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Importing and Exporting Data 

The required procedures for printing most of the common reports that you will

need to run are very similar to what has just been described on the preceding

pages. It is simply a matter of defining the proper search criteria within an

existing SelFil, or designing a new SelFil with the Selection Filter Editor, then

choosing the report you need from the list of available report formats. 

As stated earlier, all of the report formats within Univers are user-generated.  If

there is an existing report format that will do what you need it to do, or if a

particular format would suit your needs well enough with minor modification, then

take advantage of the reporting functions of the Univers program. If, however,

you should need to design a report unlike anything that currently exists in your

format library, there are other options besides designing one from scratch from

within Univers.  

While it is entirely possible to design a new custom-made report format with

Univers, the procedure for doing so is much more cumbersome and involved

than many of the more popular document-generation programs currently

available.  This stands to reason, since Univers is best used as an evaluation

and assessment tool, and a database retrieval system, not a word-processor.

Moreover, why would we want to try to re-invent the wheel, when many excellent

software programs for manipulating data into a report format such as Microsoft®

Word®, Excel® and Access® already exist?  

Furthermore, since one or more of these programs are generally already present

within the office environment of the typical Univers user, it is quite likely that you

already possess the necessary skills to do so.  For this reason, should the need

arise for a customized report, it is suggested that you set up a SelFil and

EXPORT the necessary data in the form of either a fixed-length or delimited file

for use with one of the aforementioned software titles.


Fixed Length vs. Delimited Files

If we wanted to extract data from a database program, we certainly would not

want the individual pieces of data to just be spit out in one long continuous string,

since it would be exceedingly difficult to work with something like:

PUBLICJOHNQ123MAINSTANYTOWNUSA.  Therefore, for the sake of

organization, the individual pieces of data are generally separated somehow

when they are exported. One method is to export the data in individual “chunks”

or “packets,” with a pre-determined number of characters in each chunk.  When

this method is employed, the resulting output is known as a FIXED LENGTH FILE. 

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