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Posted on 2010-01-03
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I am using an application where the programmer changed dbf files (DBase IV) to .fmm files. If you change the extension to dbf I can open it in Access or excel. I can associate .fmm to excel and access but cannot import external data from the files.

I do not change the extension every time i want to manipulate the data as this can cause data corruption on saving. I would rather create a a data source or make it appear on the list of DBase files.

Any ideas???
 
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Question by:ngmarowa
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by:Rincewindwizz
Rincewindwizz earned 150 total points
ID: 26166204
Hhhmmm - I am confused.

If I take a .dbf (admittedly dbase 3) and associate it with excel (Right click, Open, select Excel), excel opens it just find and I can see/read all the data just as if it had been a dbf file.  Hopefully excel is enough (as this does not work for MS Access).

If you need to go further, you could try the following http://www.experts-exchange.com/Microsoft/Applications/dBase/Q_23802829.html 

HTH






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by:pcelba
pcelba earned 150 total points
ID: 26166265
Opening DBF file in Excel can cause higher data corruption than file renaming itself...

I would recommend to copy the FMM file into e.g. TEMP.DBF and work with this copy. Data loss is minimal and you'll have additional backup.

You can also write your own data reader in VBA. It is applicable both in Access and Excel.
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by:ngmarowa
ID: 26166734
Thanks for the response.

To Rincewindwizz:

The situation is similar to the link you sent but it wasnt fully resolved. Opening is not a problem. I need to use the DBMS properties of Excel or Access to manipulate the data. Using queries etc

To pcelba:
Creating a copy is fine but I was looking at real time access to the files and be able to make modifications to the files.

I was hoping for a solution where the fmm extension is recognised by excel and/or access as a dbase format and can link the files into access and run my queries
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pcelba earned 150 total points
ID: 26166878
Unfortunately, Access does not allow extensions other than DBF for linked dBase tables. (In fact it is not Access but ODBC driver.)

Does any possibility to change the default FMM back to DBF exist in your dBase app?

BTW, why you don't use dBase to access these files? Visual FoxPro should also work but it is trying to rebuild indexes and memo files sometimes.

And the last question: Are you sure you are updating all indexes when making changes in FMM/DBF data by Access or Excel?
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by:ngmarowa
ID: 26167075
The application seems to be hard coded to fmm.

Will get back to you on using DBase to open the files. Need to install it first.

I am not updating the indexex when using excel I was tring to avoid open the files with excel
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by:Rincewindwizz
Rincewindwizz earned 150 total points
ID: 26167130
I presume this is a compiled dBase IV program (a .exe?)
If its not you can just change the file name in the source.

If it is and exe and the file name is hard cded to .fmm then the file name is probably in the executable and can be patched.
TAKE A COPY of the program
Open the copy in a text editor (I use Ultraedit) and search for the file name.
Edit the fmm to dbf
Fully test the program (with due safeguards - copies of the files etc)

Good Luck

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by:pcelba
ID: 26167179
Also a possibility to change all DBF occurences to FMM in ODBC driver exists...

Such unauthorized program changes are just a good way how to void warranty. But I agree, it could work sometimes.
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by:ngmarowa
ID: 26198167
Ok. After a lot of trials I have given up. The .fmm extension is hardcoded into the application and the application uses custom dll files for each module. Ultraedit was very helpful but did not solve my problem. As it turns out the application locks a .fmm file then creates a copy and renames it to .dbf and manipulates it. It keeps an internal record of locked files. When I went to the documentation there is a fine print that makes this illegal (warranty wise) as it can be termed reverse engineering.

So my work stops here.

Thanks guys for the input.
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by:pcelba
ID: 26198264
I am glad you decided to work with a copy of the production file. To make changes in data which you don't know in all details would also be very dangerous.

If the application uses DLLs than it means it is not created in standard database tool like FoxPro or dBase but in some CodeBase library etc. DBF file format is just used as the most known data format.

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Author Closing Comment

by:ngmarowa
ID: 31672149
Practical suggestion to try out and solve the problem
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