Data Import and Export

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ShareCon is able to import and export data in several different formats, including its native format, comma-separated values (.CSV), and comma-delimited text (.TXT).
 
The .CSV and .TXT formats provide compatibility with many other applications such as word processors, spreadsheets, and label printers, as well as other contact apps and most email program address books, under DOS, Windows, UNIX, LINUX, and PDA platforms.
 
Exporting
 
First of all, no matter which export function is used, keep in mind that the only data which is exported is that which is currently displayed on the main list. In other words, if you are looking at a keyword or word search list, and perform an export operation, only the records included in the search results will be included. This is important, but perhaps not obvious!
 
To bring up the export options, select the menu item Import / Export. All the export functions follow the same general order; you confirm that you want to proceed, specify an output file, and click OK. When the process is complete you are presented with a short dialog telling you what was done.
 
Importing ShareCon records
 
Importing ShareCon format is easy. Select from the menu, then find the file you wish to import. If the file passes inspection, you will be presented with the ShareCon Records Import Controls.
 

import_sharecon

 
The import control form shows the file you have selected, how many records it contains, and the date & time it was created.
 
ShareCon imports are actually "smart" merge operations, in that each potential import record is compared to your existing data, and you control whether or not duplicates are replaced. Keywords are also taken from the new records, and merged in with your existing keyword list. The Import Controls form has two sets of radio buttons, one controls the definition of "duplicate", the other sets rules on what to do when a duplicate is encountered.
 
Once you have defined "duplicate", and set the replacement rules, click the Import button to start the process. When the operation is complete, the bottom half of the Controls screen will display an outline of  what took place. If you are not happy with the results, the entire operation can be un-done.
 
Importing comma-delimited or comma-separated records
 
Comma-delimited and .CSV import is a bit more complicated, because you must tell ShareCon exactly which data fields in the import records are to be mapped to which ShareCon fields. As before, select a file, and you will be presented with the Comma-Delimited Import Field Selector form.
 

import_sharecon

 
With any luck, the program which generated the data made the first record an "index", naming exactly which field is what. The first five records in the file are shown in a box  on the left, with a number next to each data field. Look at these carefully; if all five records do not show the same number of fields, then the operation should be aborted!
 
If the records look OK, then one by one pick a field number on the left, and then click the ShareCon field you want it mapped to. If you make a mistake and put the wrong field number in a box, just pick another one to overwrite it, or pick one of the record titles (|||||||| RECORD 3 ||||||||) and then click the ShareCon field to clear it.
 
Next, select one of the two radio buttons, Default to Individual, or Default to Organization. These control whether records with both an organization name and a person's name are recorded as Organizations or Individuals.
 
Finally, click the radio button Add Extra Items to Notes if you would like import fields you weren't able to match up to be written to the ShareCon description field.
 
When all is ready, click the Import button to start the process. During the first pass the records will be converted and stored in ShareCon format in a temporary file. Once that is done the native format operation will start and there you can specify what to do with duplicates. When the operation is complete, take some time to carefully review several of the new records to make sure the data fields mapped over correctly.
 
Note - prior to running any import operation, you are strongly advised to make an Internal Data Back-Up so that you can un-do the changes if you are not pleased with the results. You will be prompted to do this, or may do it any time with the menu item File, Create Backup Data Set. (This works in any data set, completely independent of all other data sets.)