Solved

Parsing text files using Coldfusion

Posted on 2007-11-23
9
811 Views
Last Modified: 2010-08-05
How can I parse through a directory of text files, some with different formatting, and grab key information using Coldfusion? The ultimate goal is to get all the key information from the fields below into csv spreadsheet. Though the formatting varies the fields I want to capture the information for are:

Sent:
Subject:
Name=
School=
Age=
Description=
Photo name:

Here is an example text file:

******* Example Start *******

From: jdoe@somedomain.com
Sent: Saturday, June 17, 2007 4:28 PM
To: someone@someWebSite.com
Subject: My best photos

Student photo submission


Name=Photo by John Doe
School=  Some School
Age=  15
Description=This is my trip to DisneyLand June 17, 2007.
Photo name: IMG_39587.jpg

******* Example End ******

NOTE: Some of the files do not contain all the fields and some contain other information that is not wanted in the final table.
0
Comment
Question by:CalDev
  • 5
  • 4
9 Comments
 
LVL 52

Expert Comment

by:_agx_
ID: 20340643
> some with different formatting

You need to find a common pattern to parse the files.  I understand some of the files do not contain all of these fields.  But if the fields are present, do they always start with

Sent:
Subject:
Name=
School=
Age=
Description=
Photo name:

?
0
 
LVL 52

Expert Comment

by:_agx_
ID: 20340647
ie Do any of the files contain different headings like

Sent At=  (Instead of Sent:)
Subject Value:  (Instead of Subject:)
Name of Photo - (Instead of Photo name:)

0
 

Author Comment

by:CalDev
ID: 20340672
aqx:

All the feilds are the same when present in the files. Some of the files don't have all the fields. There are other fields in some files and all have some blank lines but I would like to ignore those. The only fields I'm interested in are:

Sent:
Subject:
Name=
School=
Age=
Description=
Photo name:
0
 
LVL 52

Accepted Solution

by:
_agx_ earned 500 total points
ID: 20340752
You could use cfdirectory to get a listing of all of the text files in your directory. Then loop through the query and read each text file line by line.  Split each line on ":" or "=" and extract the key/value (if any)

   ie key = "Subject"  and value = "My best photos"

Save all extracted values and finally write them to a CSV file.

Note, you might want to use a slightly different approach if you're reading a very large number of text files, because it could be very memory intensive.

   
<!--- delimiters --->

<cfset colon = ":">

<cfset equalSign = "=">

<cfset newLine = chr(13) & chr(10)>

<cfset columnDelim = ",">

<cfset qualifier = '"'>
 

<!--- append csv file headings --->

<cfset fieldNames = listToArray("SourceFilePath,Sent,Subject,Name,School,Age,Description,Photo name")>

<cfset headerRow = listQualify(arrayToList(fieldNames, columnDelim), qualifier, columnDelim, "all")>

<cfset outputContent = headerRow>
 

<!--- get a query of text files in your directory --->

<cfdirectory action="list" directory="c:\yourDirectory" filter="*.txt" name="getTextFiles">
 

<!--- for each text file --->

<cfloop query="getTextFiles">

	<!--- read the file contents into a variable --->

	<cffile action="read" file="#Directory#\#Name#" variable="filecontents">

	<!--- store the key fields from this file --->

	<cfset keyData = structNew()>

	<cfset keyData.sourceFilePath = "#Directory#\#Name#">

	

	<!--- read each line of the file --->

	<cfloop list="#filecontents#" index="inputline" delimiters="#newLine#">

		<cfset rowDelim = "" >

		<cfif listLen(inputline, colon) gt 1>

			<cfset rowDelim = colon >

		<cfelseif listLen(inputline, equalSign) gt 1>

			<cfset rowDelim = equalSign >

		</cfif>

		<!--- extract the key:value or key=value from each line --->

		<cfif rowDelim neq "">

			<cfset keyData[trim(listFirst(inputline, rowDelim))] = trim(listRest(inputline, rowDelim))>

		</cfif>

	</cfloop>
 

	<!--- if any key information was found, append results to output variable --->

	<cfif NOT StructIsEmpty(keyData)>

		<cfset outputLine = "" />

		<cfloop from="1" to="#ArrayLen(fieldNames)#" index="y">

			<cfif StructKeyExists(keyData, fieldNames[y])>

				<!--- if this field was found in the file --->

				<cfset outputLine = listAppend(outputLine, qualifier & keyData[fieldNames[y]] & qualifier, columnDelim)>

			<cfelse>

				<!--- otherwise append an empty string --->

				<cfset outputLine = listAppend(outputLine, qualifier & qualifier, columnDelim)>

			</cfif>

		</cfloop>

		<cfset outputContent = outputContent & newLine & outputLine >

	</cfif>

</cfloop>
 

<!--- write the results to a csv file --->

<cffile action="write" file="c:\yourDirectory\theResults.csv" output="#outputContent#">

Open in new window

0
DevOps Toolchain Recommendations

Read this Gartner Research Note and discover how your IT organization can automate and optimize DevOps processes using a toolchain architecture.

 

Author Comment

by:CalDev
ID: 20340883
agx_:

I hope it doesn't offend you if I say your a genius because you defiantly are!!! This script worked perfectly and it ran through over 1700 files in only a few seconds and built the csv. I only have a few rows in the csv that need a little cleanup and other than that it's ready to go. Thank you for your help!

I will give all the points and an excellent grade right after this note.
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:CalDev
ID: 31410700
Anyone looking for a solution to parse text files with Coldfusion look no farther, this one works great.
0
 
LVL 52

Expert Comment

by:_agx_
ID: 20340890
Glad I could help :)
0
 
LVL 52

Expert Comment

by:_agx_
ID: 20341823
For PAQ purposes:

This line
<cfif NOT StructIsEmpty(keyData)>

should be:
<cfif StructCount(keyData) GT 1>

Because the structure will always have _at least one_ key:  keyData.sourceFilePath
0
 

Author Comment

by:CalDev
ID: 20343308
Thank you for the follow up. I will make the change to the code.
0

Featured Post

Is Your Active Directory as Secure as You Think?

More than 75% of all records are compromised because of the loss or theft of a privileged credential. Experts have been exploring Active Directory infrastructure to identify key threats and establish best practices for keeping data safe. Attend this month’s webinar to learn more.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

The technique is by far very Simple! How we can export the ColdFusion query results to DOC file?  Well before writing this I researched a lot in Internet but did not found a good Answer anyways!  So i thought now i should share my small snippet w…
This is an updated version of a post made on my blog over 3 years ago. It is unfortunately, still very relevant as we continue to see both SQLi (SQL injection) and XSS (cross site scripting) attacks hitting some of the most recognizable website and …
This is used to tweak the memory usage for your computer, it is used for servers more so than workstations but just be careful editing registry settings as it may cause irreversible results. I hold no responsibility for anything you do to the regist…
With the power of JIRA, there's an unlimited number of ways you can customize it, use it and benefit from it. With that in mind, there's bound to be things that I wasn't able to cover in this course. With this summary we'll look at some places to go…

920 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

16 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now