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Parseing names in a pipe delimited file

Posted on 2008-10-21
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Last Modified: 2008-11-18
I'm in the process of trying to build a text file convertor for my clinet. For lack of a bette description. Tehy are getting 4-6 text files from 1 venodr and need to convert that to 3 text fles to send to another vendor. All of that is taken care of, did the easy part. This is the hard part. The incoming text files are pipe delimited like in the code block. The name is combined as last, first middle inital (if there is one) I need to split the name up into 3 "fields" last|first|middle intiial.

I also need to split the address field (1234 N ridgeway) to street num|street direction|streetname

and to put it frankly, I'm at my wits end. any help would be greatly appreciated. Oh and some times the name could come in as: DE LA FONT, BILLY BOB

Just want you guys to earn these points ;)

13406206|""|"SMITH, BOB"|"IL"|"W"|604|180|"BLU"|"BRO"|"N"|" "|"20081009"|"UNEMPLOYED"|"20081008"|"MOT"|"3000N"|"1222"|"TYP2"|"ARR"|"A"|"017384108"|"IL0164A00"|"M"|"08-30516"|"FAR"|"L52016085079"|"  "|"016"|""|"N"|""|""|""|"  "|""|"        "|"218"|"1234 N RIDGEWAY"|"SKOKIE"|"IL"|"60076"|"LS10160017384108"||""|""|""

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Question by:gnixon14
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LVL 25

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by:SStory
ID: 22770585
For the address

dim parts() as string=split(address," ")

dim StreetNumber as string=parts(0)
dim Address as string=""
if parts.count>1 then
  for b as byte=1 to parts.length-1
      if b<>1 then
          address &=" "
      end if
      Address & = parts(b)
  next
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SStory earned 500 total points
ID: 22770646
The above should say Address.Split(" ")

Of course you'd take the whole input line by reading it into a string
say strInput

Split the fields
dim Fields() as string=strInput.Split("|")

'get the correct field position and split it
dim strNameParts() as string=Fields(2).Split(",")

'get last name
dim strLastName as string=strNameParts(0).Trim

dim OtherParts() as string=strNameParts(1).Split(" ")

'get first name
dim strFirstName as string=OtherParts(0)

if OtherParts.length>1 then
dim strMidName as string=OtherParts(1)

Of course there could be , JR. etc.  If so you are going to have to write a more sophisticated parser to
handle any cases you can come up with, but basically you know there is a comma between last and first, so split by the comma and you've got last name.  There should be a space after the first name so you can get that.  The rest if there is any can be handle by examination using string manipulation methods.


HTH,

Shane

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Expert Comment

by:HooKooDooKu
ID: 22771773
Here's some old VB6 code that might help.  
You pass the data, a sub string position, and a single character delimiter, and a flag if data between quotation marks should be ignored (that way, delimeters inside quoation marks are ignored).  The functions return the desired sub string (where sub string 1 is the string that appears BEFORE the 1st delimeter).

If your data is in a string variable by the name of DataString, here's how the code might look:
Addrstring = TrimAndRemoveQuotes( Nth$( DataString, 3, "|" ) )
FirstString = Nth$( AddrString, 1, "," )
LastString = Nth$( AddrString, 2, "," )

Public Const QUOTATION_MARK As String = """"
 
 
Public Function TrimAndRemoveQuotes(ByVal TextLine As String) As String
    TrimAndRemoveQuotes = Trim$(TextLine)
    If Left$(TrimAndRemoveQuotes, 1) = QUOTATION_MARK And _
       Right$(TrimAndRemoveQuotes, 1) = QUOTATION_MARK Or _
       Left$(TrimAndRemoveQuotes, 1) = "'" And _
       Right$(TrimAndRemoveQuotes, 1) = "'" Then
        If Len(TrimAndRemoveQuotes) > 1 Then
            TrimAndRemoveQuotes = Mid$(TrimAndRemoveQuotes, 2, Len(TrimAndRemoveQuotes) - 2)
        End If
    End If
End Function
 
 
Public Function NullBetweenQuotes(Str As String) As String
Dim StartPos As Long    
Dim EndPos   As Long    
Dim LenStr   As Long    
Dim LenStartEnd As Long 
 
    'Initialize
    LenStr = Len(Str)
    NullBetweenQuotes = Str
 
    'Find First Open Quote
    StartPos = InStr(NullBetweenQuotes, QUOTATION_MARK)
    
    Do While StartPos
    
        'Find Matching Close Quote
        EndPos = InStr(StartPos + 1, NullBetweenQuotes, QUOTATION_MARK)
        
        'If None Found - Pretend there is an extra Quotation Mark at end of string
        If EndPos = 0 Then
            EndPos = LenStr + 1
        End If
        
        'Fill Between Quoates with NULLs
        If StartPos < LenStr Then
            LenStartEnd = EndPos - StartPos - 1
            Mid$(NullBetweenQuotes, StartPos + 1, LenStartEnd) = String$(LenStartEnd, vbNullChar)
        End If
        
        'Find Next Open Quote
        StartPos = InStr(EndPos + 1, NullBetweenQuotes, QUOTATION_MARK)
    Loop
    
End Function
 
 
Public Function Nth$(Str As String, N As Integer, Delimiter As String, Optional DealWithQuotes As Boolean = False)
Dim StartPos As Long        
Dim EndPos   As Long        
Dim SearchString As String  
Dim I As Long               
 
    Debug.Assert Len(Delimiter) = 1
    
    'Create SearchString (make sure it Ends with a Delimiter so that we are guarenteed to find at least one
    If DealWithQuotes Then
        SearchString = NullBetweenQuotes(Str, DealWithEscapes, EscapeChar) & Delimiter   'NullBetweenQuotes Calls NullEscapeCodes
    Else
        SearchString = Str & Delimiter
    End If
    Debug.Assert Right$(SearchString, 1) = Delimiter
    
    'Find the Nth Delimiter (it Ends the Nth$)
    EndPos = 0
    For I = 1 To N
    
        'Remeber the Last Delimter + 1
        StartPos = EndPos + 1
        
        'Find the Next Delimeter
        EndPos = InStr(EndPos + 1, SearchString, Delimiter)
        
        If EndPos = 0 Then
            EndPos = Len(SearchString) + 1
            StartPos = EndPos
            Exit For
        End If
        
    Next I
    
    'Extract the Nth$
    If EndPos = 0 Then
        Nth$ = ""
    Else
        Nth$ = Mid$(Str, StartPos, EndPos - StartPos)
    End If
    
End Function

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Expert Comment

by:SStory
ID: 22984317
I think my solution should have gotten at least partial credit. Since it appears abandoned there is no way that we will know what they asker wanted, but from what he said I've at least shown him how to split into pieces by the pipe and how to go about dealing with the name issues to some degree.
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Author Comment

by:gnixon14
ID: 22984777
Got busy with work, forgot about this posting. Opps.
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