File Format Conversion and More


Next Steps


Mainframe, legacy, and other proprietary data types and file formats may be unsuitable for relational databases, data warehousing, and reporting environments on today's distributed systems. The converse may also be true if you still process data on, or for, a mainframe. For this reason, you may need to convert variable block or COBOL index files to CSV, or convert text to I-SAM, for example.

Similarly, XML is a popular interchange format, but large XML files have not been practical for manipulation or conversion. ASN.1 CDR, LDIF, and Parquet files on the other hand, hold large amounts of information but are not file formats that many applications can import or process.

You may therefore need a way to convert between file formats and data types. You may also need to manipulate, report from, and protect data in multiple file formats -- possibly at the same time. Most of the solutions available are in the form of complex file conversion tools, expensive product suites, or custom data conversion services.


File Format Conversion Only

The IRI NextForm data migration and file conversion tool maps between popular flat-file and legacy index file formats, the layout of their records, and the data types within fields. NextForm supports the translation of more than 100 data and 126 file types, including:

XML (flat)
The NextForm "Unstructured Data" edition is an upgrade that can search for, and structure data elements into flat files from any number (and combination) of: doc/x, eml, pdf, ppt/x, rtf, txt, xlsx, and xml files.

File Processing and Conversion

The SortCL program incluced in the IRI CoSort data manipulation package or IRI Voracity data management platform supports the simultaneous transformation (sort, join, aggregate, remap) and inter-change (both conversion and creation) of the same data and file types supported by NextForm. SortCL can also generate detail and summary reports from these file formats, and protect sensitive data at the field level with a variety of data masking functions.

These file format conversion capabilities are useful for mainframe and database migrations, ETL, SOA, and desktop application imports.

To specify a data file conversion in NextForm or SortCL, just declare the input and output formats in a script or through the IRI Workbench GUI, built on Eclipse. The source spec might contain:



and the output(s) declarations might be:



Data Type Conversion

You can also convert between field data types in SortCL or NextForm jobs. For details, see:

Solutions > Data Transformation > Type-Convert

For more details on:

See also:

Blog > Data Migration

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