HOWTO: Use SQL Pass Through to Connect to ASCII Text Files

This article was previously published under Q146224
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This article shows by example how to use Visual FoxPro and ODBC to accessdata that resides in ASCII text files.
For Visual FoxPro 3.0b, the ODBC drivers for Windows 95, Windows NT, andWindows 3.1x are included with the product. For Visual FoxPro 3.0, ODBCdrivers for Windows NT and Windows 3.1x are included. The ODBC drivers forVisual FoxPro 3.0 and Windows 95 are available as an Application Notetitled "Microsoft ODBC Drivers for 32-Bit Programs" (GE1263).

Step-by-Step Example

This example demonstrates how to connect to a text file by using ODBC fromVisual FoxPro.

  1. Create a comma-delimited text file for use as the data source for the ODBC driver by typing each of the following commands in the Command window:
       SET DEFAULT TO home()+"samples\data"   USE customer   COPY TO customer.csv DELIMITED  && Creates comma-delimited Customer file   USE					
  2. Set up a Text File data source. In Windows 3.1x, do this through the ODBC Administrator in the Visual FoxPro program group or by using the ODBC icon in the Windows Control Panel. In Windows 95, do this through the 32 ODBC Administrator located in the ODBC program group or the Control Panel. In Windows NT, do this through the 32 ODBC Administrator in the Visual FoxPro program group or the ODBC icon in Control Panel.
  3. Use the following steps to set up a Data Source for the Visual FoxPro table saved as a comma-delimited file in Step 1:
    1. Open the ODBC or 32 Bit ODBC Administrator icon.
    2. From the Add list, select Microsoft Text Driver, and click OK. The ODBC Text Setup dialog box will appear.
    3. Type FoxPro Text Test in the Data Source Name, and then click the Select Directory button.
    4. Select the Vfp\Samples\Data directory, and click OK.
    5. Click the Options button, and then click the Define Format button.
    6. In the Define Text Format dialog box, select the Customer.csv file.
    7. Click the Guess button to create a Data Type, Name, and Width for each column of the selected file. Select each column, starting with F1, from the list. For each item in the list with a Data Type of Char, change the Width from 255 to the correct column width (if known). If the correct column width is not known, set each to 254 (the value used for the purposes of this example). Either way, as each column width is set, click Modify. The column width for each Char column must be set to a value less than 255 to enable the column to appear in Visual FoxPro as Character rather than Memo data.
    8. When you finish, click OK in the Define Text Format dialog box, and then click OK in the OCBC Text Setup dialog box. Then click Close in the Data Sources dialog.
  4. Place the following code in a program (.prg) file that you will run to allow connection to the "FoxPro Text Test" data source.
       * Start of Program to connect to "FoxPro Text Test" Data Source   LOCAL lcSource, lnConHand, lnSQLRes   * Set initial variable values   STORE 0 TO lnConHand, lnSQLRes   lcSource = "FoxPro Text test"  && Text Data Source Name from ODBC Dialog   * Connect to Text Data Source   WAIT Window "Attempting connection ..." NOWAIT   lnConHand = SQLCONNECT(lcSource)   IF lnConHand > 0      WAIT Window ;       "Connected to Text File Driver - Handle:" ;       + STR(lnConHand,2,0) TIMEOUT 2   ELSE      WAIT Window ;        "Unable to connect to Text File ..." TIMEOUT 2   ENDIF   * Bring data into cursor called CustText   IF lnConHand>0      lnSQLRes=SQLEXEC(lnConHand, "SELECT * FROM Customer.csv","CustText")      BROWSE NOWAIT      lnSQLRes=SQLDISCONNECT(lnConHand) && Remove to leave connection open   ENDIF   * End of program					


When a directory is selected in the ODBC Text Setup dialog box, columninformation is saved in a file in that directory called Schema.ini. Thereis a section in this file for each file in the specified directory thatmatches the extensions in the File Extensions list (visible when theOptions button is clicked). The Schema.ini section for the Customer.csvfile used in the previous example appears as follows:
   [customer.csv]   ColNameHeader=False   Format=CSVDelimited   MaxScanRows=25   CharacterSet=OEM   Col1=F1 Char Width 254   Col2=F2 Char Width 254   Col3=F3 Char Width 254   Col4=F4 Char Width 254   Col5=F5 Char Width 254   Col6=F6 Char Width 254   Col7=F7 Char Width 254   Col8=F8 Char Width 254   Col9=F9 Char Width 254   Col10=F10 Char Width 254   Col11=F11 Char Width 254   Col12=F12 Float				
The correct column names and field lengths and from the Customer table(obtained with a LIST STRUCTURE command) can be used to modify theSchema.ini file as follows to allow correct column names and widths toappear in Visual FoxPro. These modifications can also be made through theDefine Text Format dialog box.
   [customer.csv]   ColNameHeader=False   Format=CSVDelimited   MaxScanRows=25   CharacterSet=OEM   Col1=CUST_ID Char Width 6   Col2=COMPANY Char Width 40   Col3=CONTACT Char Width 30   Col4=TITLE Char Width 30   Col5=ADDRESS Char Width 60   Col6=CITY Char Width 15   Col7=REGION Char Width 15   Col8=POSTALCODE Char Width 10   Col9=COUNTRY Char Width 15   Col10=PHONE Char Width 24   Col11=FAX Char Width 24   Col12=MAXORDAMT Float				
The Text File driver supports the SQL SELECT and INSERT commands only,not DELETE or UPDATE. This prevents deleting or modifying existing records.

The maximum width of a column of Character data can be set in Visual FoxProin the Remote Data tab of the Options dialog box. The setting in the "UseMemo for Fields >=:" spinner determines this maximum width. The defaultvalue (also the absolute maximum) for this setting is 255. If this maximumwidth setting is exceeded, the data is brought in as Memo data instead ofCharacter data.

Article ID: 146224 - Last Review: 02/28/2014 08:01:35 - Revision: 3.3

  • Microsoft Visual FoxPro 3.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Visual FoxPro 3.0b Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Visual FoxPro 6.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Data Access Components 2.5
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