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Options to parse table field?

Posted on 2014-10-28
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Last Modified: 2014-11-04
The challenge is trying to automate data extraction from a database, from the Laptop table,  in which the Description field has much of the content I need to get.

Within the Description field is:  RAM, CPU, Model, Screens Size and other specs I need. The goal is to separate out the specs into individual fields, into a new DB.

*There's no consistency in the field. On the front end, it was just treated as a text area. So a user would put in the specs in any order, or syntax, like "3GB" or "3GB RAM", or "RAM 3GB"

I perceive this as a mighty challenge...where should I begin?
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Question by:sandshakimi
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Expert Comment

by:Phillip Burton
ID: 40408472
Separate each element out, and create a table which correlates each element into the correct version.

So a table would have:

3GB                 Ram: 3Gb
3GB Ram        Ram: 3Gb
RAM 3GB        Ram: 3Gb

This way, the number of permutations of correct information gets reduced.
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Author Comment

by:sandshakimi
ID: 40408550
Phllip, can you expand on that, more technically.

Keeping in mind that there are thousands of records, this needs an automation. Here's an example of what some fields look like.

Description Fieldfield1.PNG
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Phillip Burton earned 1500 total points
ID: 40408567
I don't know what you mean, "more technically".

You've posted this under Experts Exchange > Programming > Prog Languages > Query Syntax > Options To Parse Table Field, so I can't give you specific guidance about a programming language.

Your first line, "1GB Apple Powerbook G4 12-inch 1Ghz...", I would expect you to have several rows in another table:

1Gb
Apple
Powerbook
G4
12-inch
1Ghz

and each of which would tell you what characteristic are identified by that, together with a unified description:

1Gb                        Ram                       1 Gb
Apple                     Manufacturer       Apple Computers
Powerbook           Model                    Powerbook
G4                          Model 2                 G4
12-inch                  Screen size           12 inches
1Ghz                      Processor speed  1 Ghz

and then you match each string against this second table to get the characteristics.
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