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how can I create a record layout for this file?

Posted on 2014-09-17
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Progressor is an old system written originally in the clipper language.  I don't know anything about it.  my task is to extract the data from it?  Please help. I am attaching a sample file.  It is supposed to be a dbf file.  its extension is .pro.I venture to say that each record begins with the date field, but i don't know how to separate the fields to import in an access table or a sql table.  The beginning and end of each record.  Thank you.
sample.txt
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Question by:shwelopo
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by:PatHartman
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I don't recall Clipper having its own database so if it is supposed to be a .dbf file, change the extension to .dbf and see if Access can read it.  You'll need something earlier than A2013 since MS in its infinite wisdom decided to drop support for .dbf in A2013.  You can also try importing it into Excel.
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by:Kdo
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Clipper is a compiled version of the old dBase.  

If you have a copy of dBase, use that to open it.  A trial version or older version may be able to open it, too, so you may not have to buy software.
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by:Dale Fye (Access MVP)
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That sure brings back some memories.

I agree with Pat.  What you should see is multiple .dbf files (could have had the extension changed for some reason, but should still be in .dbf format).  If any of the tables had indexes, I would expect you to also see the .ndx files associated with the others.

When I tried to import it into A2007, it asked for a password.  You wouldn't happen to have that, would you?
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by:b0lsc0tt
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We used a couple of different versions of Clipper.  The files were DB 4 compatible.  I had an old program/exe named DBU.EXE we used often as a "viewer."  DOS based and I think came with at least some of the Clipper versions we used.  I can try the file tomorrow.

I don't remember an option to password protect.  The file extension could be anything for Clipper to use it.  We used many different extensions but the files were all basically DBFs.  Just one "table" for each database and file.

If others tried the file and got something asking for a password then I wonder if it is more than a simple DBF.  The Clipper programming we did just made simple DBFs.  Great language and I do miss those programs and working in it.

bol
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by:tliotta
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All you have is the file itself? No app/utility that can read/display the data in human-readable form?

Tom
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by:shwelopo
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I have tried everything including access 2007 with no success.
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by:tliotta
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I was curious about having a file that was created in some format without having any program to create that kind of file nor even to use it. Has it ever been used for any reason at your site? Past uses might indicate good ways to pull information out of the data.

Tom
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by:Kdo
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Hi shwelopo,

After a better look through the first couple of pages of the attachment, I don't think that it's a database file.  It more resembles the data file to some project management software.
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by:shwelopo
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iHi Kdo ,  it is a .pro file.
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by:Kdo
Kdo earned 200 total points
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When the file that you posted is viewed as shown below (honoring the "hard" newlines) it just doesn't look like a database file.

.pro is used by several different vendors for their project files.  Do you have project management software not named Microsoft?  There are several free and/or trial softwares that you can try.

Ö    ‘þ#     õØ÷D933654.HK          STATUS         íP001957.ITM         INVS           âP004268.GBM         CONTACT SALUT  ×P005545.EPM         INVS           ÃŒP006257.EPM         PCT APPL NO    ÁP006812.DEM         DESIGNATES     ¶P007256.EPMD4       NY KIND PROTECT«P007876.GBM         INV2            P008600.EPM         INV12          •P009456.EPM         STATUS          Å P022489.GB          INV1           #P023232.FR          NY KIND PROTECT&tP024177.GB          CONTACT SALUT  )iT006606.CTM2        BOX NO.        ,^T081541.GB          CLASS          /ST731122.GB          LOGO           2HT891553.AU          TYPE OF MARK   5=T961149.GB          CONTACT SALUT  øÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ2D010219.HK          ORDER NO       ND010255.GB          CLIENT REF     jD010294.GB          BOX NO.        †D010331.GB          NY COUNTRY CODE¢D010388.GB          PREVIOUS REF   ¾D010435.RCD         STATUS         ÚD010491.RCD         CLIENT REF      ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ  õ   W7  %T997051.OP          LOGO           N *T997051.OP          MARK IN FULL   BIOZAN #T997051.OP          ORDER NO        %T997051.OP          SERIES         N (T997051.OP          TYPE OF MARK   word #ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ/MOT/DJH/0899 #T997049.OP          SERIES          (T997049.OP          TYPE OF MARK   word .T997049.OP          _ABANDONED_ON  
28/03/2001 #T997050.OP          BOX NO.         &T997050.OP          CLASS          11 #T997050.OP          CLIENT REF      1T997050.OP          CONTACT        
Dermot Horgan *T997050.OP          CONTACT SALUT  Dermot %T997050.OP          LOGO           N ,T997050.OP          MARK IN FULL   STERLING #T997050.OP          ORDER NO        %T997050.OP          SERIES         N (T997050.OP          TYPE OF MARK   word (T997051.OP          BOX NO.        T697 %T997051.OP          CLASS          5 #T997051.OP          CLIENT REF      #T997051.OP          CONTACT         #ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿæ     #D001001.GBR         BOX NO.         2D001001.GBR         CLIENT REF     GARMENT HANGER 5D001001.GBR         CONTACT        Roger Unite, Esq. )D001001.GBR         CONTACT SALUT  Roger 8D001001.GBR         INV1           HUNT, WILLIAM JOSEPH *D001001.GBR         ORDER NO       842749 .D001001.GBR         RECORD UPDATED 
21/05/1996 #D001010.DKR         BOX NO.         #D001010.DKR         CLIENT REF      #D001010.DKR         CONTACT         #D001010.DKR         CONTACT SALUT   #D001010.DKR         INV1            #D001010.DKR         INV2            #D001010.DKR         INVS            *D001010.DKR         ORDER NO       870539 .D001010.DKR         RECORD UPDATED 
16/05/1996 #D001011.GBR         BOX NO.         #D001011.GBR         CLIENT REF      #D001011.GBR         CONTACT         #D001011.GBR         CONTACT SALUT   #D001011.GBR         INV1            #D001011.GBR         INV2            #D001011.GBR         INVS            *D001011.GBR         ORDER NO       870540S          999            ø    .D001011.GBR         RECORD UPDATED 
28/05/1996 5D001166.GBR         ASSOCIATED     D/9957.GB 2039483 #D001166.GBR         BOX NO.         3D001166.GBR         CLIENT REF     MULTIPLE HANGER 8D001166.GBR         CONTACT        Jeremy Shalson, Esq. /D001166.GBR         CONTACT SALUT  Mr. Shalson ,D001166.GBR         INV1           HUNT, WJ 6D001166.GBR         NY COUNTRY CODE748 United Kingdom 4D001166.GBR         NY KIND PROTECT25 Assoc. Design ,D001166.GBR         ORDER NO       924764-1 .D001166.GBR         RECORD UPDATED 
25/04/2000 -D001166.GBR         STATUS         	00 ACTIVE 7D001166.HKR         AGENT OWN REF  *AC:EH:AL:L2222-83R 7D001166.HKR         ASSOCIATED     D/9957.GB   2039483 'D001166.HKR         BOX NO.        D79 3D001166.HKR         CLIENT REF     MULTIPLE HANGER 8D001166.HKR         CONTACT        Jeremy Shalson, Esq. /D001166.HKR         CONTACT SALUT  Mr. Shalson ,D001166.HKR         INV1           HUNT, WJ 1D001166.HKR         NY COUNTRY CODE
325 Hong Kong        å    =D001166.HKR         NY KIND PROTECT32 Hong Kong Registration *D001166.HKR         ORDER NO       940134 -D001166.HKR         STATUS         	00 ACTIVE >D001254.DER         AGENT OWN REF  D6413 [RUSCHKE: C 1367 HO] #D001254.DER         BOX NO.         +D001254.DER         CLIENT REF     7617.02 8D001254.DER         CONTACT        Mark D. Miller, Esq. .D001254.DER         CONTACT SALUT  
Mr. Miller 'D001254.DER         EST FEE        236 ,D001254.DER         INV1           CLARK, J 'D001254.DER         LAST FEE       194 *D001254.DER         LAST FEE$      310.40 /D001254.DER         NY COUNTRY CODE248 Germany -D001254.DER         NY KIND PROTECT	01 Design ,D001254.DER         ORDER NO       929190-9 .D001254.DER         RECORD UPDATED 
02/08/1996 -D001254.DER         STATUS         	00 ACTIVE #D001272.ESR         BOX NO.         #D001272.ESR         CLIENT REF      5D001272.ESR         CONTACT        Ms Claire E Spoor ,D001272.ESR         CONTACT SALUT  Ms Spoor 20130123KT130079.GB       ô    #D001272.ESR         INV1            #D001272.ESR         INV2            #D001272.ESR         INVS            #D001272.ESR         ORDER NO        .D001272.ESR         RECORD UPDATED 
11/09/1996 #D001273.ESR         BOX NO.         #D001273.ESR         CLIENT REF      5D001273.ESR         CONTACT        Ms Claire E Spoor ,D001273.ESR         CONTACT SALUT  Ms Spoor #D001273.ESR         INV1            #D001273.ESR         INV2            #D001273.ESR         INVS            #D001273.ESR         ORDER NO        .D001273.ESR         RECORD UPDATED 
11/09/1996 #D006000.RCD1        AGENT OWN REF   #D006000.RCD1        BOX NO.         #D006000.RCD1        CLIENT REF      2D006000.RCD1        CONTACT        Cynthia Miller +D006000.RCD1        CONTACT SALUT  Cynthia 3D006000.RCD1        INV1           STEVEN J. VARON #D006000.RCD1        INV2            #D006000.RCD1        INV3            6D006000.RCD1        NY COUNTRY CODE748 United Kingdom -D006000.RCD1        NY KIND PROTECT	01 Design     PT-PINKñ    ,D006000.RCD1        ORDER NO       657657-0 #D006000.RCD1        RECORD UPDATED  -D006000.RCD1        STATUS         	00 ACTIVE *D006438.DEM         AGENT OWN REF  D 6438 #D006438.DEM         BOX NO.         +D006438.DEM         CLIENT REF     6023.04 -D006438.DEM         CONTACT        	Sue Brase -D006438.DEM         CONTACT SALUT  	Ms. Brase 0D006438.DEM         INV1           BERGLUND, SE /D006438.DEM         NY COUNTRY CODE248 Germany -D006438.DEM         NY KIND PROTECT	01 Design ,D006438.DEM         ORDER NO       945592-7 -D006438.DEM         STATUS         	00 ACTIVE (D009178.GB          BOX NO.        D005 *D009178.GB          CLIENT REF     CGD128 #D009178.GB          INV1            #D009178.GB          INV2            #D009178.GB          INVS            *D009178.GB          ORDER NO       794674 .D009178.GB          RECORD UPDATED 
08/03/1996 (D009185.GB          BOX NO.        D006 +D009185.GB          CLIENT REF     RWR/GCC #D009185.GB          INV1            P024324.EP        #D009185.GB          INV2            #D009185.GB          INVS            *D009185.GB          ORDER NO       794697 .D009185.GB          RECORD UPDATED 
23/04/1996 (D009186.GB          BOX NO.        D006 /D009186.GB          CLIENT REF     M1718/LK/HA 7D009186.GB          CONTACT        Harry M. Levy, Esq. ,D009186.GB          CONTACT SALUT  Mr. Levy #D009186.GB          INV1            #D009186.GB          INV2            #D009186.GB          INVS            *D009186.GB          ORDER NO       794702 .D009186.GB          RECORD UPDATED 
08/03/1996 (D009186.IE          BOX NO.        D006 /D009186.IE          CLIENT REF     M1718/LK/HA #D009186.IE          CONTACT         #D009186.IE          CONTACT SALUT   #D009186.IE          INV1            #D009186.IE          INV2            #D009186.IE          INVS            *D009186.IE          ORDER NO       820041 .D009186.IE          RECORD UPDATED 
24/05/1996 (D009189.GB          BOX NO.        D006 *D009189.GB          CLIENT REF     466-09û	    #D009189.GB          CONTACT         #D009189.GB          CONTACT SALUT   #D009189.GB          INV1            #D009189.GB          INV2            #D009189.GB          INVS            *D009189.GB          ORDER NO       839276 .D009189.GB          RECORD UPDATED 
13/03/1996 *D009206.US          AGENT OWN REF  UD 417 (D009206.US          BOX NO.        D010 #D009206.US          CLIENT REF      #D009206.US          CONTACT         .D009206.US          CONTACT SALUT  

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Expert Comment

by:PatHartman
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Did you ever try renaming the file as .dbf and opening it with Access?

.dbf files are mostly plain text with some control info interspersed.
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tliotta earned 300 total points
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It definitely appears to be a database file of some kind. Parsing most of it manually (i.e., using Notepad) is fairly easy and shows the individual "columns" for each "row" in the "table". A little more work could give a basic print/display formatter in VB or other simple language.

But once parsed manually, it's not clear what's worth retrieving from the file. In particular, it's not clear if this is the entire file, and a significant number of added rows could make a programming exercise more worthwhile. Otherwise, it seems easy enough to get any useful information with Notepad. The sample file just isn't big enough to be a huge problem.

However, an additional consideration might be the wisdom of posting such a file on-line. Data looks harmless enough, but it's the kind of consideration that might cause trouble if one of the names in the file gets the attention of the person named.

Tom
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Author Comment

by:shwelopo
Comment Utility
Thank you everyone.
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by:tliotta
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A general breakdown of the first rows seems to look something like this:
Ö    ‘þ#     õØ÷
D933654.HK          STATUS         í
P001957.ITM         INVS           â
P004268.GBM         CONTACT SALUT  ×
P005545.EPM         INVS           Ì
P006257.EPM         PCT APPL NO    Á
P006812.DEM         DESIGNATES     ¶
P007256.EPMD4       NY KIND PROTECT«
P007876.GBM         INV2           Â 
P008600.EPM         INV12          •
P009456.EPM         STATUS          Å 
P022489.GB          INV1           #
P023232.FR          NY KIND PROTECT&t
P024177.GB          CONTACT SALUT  )i
T006606.CTM2        BOX NO.        ,^
T081541.GB          CLASS          /S
T731122.GB          LOGO           2H
T891553.AU          TYPE OF MARK   5=
T961149.GB          CONTACT SALUT  øÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ2
D010219.HK          ORDER NO       N
D010255.GB          CLIENT REF     j
D010294.GB          BOX NO.        †
D010331.GB          NY COUNTRY CODE¢
D010388.GB          PREVIOUS REF   ¾
D010435.RCD         STATUS         Ú
D010491.RCD         CLIENT REF      ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ  õ   W7  %
T997051.OP          LOGO           N *
T997051.OP          MARK IN FULL   BIOZAN #
T997051.OP          ORDER NO        %
T997051.OP          SERIES         N (
T997051.OP          TYPE OF MARK   word #ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ/MOT/DJH/0899 #
T997049.OP          SERIES          (
T997049.OP          TYPE OF MARK   word .
T997049.OP          _ABANDONED_ON  
28/03/2001 #
T997050.OP          BOX NO.         &
T997050.OP          CLASS          11 #
T997050.OP          CLIENT REF      1

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Those rows might give definitions for the "columns". the part of the file that comes later would be actual data columns.

It looks like each data "row" includes a kind of key value, or an identifier value. groups of rows with same identifier would perhaps indicate one full "row". The easiest breakdown seems to start at a letter that is a 'T', 'D' or 'P'. That's followed by a six-digit number and a suffix that starts with a period (".") and may be two, three or four characters.

Simply by opening the file in Notepad, you can go down line by line and insert line-breaks at the start of each identifier field. Don't save the file back over the top of the original; give the modified version a new name.

It probably requires someone who knows what the data means if an actual programmed procedure will be created. There are too many binary fields that must be reviewed in hex to get a sense of their meanings.

Tom
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