy a developer's license just for this task, as all I need to do is move the data to the new application.

If no tools are available for a reasonable price, is there anyone who would be willing to do such an extraction for me for a reasonable fee? Essentially, I just need to get the pro-isam data into a flat ASCII file.

Thanks!

-Nick Fankhauser (nick@fankhausers.com)

#2 Richard Bassett

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Posted 16 November 2001 - 12:12 PM

Hi Nick,

Do you have (or can you get) the ProIV source code of the file definitions (record layouts) for your application?
Nothing's as simple as you think

#3 Nick Fankhauser

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Posted 16 November 2001 - 12:26 PM

Being ignorant of Pro-IV, I'm unsure. I *do* have a stack of paper that appears to be the field layout for each table/file. I'm not sure whether I have the corresponding definitions on disk that these were printed from. So far, I have identified the files with a .pro extension as my data files by looking at them & seeing fragments of the data, but I really don't understand the organization of other elements of the application. Would the definitions be one per data file? If so what is the file extension & would the first part of the name correspond to it's matching .pro file?

Thanks for your help so far!

-Nick

#4 Richard Bassett

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Posted 16 November 2001 - 01:25 PM

Hi Nick,

I *do* have a stack of paper that appears to be the field layout for each table/file.
I'm not sure whether I have the corresponding definitions on disk.

If they're titled 'FILE DOCUMENTATION' and have a section headed 'RECORD LAYOUT' then they'll be the file defs :-)

It's important to have them in order to understand the content of the different record types used by the application. In ISAM these can occasionally contain subtleties such as repeating groups and redefines (discriminated unions).

If you're hoping to get someone to do this for you in ProIV, you'll obviously save a lot of time having the file defs in electronic form.

Would the [file] definitions be one per data file?


Sometimes yes, but equally often not. It is possible and not uncommon to store multiple record types in one physical ISAM data file using ProIV. It is also common to access the same record type using more than one file definition (for various reasons, mostly of convenience).

If so what is the file extension [for a file def I assume you meant]& would the first part of the name correspond to its matching .pro file?


ProISAM files have a .pro extension by default. As you have determined, some of these are very probably your data files.

Something you may not have realised is that ProIV source does not exist as individual (text) files. The source (if you have any) is itself stored as (many) records within a set of ISAM files known as the 'bootstrap'. These are functdef.pro, genfile.pro, msgf.pro and so on and are typically located in a different directory to your data files. If you have any source, you would expect to have a logic.pro file and for it to be quite large compared to the other bootstraps.

So.. there is no 'file extension' for a file definition.

However, in simple cases, the file definition name a developer uses (FILE NAME: on your paper docs) will often correspond to the data file name without the .pro extension.


Hope this helps.


Can you tell us what version of ProIV your application is running on and what database you want to move the data into for your new application?


Regards, Richard B.
Nothing's as simple as you think

#5 Nick Fankhauser

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Posted 16 November 2001 - 01:51 PM

Thanks for the explanation Richard. It helps to understand a bit of the larger picture!

I'll have to wait until Monday when I can go sit at the console to respond to the question about Pro-IV version. The system has been unsupported for several years, so I expect it is fairly old.

The data will be going into Informix, but because the old system is an isolated (no network services) SCO box, I'm hoping to simply extract the data into flat ASCII files for transfer over a serial line. I'm aware that Pro-IV should be able to write C-ISAM files readable by Informix, but a set of flat ASCII files is what the vendor of the new system is asking for.

-Nick

#6 Chris Pepper

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Posted 16 November 2001 - 04:49 PM

Nick,
There are three basic options:

1) If you have inherited a PRO-IV Development system we can step you through writing a trivial PRO-IV function to output the data in the format you want.

2) If you only have a run-time system then you could get someone else to write the routines for you and send them to you. (This would have a cost).

3) I know of various people who have written 'C' routines to extract the data. It's a variable length format.

When you find out the version, try and see if you have a development license. After logging in the CTL-C and see if you get a ? prompt in the top Left hand corner. Then type @MOD (return). If you get a screen displayed then you have a development system, if you get an error message then you haven't.

#7 Nick Fankhauser

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Posted 16 November 2001 - 05:10 PM

Thanks! I'll see if I have a development system when I check on Monday. -Nick

#8 Aprile

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Posted 17 November 2001 - 05:33 PM

Contact NetAware Technologies (www.net-aware.com) 310-372-9026. We have software which can extract your pro-isam files to user formatted flat text files.

#9 Rob Fantini

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Posted 18 November 2001 - 03:35 PM

I use a NetAware product called 'protrack' and it does
export pro4 recs to text easily. I use protrack daily to
check the integrity of our pro4 and cisam files.

Their tech support is great.

Using protrack Nick would just need the pro4 filedefs in order to know what all the extracted fields are.

#10 Aprile

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Posted 19 November 2001 - 04:19 PM

Thanks for the testimonial, Rob. For all of you PRO-IV users, if you ever need assistance with anything having to do with PRO-ISAM or C-ISAM files, visit our web site at www.net-aware.com and take a look at our products. Even those of you using Oracle, all of your PRO-IV program (bootstrap) files are still PRO-ISAM files, and subject to hidden corruption. Our PROSCAN software is free and can be used to check the integrity of your PRO-ISAM and/or C-ISAM files.

Those strange system crashes or hangups, inconsistent reports and other problems you have seen over the years are almost always the result of hidden corruption in your file system.

#11 Richard Bassett

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Posted 19 November 2001 - 05:57 PM

Well well, you learn something every day.

Nick - I was going to offer to write you some C but I can't do it for $450 :-)

Aprile - I downloaded your demo so I could read the doc. Seems like a very useful product but possibly that it doesn't support variable-length C-ISAM (ProIV CISAMV file type). Can you confirm that or not? If not, is there any plan to provide such support? TVM.
Nothing's as simple as you think

#12 Aprile

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Posted 19 November 2001 - 06:46 PM

No, we don't have any plans to add variable length c-isam support. It would require a herculean effort and the audience is not large enough to make it worth while.

We did, however, recently add support for floating point c-isam numerics for a few platforms. Thanks for looking at our products.

#13 Nick Fankhauser

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Posted 20 November 2001 - 02:22 AM

Thanks everyone for your suggestions!
A few folks have contacted me directly via e-mail about this & expressed an interest in submitting a quote for the work. At this point the utility for extracting that the net-aware folks have seems like a good option, but I'll look at a the quotes & might consider that having a person who understands it all working with the files is worth a few extra dollars. If I missed sending my system information to anyone who is still interested in quoting the job, please contact me. (Richard- I assumed you were no longer interested based on your last forum post.)

The pointers I got here really helped me with the basics I needed to at least find my way around the system to get basic information. Your help is much appreciated!

-Nick

#14 Aprile

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Posted 26 December 2001 - 07:03 PM

www.net-aware.comI never heard back from you as to whether or not you are interested in our proposed solutions. If you are still interested, you can try a demo version of our 'protext' pro-isam file extraction software available on our web site .



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