Overview of Importing Files in an ASCII Format
ASCII format files are plain text files where fields are separated by a delimiting character. There are many different formats which exist, the most common being CSV (comma separated value) and TAB. With *.CSV files, fields that are text-based are normally enclosed in quotation marks, whereas numeric fields are without quotation marks. *.CSV files are easy to read and import when the importing program knows exactly how the comma separator is being used in the file.
However, generic programs must try and decipher the *.CSV format when importing and errors often occur. For example, when commas exist within descriptions and they are not meant as delimiting comma values.
The Pastel Data Import includes a unique interactive facility that converts any ASCII format file into a TAB delimited ASCII format. This TAB delimited ASCII format is then used exclusively by the Pastel Data Import for all further processing. Once the Pastel Data Import has formatted the ASCII file into a TAB format, the import of that file becomes possible.
The file that you are converting from needs to be in a specific layout to ensure successful integration. You must first prepare the conversion data by exporting it out of the other package in an ASCII format that is readable to the Pastel.
Information could be reproduced in a table that looks like the following:
1st column – Account Number (1000000; 2000000; etc)
Character 7 characters maximum
2nd column – Description (Sales; Cost of Sales; etc)
Character 40 characters maximum
3rd column – Financial Category (I 90; I 95; etc)
Character I=Income Statement / B=Balance Sheet
4th column – External Reference
Character 12 characters maximum