An Excel x Clipper Question

By lund ·
I have been trying to find a way to automatically fill in data fields on a form developed in Excel, from within a DOS-based application (written in Clipper).

Reading the form file into memory (about 30 kB) and substituting specific tags like "<DocDate>" with the actual data string rendered the XLS file useless.

Does anybody have an idea that might work out? Present operation involves filling out the form manually.

Thanks in advance for any contributions.

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You may be out of luck.

by databaseben In reply to An Excel x Clipper Questi ...

I haven't heard about Clipper in years. I thought it died out along with QA, an old dos based database program. Hmm? I think it was also written in Clipper too.

In any case, you may not be able to link it with Excel because I tried many years ago to do the same with QA - and i was an expert with it back in those old days.

Perhaps, you need to learn Clipper so that you can build something to export its data into a dos text file that Excel or Access can read or import. I had contemplated this method myself, but I saw Clipper as another dying language and not worthwhile to learn just to build a one time method to export data into a different format.

If you want to try to migrate Clipper data so that you can end the use of that dos base program and start a new more universal format, you might try producing report consisting of all data in Clipper, and then see if you can ocr it.

Unfortunately, 15 years ago there was no such thing as ocr and back then I had data that needed to be migrated between two completely incompatible database's. Back then software were not friendly with each other.

So i was given 6 employees to hand input all the accumulated data from the old db into a new one i developed. If i recall, it took about 6 days with 6 employees to migrate 6 years of tedious data. But it was a success and it was the only method at the time.


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here is some interesting FYI

by databaseben In reply to An Excel x Clipper Questi ...


after being taken through memory lane above. i would still recommend looking at ocr'ing clipper data as the first step to migrating its data "AND" skip Excel and build a MSAccess Database instead.

Since it sounds like you are proficient with Excel, MSAccess will be a breath of fresh air for you and your company.

Simply build your MSAccess database as an exact clone of the old dos one, ie form wise, raw data wise and report wise.

Afterwards, once the clone in MSAccess is perfect and it runs just like the old db, you can enhance it to your little hearts content

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Reponse To Answer

by lund In reply to here is some interesting ...

I'm very sorry, but I guess you got my problem wrong. The system written in Clipper (I have dealt wit it for more than 20 years now) runs perfecly. What I am trying to do is to automatically fill out an invoice form (laid out in Excel) instead of manually filling out the previously used pre-printed paper forms. For now the solution is to open the Excel form and fill it out manually, which I would like to find a way to avoid...

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As databaseben says,

you're best bet would be to export your Clipper data into a file readable by Excel.
I haven't used anything with Clipper in a long time, so not sure but seems like at
one time it did have an export to "CSV" function?? Or maybe I'm remembering
something else, built on Clipper? It's just been so long! Sheesh, what was the
name of that little database program? If I can remember it, I'll drop back by and
edit this answer to include the program I used.
Edit to add:
I think I remembered the program I once used, but not sure it was
built with Clipper, anyway, it was called "DirTel", a small address,
contact type book. The resulting database could be exported to
plain ASCII comma-delimited text, RTF and even HTML.
But it still requires manual data entry.

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Time to migrate and upgrade

by databaseben In reply to An Excel x Clipper Questi ...

you might try specialty software that "Converts Clipper to QuickBooks" for Windows. It's just time to say good bye and thanks to that 20 year old dos program.

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Reponse To Answer

by lund In reply to Time to migrate and upgra ...

I guess i found out how to solve the problem. I exported the form as an HTML file in which the data fields can be adequately substituted. Then the printout can be generated through the browser or by converting to PDF.

Thankyou for the contributions anyway.

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