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Converting Microsoft Works databases.... *shudder*

P: n/a
I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with this. Someone I
know is trying to move away from Microsoft Works, and I am trying to
look into a solution that would convert their data in a lossless fashion
to a more modern format. The database has more than 65K rows, so
converting it to be an Excel spreadsheet, would, AFAIK, not be an option.

It would seem that MS Works can export the database as a DBF format
database, though I have not tried it. Before I get started, I was
wondering if anyone has been through this problem in the past and used
Python to solve the problem. Knowing nearly nothing about the DBase
family of application software, and database formats, I find myself
feeling like the information out there is, frankly, a bit overwhelming.

Would the recipe specified in the "dbf to csv" thread be useful here for
a file in DBase IV format? It of course uses the same extension, but I
am not sure if the file semantics are at all similar. The idea at the
end would be to probably create a database on an small SQL server (like
MySQL) and let the person access their data using ODBC on their Windows
workstation so that they can create form letters and the like. They do
not have access to MS Office's Access product, nor do they wish to use
OOo Base (and I can't say that I blame them -- it seems to crash far too
often to be considered reliable stuff).

-- Mike
Nov 3 '06 #1
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8 Replies


P: n/a
Mike,
I totally forgot that MS Works was out there. Haven't used that one in
about 6 or 7 years. Honestly, your best bet is to convert to .csv or
some delimited .txt file. Once that is done, all your rows/columns will
be "nice and neat" .
Once that is done, (and since your client doesn't have ACCESS, try
MYSQL or POSTGRESQL(they are open source). They can handle A LOT OF
DATA, so however big your orginal DB is, you can import it to one of
these more than capable OS freebie Databases.

Good luck
Michael B. Trausch wrote:
I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with this. Someone I
know is trying to move away from Microsoft Works, and I am trying to
look into a solution that would convert their data in a lossless fashion
to a more modern format. The database has more than 65K rows, so
converting it to be an Excel spreadsheet, would, AFAIK, not be an option.

It would seem that MS Works can export the database as a DBF format
database, though I have not tried it. Before I get started, I was
wondering if anyone has been through this problem in the past and used
Python to solve the problem. Knowing nearly nothing about the DBase
family of application software, and database formats, I find myself
feeling like the information out there is, frankly, a bit overwhelming.

Would the recipe specified in the "dbf to csv" thread be useful here for
a file in DBase IV format? It of course uses the same extension, but I
am not sure if the file semantics are at all similar. The idea at the
end would be to probably create a database on an small SQL server (like
MySQL) and let the person access their data using ODBC on their Windows
workstation so that they can create form letters and the like. They do
not have access to MS Office's Access product, nor do they wish to use
OOo Base (and I can't say that I blame them -- it seems to crash far too
often to be considered reliable stuff).

-- Mike
Nov 3 '06 #2

P: n/a
Michael B. Trausch wrote:
I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with this. Someone I
know is trying to move away from Microsoft Works, and I am trying to
look into a solution that would convert their data in a lossless fashion
to a more modern format. The database has more than 65K rows, so
converting it to be an Excel spreadsheet, would, AFAIK, not be an option.

It would seem that MS Works can export the database as a DBF format
database, though I have not tried it. Before I get started, I was
wondering if anyone has been through this problem in the past and used
Python to solve the problem. Knowing nearly nothing about the DBase
family of application software, and database formats, I find myself
feeling like the information out there is, frankly, a bit overwhelming.

Would the recipe specified in the "dbf to csv" thread be useful here for
a file in DBase IV format? It of course uses the same extension, but I
am not sure if the file semantics are at all similar. The idea at the
end would be to probably create a database on an small SQL server (like
MySQL) and let the person access their data using ODBC on their Windows
workstation so that they can create form letters and the like. They do
not have access to MS Office's Access product, nor do they wish to use
OOo Base (and I can't say that I blame them -- it seems to crash far too
often to be considered reliable stuff).

-- Mike
MS ships ODBC interface to xBase databases in all versions of Windows.
You don't need Access. Just create DSN to your exported dBase database
and MS Word, MS Excel, and any other ODBC aware product can read the
data. If the data size is large or if you want to move to server, you
can do that later.

-Larry
Nov 3 '06 #3

P: n/a
Larry Bates wrote:
Michael B. Trausch wrote:
>>I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with this. Someone I
know is trying to move away from Microsoft Works, and I am trying to
look into a solution that would convert their data in a lossless fashion
to a more modern format. The database has more than 65K rows, so
converting it to be an Excel spreadsheet, would, AFAIK, not be an option.
[...]
MS ships ODBC interface to xBase databases in all versions of Windows.
You don't need Access. Just create DSN to your exported dBase database
and MS Word, MS Excel, and any other ODBC aware product
Including, presumably, mx.ODBC in Python, which gives the most
attractive possibilities for output.

can read the
data. If the data size is large or if you want to move to server, you
can do that later.
regards
Steve
--
Steve Holden +44 150 684 7255 +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC/Ltd http://www.holdenweb.com
Skype: holdenweb http://holdenweb.blogspot.com
Recent Ramblings http://del.icio.us/steve.holden

Nov 3 '06 #4

P: n/a

GISDude wrote:
Mike,
I totally forgot that MS Works was out there. Haven't used that one in
about 6 or 7 years. Honestly, your best bet is to convert to .csv or
some delimited .txt file. Once that is done, all your rows/columns will
be "nice and neat" .
"Nice and neat"? What is that supposed to mean?

Converting to a CSV or TXT format loses all meta-information about data
types, sizes, and precision. It also runs the risk of mangling the
actual data. The OP should take the DBF / ODBC route as suggested by
others.

Nov 3 '06 #5

P: n/a
GISDude wrote:
Mike,
I totally forgot that MS Works was out there. Haven't used that one in
about 6 or 7 years. Honestly, your best bet is to convert to .csv or
some delimited .txt file. Once that is done, all your rows/columns will
be "nice and neat" .
Once that is done, (and since your client doesn't have ACCESS, try
MYSQL or POSTGRESQL(they are open source). They can handle A LOT OF
DATA, so however big your orginal DB is, you can import it to one of
these more than capable OS freebie Databases.

Good luck
Yeah; the only thing is that I am going to have to write a solution to
give them "easy" access to their data. Sometimes, they just want to
look up a row of data, but they don't want to put their data in a
database server -- they want it on their machine so that it is "private"
(FSVO private--it's a Windows box).

-- Mike
Nov 4 '06 #6

P: n/a
Larry Bates wrote:
>
MS ships ODBC interface to xBase databases in all versions of Windows.
You don't need Access. Just create DSN to your exported dBase database
and MS Word, MS Excel, and any other ODBC aware product can read the
data. If the data size is large or if you want to move to server, you
can do that later.
Oh! I hadn't realized that Win32 ODBC handled connections to dBase
files. Learn something new every day... :-) Thanks!

(I suppose that is something that I would probably know, if I used
Windows...)

-- Mike
Nov 4 '06 #7

P: n/a
Michael B. Trausch wrote:
GISDude wrote:
>Mike,
I totally forgot that MS Works was out there. Haven't used that one in
about 6 or 7 years. Honestly, your best bet is to convert to .csv or
some delimited .txt file. Once that is done, all your rows/columns will
be "nice and neat" .
Once that is done, (and since your client doesn't have ACCESS, try
MYSQL or POSTGRESQL(they are open source). They can handle A LOT OF
DATA, so however big your orginal DB is, you can import it to one of
these more than capable OS freebie Databases.

Yeah; the only thing is that I am going to have to write a solution to
give them "easy" access to their data. Sometimes, they just want to
look up a row of data, but they don't want to put their data in a
database server -- they want it on their machine so that it is "private"
(FSVO private--it's a Windows box).
You can set up database servers that only serve to the local machine. I
have a couple applications out there that have MySQL server running on a
Windows box and the only client that connects is the local machine.
However, you may find it easier and every bit as rewarding to go with
the simpler solution: sqlite.

As far as easy access to the data, it is quite possible that Dabo could
help you there. Once you have your data in sqlite or MySQL, the Dabo
AppWizard can generate a basic application for you to search, browse,
edit, and report on your records. The basic application generated can
then be modified by you (in Python) to make it more custom and to
enhance it as your needs grow.

sqlite information: http://initd.org/tracker/pysqlite
dabo information: http://dabodev.com

(Please note that the dabodev website is going through some scheduled
maintenance so it may not be available when you call this weekend, but
in any case it will be fully functional by Monday).

--
pkm ~ http://paulmcnett.com

Nov 4 '06 #8

P: n/a
I have Works 8.0 and you can SAVE AS to dBase IV format. Not sure for other
versions.

Regards,
Ian
"Michael B. Trausch" <"mike$#at^&nospam!%trauschus"wrote in message
news:up******************************@comcast.com. ..
>I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with this. Someone I
know is trying to move away from Microsoft Works, and I am trying to
look into a solution that would convert their data in a lossless fashion
to a more modern format. The database has more than 65K rows, so
converting it to be an Excel spreadsheet, would, AFAIK, not be an option.

It would seem that MS Works can export the database as a DBF format
database, though I have not tried it. Before I get started, I was
wondering if anyone has been through this problem in the past and used
Python to solve the problem. Knowing nearly nothing about the DBase
family of application software, and database formats, I find myself
feeling like the information out there is, frankly, a bit overwhelming.

Would the recipe specified in the "dbf to csv" thread be useful here for
a file in DBase IV format? It of course uses the same extension, but I
am not sure if the file semantics are at all similar. The idea at the
end would be to probably create a database on an small SQL server (like
MySQL) and let the person access their data using ODBC on their Windows
workstation so that they can create form letters and the like. They do
not have access to MS Office's Access product, nor do they wish to use
OOo Base (and I can't say that I blame them -- it seems to crash far too
often to be considered reliable stuff).

-- Mike

Nov 4 '06 #9

This discussion thread is closed

Replies have been disabled for this discussion.