In 2010 I posted a question about alternatives to Easytrieve in this thread. Now there has been a disaster. My computer crashed at the end of August. This has led to many frustrations with the new Access 2010 program and other things. I was running Easytrieve on my computer, and the reinstallation is an older version than the one I was using. It’s run up against a licensing issue. At first I was just getting an error window letting me know there’s a licensing error. Today I got a pop-up window when I tried to start the program that said I don’t have a license and I can’t use the software. In 2010 I received this message from Computer Associates, the maker of Easytrieve:
Here’s the thing: Even though we have a license, they will not tell me how to fix the error because we let our maintenance contract expire in 2014. So now I’m dead in the water, and I don’t know what my employer will do. I need to revisit alternatives to Easytrieve.
I need to:
[ul][li]Reformat the file (There are many different formats, depending on things, and there are usually two or three output files of the same data in different formats);[/li][li]Add fields;[/li][li]Compare the current file with the previous file and use data from the previous file when there is a match on the key field;[/li][li]Add numeric fields together to create a new field (or to replace two or more fields with one);[/li][li]Add numeric fields together and compare them to the Total field. If they don’t match within set parameters, then the record is written to a different file;[/li][li]Display a summary of the number of records that meet various parameters;[/li][li]Write two output files, plus one or more files (non-matching totals, rejects, etc.);[/li][li]Scan fields to remove and/or replace characters;[/li][li]Sort files;[/li][li]Other things as needed.[/ul][/li]
Easytrieve reads fixed-position text files, so Excel spreadsheets are imported into Access and then exported as fixed-position text files. Software that can read an Excell or .csv file directly would be nice. Note, however, that not all fields are populated.
In the other thread, the consensus seems to be that I should use Perl or Python, with Python seeming to have the lead. I think it was last year that I tried to find a community college class to learn Python, and wasn’t turning up anything useful. Given that I have a specific set of things I need to do with the data, is Python still the way to go? How the hell do I go about learning it? (FWIW, I learned Easytrieve 20-some years ago by starting with programs that already did what I wanted to do, and modified them for other data.)