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Using the Steps tab on the Parse Structured form

To complete the Steps tab on the Parse Structured form, you can use all the methods and instructions that are accepted by the Activity form. You can also use preconditions, transitions, and iterations. Review the following topic to learn about the key differences between the Steps tab on the Parse Structured form and the Steps tab on the Activity form.

For more information, see Creating an activity.

Parse methods

On the Steps tab of the Parse Structured form, you can use all methods available to activities, plus four parsing methods:

  • Parse-Byte-Pos method
  • Parse-Char-Pos method
  • Parse-Fixed-Binary method
  • Parse-Packed-Decimal method

These four methods consume portions of the input string, advancing a cursor.

The input might contain record delimiter or line terminator characters that mark the end of each line or record. To position the cursor appropriately for the next record or line, include a step that skips over these characters. Examine the input carefully, as files created on Windows and UNIX platforms might follow different line terminator conventions.

For example, if a Windows TXT file contains useful data in 100 bytes plus the carriage return and line feed characters (\n\r) at the end of each line, the second data segment starts at offset 102, not byte 100. Use the Parse-Char-Pos method with an Offset parameter of 2 to discard the two unneeded characters.

Using the parent activity's primary page

Usually when an activity calls another activity, the primary page and default step page of the second activity is the step page of the first activity. Rule-Parse-Structured rules can be considered special activities, but with slightly different behavior.

If an activity calls the Rule-Parse-Structured type of rules by using the Apply-Parse-Structured method, the primary page of the Rule-Parse-Structured rule is null and eventually refers to the parent's primary page—that is, the primary page of the activity, and the default step page of Rule-Parse-Structured rule is that of the step page mentioned in the Apply-Parse-Structured step method.

Iteration

If you are creating an iteration in a Parse Structured form, you can select For Each Page, For Each Embedded Page, For Each Element in Value List, and For Each Element in Value Group. These iterations operate identically in a Parse Structured step and an activity step. For details on these three iteration choices, see Repeating steps in an activity.

API

The API Version field is available when an activity does not use the latest Java version. Use the default value of 03-02 and save the rule form to remove this field.

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