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Tricky Access VBA Code - read from .txt file into table

How would you proceed with the attached file?  Here´s the situation/problem:

SAP system is throwing lots of "unusable" txt files (the best one I could get is the attached one).  Right now I export into excel and then manually clean-up the mess (lately with help of some macros), but this particular export is longer than the 65.000 lines that Excel allows.  It will always look like the attached sample.  Although the txt file is around 11MB (thousands of lines like the ones you have on the sample).

I have set the length and datatypes as they look like in the real file (ex.: 1111111111 is a nummeric value that represents the Order number, it is always nummerical and has 10 digits).  Here the fields that I need (read out of this txt file and imported into Access):

1111111111    > 10 digits, nummerical is Order Number
9999999999    > 10 digits, nummerical is Vendor Number
Some Companyname  > varying lengths, alpha-nummerical is Company Name of Vendor
27-05-2008  > Datefield of Purchase Order
00010  > this is a annoying part of this report it is the position number of the ordered item, i don´t know if this should go into the AccessDB
C1C1111111111  > 13 positions, alpha-nummerical value is Partnumber that has been ordered.
Part120-Sparexxxxx30  > varying lengths,  alpha-nummerical is the Partname

The next line has different elements that I need:
5 PC  > this is under the Partnumber represents the total quantity that has been ordered, on the same line the NetPrice should be kept and finally the "per Unit" value > 1 PC in the sample
Still to be delivered
Still to be invoiced
These two lines belong to the item above and must be imported, too along with the US$ value.

Everything else must go (all other info, % signs, lines, etc.)

The job could look something like this (in VBA Code? or should I use some Regular Expression code to clean-up first? Or should VBA code do this "job"?):

1. Open .txt file at fixed location (C:\sampledata.txt)
2. Read line by line > cleanup
3. save with the data that should be kept
4. Import in a Pivotlike table like this:

Order table:

Orderdate (27-05-2008 in example)
OrderNumber  (1111111111 in example)
VendorID > links to Vendorstable that has Vendorname and Vendornumber
NetValue in US$

Maybe a second table OrderStatus

StatusID = autonumber
OrderID = number linked to first table

Maybe this second table isn´t a great idea of database design, but I finally need to query and see what has been delivered and what is outstanding or else not invoiced.

What is difficult is that only the first line has the vendor data in it and Ordernumber (1111111111), every other line item needs to be related to this ordernumber.  Also, every order could have one to n-number of items.

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1 Solution
hi MasterAndCommander,

How I would tackle this is to purchase a copy of Monarch from DataWatch. The reason that I say this is if you have "lots" of unusable text files then you'll be writing code for each different style report file that you want to extract data from. With Monarch you can build a model and be extracting data quickly. Monarch can output to many file formats and you can automate it from Access. I have no interest in, nor do I know anyone  that works at DataWatch or has any interest in DataWatch. It's a good product for this type of task that doesn't have too steep of a learning curve. The purchase price would be recovered quicky when you consider reinventing the wheel every time versus creating a resuable model in a few minutes.

MasterandCommanderAuthor Commented:
Thank you jmoss111.  It looks like a fantastic product....right there it just gave me another idea for another IT problem that I have...but this report is the only one that I have to manage and get right, so ONE solution in vba code or .net code would keep me happy for a while.  It is correct that I have lots of unusable text files, but the others are small enough for manual cleaning.  This last one is a "monster"... boss isn´t very keen on spending more on IT guys like me....  :-(      

So, I look forward to at least an approach on how to tackle this....the "Salami"-way (slice by slice).

Thanks for your quick reply and valuable contribution.
Jeffrey CoachmanMIS LiasonCommented:

Just my 2c,

Jim is correct, Monarch is a great product , with a great track record.
It has been around since the days of DOS,  Circa 1986.

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Hi Jeff,

I think that people look at the price of a product but then don't look at what they will save in the amount of time that they will save by using a solution like Monarch or other similar products.

MasterAndCommander could easily save the purchase price on the first conversion.

Jeffrey CoachmanMIS LiasonCommented:
One of the things I have learned form LSM is that you never want to loose a $5,000 project because you don't want to spend $500 for a utility.

MasterandCommanderAuthor Commented:
Thanks jmoss111.  I will give the points and close this down.  It wasn´t the solution I was looking for and my Boss isn´t going to buy the software - our IT department is going through severe budget cuts....almost bleeding....(eventhough I will continue to bugger him).....but it is a good solution, nevertheless.
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