want to read a pervasive ddf with without connecting to PCC

There is a file.ddf
Is there a way to read it to a datagrid?
I want to basically be able to point to the file and open it
this is so we can verify the path to the .dat files
the paths are hardcoded
Also since we use the ddf files to setup the dsn
This has to be able to open the file.ddf with no dsn
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Bill BachConnect With a Mentor PresidentCommented:
Sounds like you need new techs, not a new process.

You can do everything that you want through an application.  In fact, FPrint is an application that works at the Btrieve level.  You can then use the same application to access the Distributed Tuning Interface (DTI) or Distributed Tuning Objects (DTO) to automatically create a new named database based on that information.

With the careful use of a Btrieve application AND some simple VBScript code to access the DTO, it is also possible to create an application like what you want -- one that automatically creates DBNames for an application in the correct location.  I did it for contract work for one client.  It was similar to what you wanted, but it was reading data from an INI file, not the FILE.DDF file, IIRC.  It does show that an automated process is possible, though...
I'm not exactly sure what you are looking for.  
FILE.DDF is strictly used by the relational engine for ODBC, OLEDB, ADO.NET, JDBC, and ActiveX to link a logical table name to an underlying MKDE data file.  

You can use the Btrieve API to access an underlying data file without the DDFs.  How you do that depends on the programming language you are using.  

hainansyndromeAuthor Commented:
Allow me to clarify.
I am attempting to write and app that will let me view the file.ddf even on a pc with you pervasive installed.I simply want to be able to see the path info to the .dat files in the ddf
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You have to have the Pervasive engine installed in order to read any Btrieve data file.  
What version of Pervasive/Btrieve are you using?  
There are ways of getting the information you are looking for.  
For example, if you already have an ODBC DSN, you can issue a "Select * From X$FILE" to get all of the information including the path in the DDF.  
If you are using a later version of PSQL (PSQL 2000i, V8, V9, or V10), you can use DTI (Distributed Tuning Interface) or DTO (Distributed Tuning Object) to get the list of tables and paths from a Database Name.
As a last option, you can use the Btrieve API to open and read the FILE.DDF.  The structure is subject to change though.  I've done this in my DDF Path Fixer program.  
hainansyndromeAuthor Commented:
let me give you more back ground

our techs are having to get connected to our customers servers to create an engine dsn

the pervasive software is not ours, we partner with this other company.
I am trying to avoid the techs fidling with making dsn's with wrong ddf's

so i am trying to figure a way to validate the ddf's first.
The best thing I can suggest would be to create the DSN with the existing DDFs and then validate the tables using PCC or ODBC Test or the application.  

I'm not really sure of a way to validate the DDFs without actually opening them and reading them.  

There really should only be one set of DDFs per data set.  If you've got a third party application that stores it's data and DDFs in the same directory, it's pretty safe to assume that the DDFs are correct for the data.  If you've got a different directory structure, you might have to develop a pattern to look for (data in "data" and DDFs in a "ddf" directory both under the application's directory for example).
Bill BachPresidentCommented:
If you want to just check on the information contained within the DDF's, and you have the Pervasive engine available, then you can use Goldstar Software's FPRINT tool.  (www.goldstarsoftware.com/tools.asp)   This tool has a free trial period, and it allows you to print out (to the screen or to a text file for printing) the contents of the DDF's very easily, without creating a named database first.  To JUST check the file information, try using "FPRINT * /B" to print the Btrieve file data for each table.

Of course, this only displays the contents of the DDF's -- it does not validate them.  I'm assuming that you're wanting to check for the presence of the proper fields and such.  In that case, use FPRINT /A to get *all* details out of the DDF's.

Note: If the DDF's are built with PSQLv10 and use V2 metadata (PVFILE.DDF instead of FILE.DDF), try getting FPRINT2 instead.
hainansyndromeAuthor Commented:
I have a 3rd party app, that tells me the info
problem is our techs never read our documentation and they have messed up 3 or 4 customers pervasive install. they get in a hurry and anything that is more than a point and click is not followed
i wanted to write an app that reads the ddf files
then validate that the dsn that they make works later

i figured a first step is to allow them to read the contents of File.ddf
This is me trying to avoid a situation where I am having to clean up after people
hainansyndromeAuthor Commented:
I agree we need new techs, but what are you gonna do,
I will give your idea a shot and see if it meets our needs
thanks for the assist
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