• Subject: Re: PC file Layouts ??
  • From: jdraper@xxxxxxx (Jerry Draper)
  • Date: Sat, 13 Dec 1997 04:33:37 -0800 (PST)

>> DIF (Data Interchange Format) is, I believe, a standard introduced by Lotus.
>> any event, it's also easy to use.
>DIF has been around since the days of VisiCalc, predating 1-2-3 by a while.
>But it *is* pretty easy to use. The only reason it didn't become a standard
>format for spreadsheet programs is that it's frothy (non-dense), printable
>and it took a lot of storage (in an age of 140k floppy disks as main disk) in
>comparison to a binary format. DIF files were about 160% of the size of the
>spreadsheet stored in a native format, IIRC.

Back to the AS400 however, the Synapse WinAPPC (I sell and support it)
download software is unique in that it offers support for the dBase file
format (I'm not a dBase fan except...).

This is great for two reasons:  

1)  most all PC based software can read/write the .dbf format so it has
become a common denominator format like csv or tab delimited.

2) the .dbf format incorporates the data dictionary along with the data so
the data is "pre-defined" when it gets to the PC.  Synapse extracts the data
dictionary from the dds specs on the AS400.  This means that there is no
work to do on the PC to define the data when it gets there from the AS400 (a
tedious task at best).  No sizing columns or setting numeric attributes for
each field/column.

BTW Synapse is 6 times faster than the CA/400 that it replaces.


Jerry Draper, Trilobyte Software Systems, since 1976
Specializing in connecting PC's, Windows, MAC's, and LAN's to the AS/400
Representing Synapse, Apple, IBM, UDS, MI, DCI, Netsoft, etc.
(415) 457-3431; (415) 258-1658fax; jdraper@wco.com

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