Will your tool support creating / reading complex positional text files.

Does your tooling support the scenarios (FEATURE) of reading and writing complex positional text files? I do not mean CSV, but more complex. Let me give a clear example below... :)


For example:

  • A text file with one header and one footer line, then one-or-more transactional lines,
  • Each line will be starting with a three letter code specifying the type of line.
  • Each type of (header, footer and line) can then contain a limited number of (mandatory and optional) fields.
  • Each field will start with a two letter prefix, then a value. Value length will be depending on the type of line, and the type of field.


Example file:


201:AA4864678 BB01153546CC1



201:AA23097523 BB02359203CC1





Explanation of example file:

  • The file contains one header (000:), containing a "FN" field, containing the "File name" with a fixed length of 20.
  • The file contains one footer (999:), containing a "LC" field, containing a "LineCount", with a fixed length of 6.
  • The file contains three "201" type of lines, each containing a differen number of "202" child lines. (Yes, respecting hierarchy)
  • Line type "201" contains an "AA" field with length 20, an optional "BB" field with length 8, then a CC field with length 1.
  • Line type "202" is a child of "201", for example a container in a ship.
  • Line type "202" contains an "EF" and a "TT" type of field, with respective lengths of 4 and 3.
  • Some fields will need to be read as integer, some as text, etcetera.

(2) Answers