Product Reviews

Clean Up Those Databases!

Customizable filtering from DataPipe

DataPipe is built on top of Crystal Software's TextPipe Pro (which I reviewed in the previous issue of Developer Central), and indeed, it includes a bundled copy of TextPipe Pro. It uses TextPipe filters to perform the same variety of tasks as TextPipe, for example:

  • Add new text at the start or end of a line
  • Reverse selected text
  • Change case
  • Strip out HTML markup
  • Search and replace
  • Word wrap or center text
  • Number lines
  • Extract e-mail addresses
  • Transform text using a scripting language

The difference between DataPipe and TextPipe is that DataPipe applies these changes to database files instead of text files. Specifically, it can connect to any database for which you have an OLE DB provider (which these days is just about everything). You can either choose an entire table to work with, or supply a query that retrieves only the rows that you want to alter. Then you can select, on a field-by-field basis, which TextPipe filters to apply. You can preview the results on sample data, and when you're happy, send the program off to modify the live data. It does this a row at a time so as to minimize locking issues.

If you haven't worked with TextPipe you may find the whole process a tad confusing. But once you've worked through the TextPipe tutorial it's obvious how it all fits together. For huge databases I'd still want to use a tool like SQL Server DTS, but for everyday data scrubbing this is a strong contender.

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a former MCP columnist and the author of numerous development books.

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