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Chapter 12. Data Importing and Repairing > Separating Parts of Data

Separating Parts of Data

If you are faced with importing a file with badly structured data, you may have to separate parts of a single field into smaller parts. For example, if your text file has one field for first and last names or city, state and Zip code but your database has them as separate elements, you need to separate the data into its constituent parts. The process of doing this is called parsing, and it can be complex because each set of text combinations can present its own problems. No one script can be used for all parsing situations, but the concept we show here is adaptable for a wide range of parsing needs. These steps show how to parse a Full Name field:

Name = John J. Jones into first, middle and last names.


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