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Accessing files with .ISM.DAT and .IDX.DAT extension in UNIX/C environment

Posted on 2006-06-20
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I have an old Unixware 2.1.2 server with a bunch of data files with file extension of  .IMS.dat and .IDX.dat.  I need to retrieve the data from these files, but have no idea what they are or how to access them.   I have search,literally, for hours on the internet to get information on what these are and how to access them.   ANY clue would be VERY appreciated.   I would be using C (not C++), as that is the only compiler available on the machine.
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Question by:KristenPage
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by:Kim Ryan
ID: 16947638
My guess is that they could be working files from a database. IDX could be the index structure for a table. Have you simply tried viewing them using
more xxxx.IDX.dat
Even if there is just binary data, you may at least glean some info. vim can also display binary data.
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by:bpmurray
ID: 16950135
My guess is that the IDX file is an index to the IMS file. I remember an icon editor on windows used IMS, but I can't remember its name; in any case it's unlikely to be that. Where are the files located, i.e. in which directories? That may give a hint as to what they are.
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by:ahoffmann
ID: 16952063
do you know what you're looking for in the files? If so I'd follow teraplane's suggestion.
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by:KristenPage
ID: 17010693
I am sorry, I did not do a very good job describing my problem.   I know what the files are, in the sense that they are the data files to an application by Advanced Digital Data Systems (ADDSYS).  This is an ancient system that my client wants to convert from.  However, ADDS will not share the file layouts or record formats and are pretty hostile.  So I am trying to get to the data without the file layouts.  I have more'd the files and where there is text, I can see it and I know which files I want.  I think that clearly bpmurray is correct and that the IDX files are indexes to the ISM files, as they come in pairs, but what I was hoping for is that someone would know of a product that could read these (such as the old VMS product Datatrieve), or would know of a utility that would allow me to deconstruct them, or even tell me whether they are in EBCDIC or some other encoding, as they do not appear to be ascii, or even miraculously, does someone have these particular file formats?
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by:ahoffmann
ID: 17010813
you can convert the files from EBCDIC to ASCII using dd:

dd conv=ascii if=/path/to/file of=/path/to/converted.txt

see man dd for more details
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by:bpmurray
ID: 17011900
Do you know the name of the application? On what machine did it run?
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by:KristenPage
ID: 17014395
It ssems like the application is called ADDSYS and it is running on a DEC server running UNIXWARE 2.1.2
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by:KristenPage
ID: 17014406
BTW - I tried the dd and the resulting file was not readable.  I am not sure that files are EBCDIC.  I am afraid that this is hopeless without the file formats.  It is so frustrating that the data is there and I can't decipher it.
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by:bpmurray
ID: 17014439
If it's running on DEC it's not EBCDIC. Looking ad addsys.com site, it looks like the following are their apps:

    PAMS, Power*Store2® and Power*Scan, Energy, Raven, Pegasus, Super Jobber,  Sunrise, Oil Manager

    Supported by STS: Minifuel, Wholesale, Linc, C-Store, STS Financials, Show Me

but nothing called "addsys".
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by:KristenPage
ID: 17635141
Though I appreciate the comments in response to my question, none of them really helped.  I ended up running a bunch of reports from the ADDSYS system and then parsing through the report files, which were strictly text files.  Ugly, but effective.    In response to bpmurray, the reason he does not find ADDSYS on the Addsys website is that it is ancient and no longer offered for sale.  
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