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Data Conversion

 
Ramesh Kadur
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Hi,
I downloaded the FBN assignment on 3rd Jan. 2001. The instruction says I have a binary database file. Data class is using RandomAccessFile to read and write the information to this file. I have seen few questions in this forum about the data conversion tool that they are writing. I don't know where this conversion tool fit in the assignement. The instruction does not mention anything about it either. Could anybody please tell me what is this conversion tool everybody is talking about?
Thanks.

Ramesh
 
Paul Smiley
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Supposedly, not everyone gets the exact same exam from Sun. Even if the instructions are similar, they may differ in details. If you didn't get a section in the instructions like the following, then you have a exam that differs in the data conversion tool:
The Data Conversion Tool
You must create a data conversion tool that reads the flat ASCII data file and creates a binary file for use by the suncertify.db.Data class...

[This message has been edited by Paul Smiley (edited January 07, 2001).]
 
Ramesh Kadur
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Thank you Paul.
 
Paul Smiley
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Let me ask, then. Is your exam different?
 
Ramesh Kadur
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Yes. There is no mention of Data Conversion tool in the instructions I downloaded. My download consists of following items:
1. Instructions in HTML format
2. Source code which is the starting point for the assignment
3. A binary database file.
What I must do as per the instructions:
1. A GUI for viewing flight information and booking a flight.
2. Extenstions to the database code to support a more flexible search and record locking
3. Network server functionality for the database system. I can use either RMI or sockets
4. Program must also be able work in a non-networked mode.

I can not find anything about the Data Conversion Tool that everybody is talking about.
I guess my assignment is different from others.
Ramesh
 
Mike McGowen
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Hi Ramesh,
My instructions are similar to your's.I mean there is no mention about Data Conversion Tool.But in order for the product that we develop needs to be extendable in the future, I think there may be a need for us to provide for a Data Conversion Tool.What do you think?
 
Sanjeev Kumar
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Hi Ramesh & Mike,
I have also got similar assignment but I don't think any data conversion tool is required. The data is already in binary format and we have all the methods to access and modify it in Data class.
 
Ramesh Kadur
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Mike,
I don't know how the Data Conversion Tool is going to provide extensibility. My feeling is, if the data base file is in ASCII format then it needs to be converted to binary file, which necessitates the Data Conversion Tool. Binary files are not easy to edit without knowing its structure and thus provide some kind of security to the database. ASCII files do not provide the same security since it can be easily edited using any text editor. In our case, the file is already is in the binary format and the Data class provides the methods to create/read the tables and find, modify, add, delete the records to the table in binary format. Therefore, I feel that Data Conversion Tool is irrelevant to our assignment.
Please correct me if I am wrong.
Thanks.
Ramesh
 
Ramesh Kadur
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Sanjeev and Mike,
I feel that we might need to discuss on our assingment as how to proceed with the design and implementation since all of us have similar assignment. I am giving my e-mail address below and appreciate if you can give your address also, if you are interested in exchanging the ideas.
Thanks.
Ramesh Kadur
rameshkadur@hotmail.com
 
Mike McGowen
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Ramesh,
If we provide the Data Conversion Tool(DCT), then in future if the database user(not the end user) want to change the number of fields and their lengths then he can do it by editing the ascii file and our DCT will be able to convert it into binary format.This is what I mean when I said it should be extensible in future.What do you say?
 
Ihor Strutynskyj
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To clear the confusion about data conversion tool (DCT). This was the part of earlier version of the assignment, which had the ASCII data file. Then you have to write the DCT to convert it to binary format. The new version of assignemt already has the db in the binary format, hence the DCT is irrelevant.
I have the old version (got it on 10/15/2000) and initially thought the DCT will give me some extra work. Now, after finishing it (it took 3-4 days of research/thinking and 4-5 hours of coding/debugging), I can say it was not bad at all. I learned very interested classes and know a bit more about Java.
Good luck with FBN,
Ihor.
 
Paul Smiley
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I don't think that either one is the "old" version. I just got mine in late December as did another guy and we both have an ASCII to binary conversion tool to write.
For those of you with the binary file included, fear not, for you will have something extra to do elsewhere.
 
Mike McGowen
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I agree with Paul.Our assignment is different in the way that we are not asked to provide for a DCT.SUN will try to catch us somewhere else.Thanks to all for contributing to clarify the issue.I am not going for a DCT now.
 
Sanjeev Kumar
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Hi Ramesh & Mike,
It is settled now that we are not going to write DCT.
By the way my emailid is sanjeev_swati@yahoo.com
 
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