Multiple File Wizard

Preparation for using the Multiple File Wizard

The Multiple File Wizard enables you to easily set up a multiple file merge or merge/purge job.  Before using the Multiple File Wizard, it saves time if you set the File Locations for the Database and Import directories to those containing the files for the job (from the Jobs/Setup menu, Options.)


There is a limit of 2GB (2,147 Mb) on the size of any Main File.

Please note that all the files in the job are merged into a single master file, which the Multiple File Wizard creates, containing all of the fields and all of the records from any file within the job.  There is a limit of 2GB (2,147 Mb) on the size of the resultant master file, which in practice could be about 5 million records – the actual number of records depends on the record length i.e. the number and width of fields in the resultant master file layout.  If you want to process more records than this, it will usually be because there are some very large suppression files involved.  In this case, you should use the Multiple File Wizard for the mailing files and any small suppression files, then use Find Overlap between the large suppression files and the resultant master file.  This also reduces the processing time significantly, because mDesktop does not need to process match keys for all of the records within the large suppression files – obviously the Multiple File Wizard does not report internal matches within any suppression file, but it will take significantly extra time if very large suppression files are built into the master file.  If you want to use Find Overlap for such a job but still include the suppression files in matrix reports from the job, please consult your support provider for job scripts that achieve this result.



Multiple File Wizard: Step 1

Select the Multiple File Wizard option from the mDesktop Wizard Pane or from Jobs/Setup, Multiple File Job menu.  You will be asked for a Job Reference, and a Job Name for the resultant reporting.  After you have entered these details, select Continue.


Multiple File Wizard: Step 2

Then you will get the options to configure the first file:

For each file, perform the following steps:

  • Select the source file that you would like to use.  If the file has already been imported into mDesktop, there is no need to specify a source file.
  • If the source file has been imported into mDesktop specify that DBF as the Main File.  If you have a "shell" DBF to import your source file into, specify that DBF as the Main File.  If you do not have a DBF, you can use the Setup Wizard button to create a "shell" DBF for importing.  When using the Setup Wizard option the DBF that is created will automatically be set as the Main File.  

If you have several files with the same "exact" layout, you can utilize the "Multiple Files with same file layout.." button. From the next window, you can specify either several source files or several DBF's that have already been imported. You can also specify the priorities and Suppression files from this window.

  • Select Options and set the Input Format to the format of the source file e.g. SDF for fixed width files with Carriage Return, COMMA for comma delimited.
  • You can also change any of the other Input Options e.g. Proper Case Incoming Data, Addressing.
  • If the file is a suppression file, select the Suppression File radial.  If it is not a Suppression File, make sure the priorities are as you want: 1 is the highest priority i.e. the file for which you most want to keep records where they match records on another file.  If you enter the highest priority file first and then in order of priority, the priority defaults to the right value.
  • In the Options menu, under the Matching tab you can select the option "Allow equal file priority in multiple file jobs?". This option will allow matches to be flagged randomly in files of equal priority and not according to the order that the files were loaded.

If the file already has list codes and priorities in, these will be disregarded.  If they are labeled LISTC and LISTP, they will be replaced by the list code and priority you enter on this screen.

After you have selected all the files, select Continue.


Multiple File Wizard: Step 3

You will then see the window below:

Click on the file selector button  and enter a name and path for the Master file. mDesktop will create a merged table layout with all the fields from all of the individual files, with the maximum field width from each file.  All input files (including suppression files) are merged into the Master File.  Each file is automatically given a list code reference (in the LISTC field) so splitting out the non-duplicate records from each original file is possible after the job.  You are prompted to remove the Suppression records at the end of the job.

Then choose the Match Keys that you want to use, as for Find Matches.  You must also enter a deletion score so that the job will automatically delete the matching records (as in Delete Matches).

Multiple File Wizard: Step 4

Finally, you will see the screen below:

If you want the matrix and summary reports produced, check the option shown and enter the costs.

Run/Amend Job Script

You will then be prompted as to whether you want to run the job immediately.  Whether you do or not, you can amend and run the generated job at any stage from the Run/Amend Job Script option on the mDesktop Jobs menu or from the Automation button in mDesktop's Wizard Pane – your job is saved under the Job Reference name you input in step 1.  This is described in the Job Maintenance help topic.

You can change the generated job script later to change file names and file setup options, but you must not change processing priorities or add files, because there is currently no way to specify the list code and list priority for the matrix report in the Run/Amend Job Script window.

You can print the Data and Matching summaries and the matching reports from the Input and Matching menus as normal, with the Master File selected.  If you change your mind about the Deletion Score you used, you can undelete records using Database Utilities (mDesktop's program folder), Verify Matches to determine the new deletion threshold, Delete Matches and finally Produce Matrix reports from the Jobs/Setup, mDesktop Jobs menu.  

If when using Verify Matches you want to interactively decide on true and false matches in a "grey area", you can flag any pair as a False Match, or increase the score of any pair so that it is included in automatic deletion.  You must NOT delete matches interactively in Verify Matches if you want the Matrix Reports to tally.

If you do not remove the suppression records from the Master file when prompted, or you undelete them, you can remove them later using the Delete Suppression Records option from the Jobs/Setup, Multiple File Job menu.

Produce Matrix Reports

The 'Produce Matrix Reports' enables you to output the matrix and summary report for a multiple file dedupe job at a different time from running the job script, or generates these reports from a single file dedupe job that has been configured to be compatible with a multiple file job.  Note, if you generate reports from a file rather than a job script, then the long descriptions of the constituent files in the job will not appear on the summary report.  Instead the report will say 'Mailing File 1', 'Mailing File 2', and 'Suppression File 1', 'Suppression File 2', etc.  This is the only difference in the reporting.

Choose 'Produce Matrix Reports' from the Multiple File Job sub-menu of the Jobs/Setup menu.  You will then see a screen, which gives you the choice of choosing which job script you want to produce the matrix reports for, or which single file.  If no multiple file job scripts have been set up (that is, using the Multiple File Wizard), then the first option will be disabled, and you will only be able to choose a file.  Once the job script or file has been chosen, and the OK button selected, you will then see another screen, which gives you reporting options.  You can choose to regenerate the reports here, which you will need to do if you have generated reports for another job or file in the meantime, or need to change the mailing and production costs.  However, if you have generated the reports for this job or file previously, and you are happy with the mailing and production costs, then you don't need to regenerate the reports.  Clicking the 'Continue' button will then allow you to choose an output format for the matrix report and the summary report.


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