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Augmenting IDB Records

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Augmenting IDB Records

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Augmenting IDB Records

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   You can easily augment your current list of Instant Database data records using any external program that can generate a CSV (comma separated value) file.

   First, a bit of super easy 'technical' stuff:

Pathagoras stores the individual Instant Database records as separate .csv files. These files are stored in a single folder.
When you initially install Pathagoras, the IDB folder is located as "C:\Program Files\Pathagoras\IDBS". (You can move the location of the folder. If you have done so, and forgot where you put it, click here for instructions on how to determine its location)
When you press Alt-D (or otherwise call up the Instant Database screen), Pathagoras will first fill the 'Existing Data' drop down list (upper right corner of the screen). It does so by quickly reading the names of each ".csv" file then present in the IDB folder. It then sorts the names alphabetically and pours the alphabetized list into the drop down.
There is no separate database that collects your data in a single file. Therefore, you do not have to write code that adds a new record into a proprietary database structure.
The read of the .csv files in the IDB folder is 'dynamic.' That is, every time you call up Instant Database, the folder is read anew.
The consequence of the last bullet point is that if you add a .csv to the list, it too will be seen by Pathagoras the next time you display the Instant Database screen. Any new .csv file will be displayed along with the other .csv files.

   All third party programs have the means to export a single record into a .csv file. Your 'job' is to figure out how to do that, and then to just do it. You will need to consult your program's documentation to figure out the steps. Typically, it will be an operation called Export and typically that operation can be found under the "File" menu.

   A few more points and requirements:

The exported record must be in 'comma separated value' format. As you follow the steps to export the record from your third party database program, this invariably will be an option that is presented to you.
If offered, you should select "Quote comma" separation. If not offered, don't panic. Pathagoras can handle the conversion when it sees and begins to import the record.
The exported record must  consist of two lines and only two lines.
1.The first line of the record must contain the field names. For hopefully obvious reasons, these field names must be identical to names you have assigned to the variables in  your source documents. So, if your external database has field names of "Client Name", "Soouse Name", etc. your 'Pathagorized' document variables must be [Client Name]" and "[Spouse Name]" If it is something else, there can be no matching up. (Note: If, while exporting the data, your external database can add the square brackets that denote 'variable' within Pathagoras, great! But if your program cannot add the brackets, don't worry. Pathagoras will add them for you.
2.The second line of the record must contain the 'personal' values that will be substituted for the variable at document assembly time. These values must be in the same order as the field names of the first line. (This ordering, including necessary commas to indicate 'blanks,' is handled automatically by the export program of your external database. The rule is essential, but compliance is automatic. Just don't 'mess' with the result in a way that might violate the rule.)