Subject:Round-trip Converting; CSV-XML-CSV Author:Patrick Cuff Jr Date:12 Jul 2007 07:38 AM
I downloaded the trial for StylusStudio Enterprise to see if it could help us solve a problem we're having. I have very little XML experience, so please bear with me :)
Our company hosts software that processes health insurance claims. A customer sends us their claims in a flat file, we process the claims and send them back in a flat file (the format for both flat files is the same). However, for troubleshooting and testing, sometimes we have to edit their flat file before processing. This is tedious to do with a plain text editor. Also, each customer has their own flat file format.
What I was hoping we could do with XML (and hoping StylusStudio would make much easier) is to convert the flat file to XML, edit the file in an XML editor, and convert back to a flat file. Does this sound reasonable? If so, what are the best XML tools/technologies to use to accomplish this?
Some details about the flat files. I'll use the term "record" to refer to a line in the file terminated with a <CR><LF>:
1) The fields are usually delimited by pipes (|), but sometimes are fixed-width.
2) Some files have a single claim on each record, with 1 to N claim detail lines. For example, the file format is like this:
3) Most files have a "claim header" record followed by 1 to N claim detail records. For example, the file format is like this:
Subject:Round-trip Converting; CSV-XML-CSV Author:Minollo I. Date:12 Jul 2007 09:19 AM
Stylus Studio lets you open a CSV file as XML and save an XML (consistent with the structure you get in the first step) as CSV. The separator is something you can specify.
* File > Open
* Navigate to a CSV file
* Cick on "Convert to XML"
* Choose the Comma Separated Value converter from the list
* Set the proper options (including the separator character)
You'll get an XML file as a result.
Fixed width is a bit trickier; that will require that you create a "Custom Conversion" in Stylus (File > New > Custom XML Conversion) and open the flat file. Then you can use the editor to split the fixed width file in records and fields. The thing you won't like is that Custom Conversions are only non-XML to XML.
The underlying technology on which Stylus Studio relies is DataDirect XML Converters; more details at http://www.xmlconverters.com; you can use the bundled version in Stylus Studio as part of your Stylus Studio license; if you need to deploy an application based on it, you'll need separate XML Converters licenses (http://www.xmlconverters.com/buy).
You can find more details on both the XML Converters and Stylus Studio web sites.