All About Database Utilities

Database Utilities

 

Functions of Database Utilities

You can run Database Utilities from the matchIT Program Group, or run FIXDB.EXE in the matchIT directory.  This utility can be used for many different things, for example:

  • modify layouts of matchIT's parameter tables
  • search for corrupt tables or indexes in the matchIT directory tree
  • rebuild corrupt indexes
  • correct a corrupt database header
  • permanently delete "logically deleted" records
  • recall "logically deleted" records
  • wipe a whole table permanently of all records
  • view and report on any database (table)
  • change a delimiter in an ASCII text file
  • append to any table from DBF and text files
  • export from any table to DBF and text files
  • regenerate matchIT's UNIQUE_REF so it is unique
  • blank out a specific field in a database
  • eliminate blank address lines by shuffling up later lines
  • limit field widths to the maximum size of the data within them
  • generate an Addressee field from Prefix, Forenames and Surname.

Only the most commonly used options are described below; the remainder are described in the Online Help.

Use the normal matchIT menus in preference to Database Utilities whenever possible as Database Utilities does not perform the usual safety checks that matchIT does.

 

File Menu Options

Choose Database:  to open a different database (table) from that selected previously

Convert Text File:  while matchIT can cope with most standard data formats, occasionally you may have to deal with a non-standard data file.  If you want to import a delimited file which has no Carriage Return Line Feed (CRLF) at the end of each record, matchIT has to convert it before Import.  This option will convert such a file into comma delimited format (CSV).  You will need to know how many fields there are in your data file and what the delimiting character is.  Follow the on-screen prompts.  You will then be asked for a filename for the newly created file.

Append:  appends records into a DBF file from another DBF file, comma or tab delimited file, or an SDF (fixed length) file.  This can be useful when you want to create a DBF quickly without matching, perhaps to do some reformatting before asking matchIT to process it.  The field names and file layout must be the same before appending.

Export Database:  exports a file to a choice of formats, with a new file name.

Quit Database Utilities:  to return to Windows.

 

Database Menu Options

All of these options ask you to select a database if one is not in use.

Modify Structure

This option allows you to change the structure of any database (change the fields in a table).

Undelete

If you select the Undelete option, all logically flagged records are recalled to the database, e.g. from when you flagged matches.

Pack

Permanently deletes records from the table.

Zap

Permanently deletes all records (not just logically deleted ones).

Fix Header

This corrects a DBF file header where the number of records in the header is wrong, e.g. if you ran out if disk space during an Import

Recreate Index

A DBF file cannot be used if it has a corrupt CDX index attached to it.  This option will remove the index and then create a new one.  It is the equivalent of  deleting the CDX file through Windows Explorer and then using Reindex to index the DBF.

Reindex

Recreates indexes for a DBF file (including matchIT's files, not just your Main Files).

Browse Last/Reset Browse

These options allow you to change data, recall deleted records etc.  In Database Utilities, unlike in View Table in matchIT, deleted records are visible but are denoted by a thick black line in the left margin.  The Reset Browse option also makes the Browse window display revert to the default configuration, allowing you to set up a new view if you have a problem with the current view.

Count Records

This option allows you to count the records in the database from the record that you are positioned on (for example, after Browsing) to the end of the file.  If you have just opened the file, this will be the total number of records in the table.

 

Field Menu Options

Generate Unique Refs

Creates new unique references in the file, starting at the number you enter.  This ensures the reference numbers are unique, for example if you have been having problems with matching.  After selecting this option, you will need to redo any matching performed on the File.

Check Unique Refs

Checks all the reference numbers (in a field called UNIQUE_REF) are actually unique.  If they are not, use generate unique references to recreate them (see above).

Close up blank address lines?

If there are gaps in your address lines, either because of the original database layout or because matchIT has extracted, say, company names and zip codes, you can remove them using this option.  It will move all address lines to the 'top' by filling Address1 first, then Address2, etc.

Change Fields to Fit

Changes the width of all character fields in the Main File to the maximum width of the data in each field.  This does not change or empty any of matchIT's key data fields.

Generate Addressee

Creates a freeform name field from Prefix, Forenames and Surname – use this when the contents of Prefix, Forenames and Surname are not reliably the components of an individual's name e.g. Prefix = "The", Forenames = "Managing" and Surname = "Director".  


Report Menu Options

List Structure

This option allows you to list (i.e. print out) the structure of any database.

Check Files

This facility goes through the matchIT directory and all its sub-directories, attempting to open all of the database it finds.  If there is an error opening a databases, this is reported to the screen, along with the name of the database, and the reason for the error.  This can be extremely useful when there has been a hard disk crash, for instance, and a database (or index) has become corrupted.  This option will be able to track it down straight away.