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Extracting Data From Files

A powerful feature of an EASAP is its ability to dynamically update content available to users without modifying the EASAP. This task is accomplished by accessing a text file each time an EASAP is initiated and extracting information from the file. Once a data file has been uploaded to the EASAP directory, information can be extracted from it using EXTRACT in combination with FIND and REPEAT. This data may populate a CHOICE LIST to adjust input settings for running an underlying batch software application.

Using the Extract Tool

In order to help in the creation of EXTRACT, FIND and REPEAT objects, there is a tool available off the right-click menu.

Usage Example

1. Right click on an Extract object on the tree and select Extract Tool.

On selecting this tool, the following window is opened:

2. Click on the open icon and then select the file to process. If you have uploaded the file of interest to your EASAP, you can select it as remote file. If it is a file that will be generated by a process, then you can select a local sample copy.

Once selected the contents of the file is shown in the right-hand pane of the tool.

3. To locate a string in the file, select the text and press the “Add Literal Find” button. Once selected, this is noted in the “matched lines” column.

4. Suppose we want to find the 3 columns of numbers stopping when we get to the text 'section2'. To do this, we highlight the first number of interest “1.2”, right click and select “Add Variable Find”.

Name the DOR “x”. Repeat for each number in the row that we are trying to extract, use DOR names “y” and “z”. As this progresses, the Matched Lines panel shows the DORs in the context of the line in which they have been defined. The lower pane shows the DOR values corresponding to the data extraction.

5. At this stage we are just matching the first line of numbers after 'section1'. What we want to do is to repeat the match. To do this, we press the repeat icon.

6. In the dialog that opens, we say that we want to repeat the search until we get to a “stop line”.

The data extraction now matches multiple lines, including the one in 'section2' that we don’t want.

7. To fix this, we select the line 'section2', right click and select “Add Literal Stop Line” and associate it with the line x,y,z.

Our data extraction is now working as desired.

8. To complete the usage of the tool, click OK and the corresponding objects and parameters are created in the EASAP Tree.

Other Usages

Other functionality within this tool includes:

  • EXTRACT testing with different input files
  • EXTRACT testing by direct editing of the file.
    • (The latter two icons are used to toggle edit mode on and off.)
  • Setting FIND's parameters by right-clicking on the relevant row in the matched lines column.
  • Grouping rows together by selecting multiple lines in the matched lines column and selecting 'group' and then 'repeat'. This is useful when search for repeated groups of lines and corresponds to having multiple find objects as Child objects of the same REPEAT.

The Material Property Database Example uses EXTRACT to allow a User to select one material and run a load simulation with the corresponding physical properties from a 'database' file containing properties of many different materials.

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