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Text File Source
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Data Mapping > Data Mapper Functions > By Category > Text > Text File Source

Glossary Item Box

Function Name
Text File Data Source
Reads data from a delimitated or fixed width format file (CSV etc).
Filename Source file to read data from, if this input is not connected then the filename provided in the 'Default Source File' property
Row A row is create for each line read form the source file
Child Items Row contain a number of child items that reflect the fields defined when the component is created.
Default Source File The default data file to read from. This is used if the input connection point 'Filename' is not connected.
Store Relative Indicates if paths should be stored relative to the transform, or as absolute paths.

Creating an Text File Source

When the Text Reader component is dragged onto a transform a setup wizard is launched to guide you through the creation of the data source.

Flat File Data

The first wizard page give you the option of basing the reader on an existing data file, or defining the data source from scratch.

While it possible to describe a data source from scratch, its much easier to infer it from an existing data file.

If you selected a to infer the structure from an existing file then the next page allows you to define the field delimiters.

Delimiter Type

There are 2 forms of file delimited and fixed width, delimited files use a special character to separate fields, fixed width pad all the fields so they take up the same amount of space.

Some files also contain the column names on the first row.

Select the options that are applicable and press Next.

Delimited File Configuration

If your file was delimitated, then the next screen allows you to define the rules used to read each field.

The delimiters break the fields, its possible to select a number of delimiters, but in practice the file normally only uses a tab or a comma.

The "Fields are enclosed in quotes" property means that if the first char within a field is a quote then the value is considered to be everything up to the next quote. This makes it possible for a field to contain the delimiter character. If the field also needs to contain a quote char then 2 quote chars in a row are interpreted as a single quote.

Data Field 1 Value Field 3 Value Field 3 Value Field 4 Value
abc,123,xyz abc 123 xyz
abc,"123",xyz abc 123 xyz
abc,"1,23",xyz abc 1,23 xyz
abc,1,23,xyz abc 1 2 xyz
abc,"1""23",xyz abc 1"23 xyz
abc,"1"23",xyz ERROR
abc,1"23,xyz abc 1"23 xyz
abc,"1""2,3",xyz abc 1"2,3 xyz


Fixed Field Width Delimiter

If you selected "Fixed Width" on the delimiter page then the delimiter setup page is next, this allows you to graphically determine where the breaks in the fields are, just click on the display area where the delimiters should be, if you make a mistake just click it again to remove it. 


Here you can see the delimiters have been added at the appropriate positions.

Column Details Page

If your source data contained column headings then you may well be finished at this stage, however if the data contains no column information, or you don't like the names in the file then you can change them on this page.

Simply select the column to edit and set the name (if you are working on a fixed width file then you also get the option to set the column width).

If you did not provide a source document to infer the structure from then you must define it here by hand.


Once you press Finish the new Text Data source is added to the transform and can be used as any other data source is.

Property Pages



The name of the component, must be unique within the transform



Default Encoding

The encoding used to decode the data read from the file into text if the encoding is not specifically identified within the file (see BOM).

First line contains field headings

If checked then the first line in the data file is ignored as it is assumed to contain the names of the columns

Ignore invalid rows

The transform does not stop when an invalid row is encounters, it just ignores it and moves onto the next line.

Remove leading and trailing whitespace from each field

If checked leading and trailing whitespace is removed from the field value i.e.

Col1 ,  Col2 , Col3

if checked the values are "Col1", "Col2", "Col3"

if unchecked the values are "Col1 ", "  Col2 ", " Col3"

Fields are enclosed in quotes

When checked quotes are considered to be enclosing characters, i.e.

"col 1 has a coma, would normally be seen as a separator", col 2

By enclosing column 1 in quotes the ',' is treated as data not a separator.


All the delimiters selected are treated as column separators unless they are enclosed in quotes (see Fields are enclosed in quotes).

Edit Columns

Allows the column definitions to be manually edited.

Default input filename

If the reader component does not have a connector to the 'Filename' or ' Text Source' then the filename is read from this property.

If the connection point 'Filename' or ' Text Source' is connected, then this is ignored (and can be blank)

Store as relative path

Indicates that the filename is to be resolved relative to the data mapping file (.dm). If the transform is compiled the filename will be resolved relative to the compiled exe.




See Also