FlatFileReader reads data from flat files, such as CSV (comma-separated values) file and delimited, fixed-length, or mixed text files.
The component can read a single file as well as a collection of files placed on a local disk or remotely. Remote files are accessible via HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, or SFTP protocols. Using this component, ZIP and TAR archives of flat files can be read. Also reading data from an input port, or dictionary is supported.
FlatFileReader has an alias - UniversalDataReader.
|Component||Data source||Input ports||Output ports||Each to all outputs||Different to different outputs||Transformation||Transf. req.||Java||CTL||Auto-propagated metadata|
|Input||0||for Input Port Reading||include specific |
|Output||0||for correct data records||any|
|1||for incorrect data records||specific structure, see table below|
FlatFileReader does not propagate metadata.
This component has Metadata Templates available.
The optional logging port for incorrect records has to define the following metadata structure - the record contains exactly five fields (named arbitrarily) of given types in the following order:
Table 55.5. Error Metadata for FlatFileReader
|Field number||Field name||Data type||Description|
|0||recordNo||long||The position of an erroneous record in the dataset (record numbering starts at 1).|
|1||fieldNo||integer||The position of an erroneous field in the record (1 stands for the first field, i.e. that of index 0).|
|2||originalData||string | byte | cbyte||An erroneous record in raw form (including all field and record delimiters).|
|3||errorMessage||string | byte | cbyte||An error message - detailed information about this error.|
|4||fileURL||string||A source file in which the error occurred.|
Metadata on output port 0 can use Autofilling Functions.
source_size functions work only
when reading from a file directly (if the file is an archive or it is stored at a remote location,
timestamp will be empty and size will be 0).
A path to a data source (flat file, input port, dictionary) to be read, see Supported File URL Formats for Readers.
Character encoding of input records (character encoding does not apply to byte fields,
if the record type is
The default encoding depends on DEFAULT_CHARSET_DECODER in defaultProperties.
|UTF-8 | <other encodings>|
|Data policy||Specifies handling of misformatted or incorrect data, see Data Policy.||strict (default) | controlled | lenient|
Specifies whether a leading and trailing whitespace should be removed from strings before setting them to data fields, see Trimming Data below.
|default | true | false|
Fields containing a special character (comma, newline or double quote) have to be enclosed in quotes.
Only a single/double quote is accepted as the quote character.
Example: To read input data
By default, the value of this attribute is inherited from metadata on output port 0. See also Record Details.
|false | true|
Specifies which kind of quotes will be permitted in Quoted strings. By default, the value of this attribute is inherited from metadata on output port 0. See also Record Details.
|both | " | '|
|Skip leading blanks|
Specifies whether to skip a leading whitespace (e.g. blanks) before setting input strings to data fields. If not explicitly set (i.e. having the default value), the value of the Trim strings attribute is used. See Trimming Data.
|default | true | false|
|Skip trailing blanks|
Specifies whether to skip a trailing whitespace (e.g. blanks) before setting input strings to data fields. If not explicitly set (i.e. having the default value), the value of the Trim strings attribute is used. See Trimming Data.
|default | true | false|
|Number of skipped records|
The number of records/rows to be skipped from the source file(s); see Selecting Input Records.
|0 (default) - N|
|Max number of records|
The number of records to be read from the source file(s) in turn; all records are read by default; See Selecting Input Records.
|1 - N|
|Number of skipped records per source|
The number of records/rows to be skipped from each source file. By default, the value of the Skip source rows record property in output port 0 metadata is used. In case the value in metadata differs from the value of this attribute, the Number of skipped records per source value is applied, having a higher priority. SeeSelecting Input Records.
|0 (default)- N|
|Max number of records per source|
The number of records/rows to be read from each source file; all records from each file are read by default; See Selecting Input Records.
|1 - N|
|Max error count|
The maximum number of tolerated error records in input file(s);
applicable only if
|0 (default) - N|
|Treat multiple delimiters as one|
If a field is delimited by a multiplied delimiter character,
it will be interpreted as a single delimiter when setting to
|false (default) | true|
|Incremental file||[ 1]|
The name of a file storing the incremental key, including path. See Incremental Reading.
|Incremental key||[ 1]|
The variable storing a position of the last read record. See Incremental Reading.
By default, a less comprehensive error notification is provided
and the performance is slightly higher; however, if switched to
|false (default) | true|
By default, the most appropriate parser is applied. Besides, the parser for processing data may be set explicitly. If an improper one is set, an exception is thrown and the graph fails. See Data Parsers
|auto (default) | |
[ 1] Either both or neither of these attributes must be specified.
Parsed data records are sent to the first output port.
The component has an optional output logging port for getting detailed information about incorrect records.
Only if Data Policy is set to
and a proper Writer (Trash or FlatFileWriter) is connected to port 1,
all incorrect records together with the information about the incorrect value,
its location and the error message are sent out through this error port.
Input strings are implicitly
(i.e. the Trim strings attribute kept at the
processed before converting to a value according to the field data type as follows:
Whitespace is removed from both the start and the end in case of
Input string is set to a field including a leading and trailing whitespace in case of
If the Trim strings attribute is set to
all leading and trailing whitespace characters are removed.
A field composed of only whitespaces is transformed to null (zero length string).
false value implies preserving all leading and trailing whitespace characters.
Remember that input string representing a numerical data type or boolean can not be parsed including whitespace.
Thus, use the
false value carefully.
Both the Skip leading blanks
and Skip trailing blanks attributes
have a higher priority than Trim strings.
So, the input strings trimming will be determined
false values of these attributes,
regardless the Trim strings value.
is a very simple but fast parser with limited validation, error handling and functionality.
The following attributes are not supported:
Skip leading blanks
Skip trailing blanks
Number of skipped records
Max number of records
Treat multiple delimiters as one
On top of that, you cannot use metadata containing at least one field with one of these attributes:
the field is fixed-length
the field has no delimiter or, on the other hand, more of them
Shift is not null (see Details Pane)
Autofilling set to
the field is byte-based
- an all-round parser working with any reader settings
can be used whenever metadata contain byte-based fields mixed with char-based ones.
A byte-based field is a field of one of these types:
byte, cbyte or any other field
format property starts with the "
See Binary Formats.
used for metadata with byte-based fields only.
It parses sequences of records consisting of a fixed number of bytes.
Handling records with large data fields:
FlatFileReader can process input strings
of even hundreds or thousands of characters when you adjust the field and record buffer sizes.
Just increase the following properties according to your needs:
Record.MAX_RECORD_SIZE for record serialization,
DataParser.FIELD_BUFFER_LENGTH for parsing
DataFormatter.FIELD_BUFFER_LENGTH for formatting.
Finally, don't forget to increase the
to be at least 2*
For information on how to change these property variables, see Chapter 18, Engine Configuration.
If the first rows of your input file do not represent real data but field labels instead, set the Number of skipped records attribute. If a collection of input files with headers is read, set the Number of skipped records per source
If you wish to ignore accidental errors in delimiters
(such as two semicolons instead of a single one as defined in metadata when the input file is typed manually),
set the Treat multiple delimiters as one attribute to
All redundant delimiter characters will be replaced by the proper one.
Incremental Reading allows you to read only new records from a file. This can be done by setting the Incremental key and Incremental file attributes.
Let us have a list of customers in a file
Each record in the file consists of a date, first name
and last name:
Read the file, then add a new record and run the graph again reading only the new record.
In the output metadata, create the date, firstName and lastName fields. Set their data types to date, string and string, respectively.
Use the Incremental key and Incremental file attributes.
If the first row of the input file is not a header,
remember to set the Number of skipped records attribute to
After the first read, the output file contains five records.
Figure 55.13. Incremental reading - first read
Now, add a new record to the file, for example:
and run the graph again.
This time, only the new record is written to the output file, ignoring the previously processed records.
Figure 55.14. Incremental reading - second read
We recommend users to explicitly specify encoding of the input file (with the Charset attribute). It ensures better portability of the graph across systems with different default encoding.
The recommended encoding is UTF-8.
FlatFileReader is available since 4.2.0-M1. The UniversalDataReader was renamed to FlatFileReader.
|4.4.0-M2||The default encoding was changed from ISO-8859-1 to UTF-8.|
With default charset (UTF-8), FlatFileReader cannot parse csv files with binary data. To parse csv files with binary data, change Charset attribute.