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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default CSV Compare - column limit

    Hi there,

    We are evaluating BC3 as a more effective way of comparing differences in system specifications. The specifications are currently held in DOORs and we have exported the document at different versions to CSV format to compare side by side.

    The initial test was to export only the first 15 columns of the specifications. This has worked well in BC3, with the exception of carriage returns.

    (We have already found that we had to strip out carriage returns within individual cells (the documents are written with descriptive text in cells that contain carriage returns) as this confused BC3, it could not tell where the delimiting quotes started and ended).

    However working with the full export results in tables in excess of 200 columns. We are having trouble displaying the results in BC3 and are wondering if there is a physical limit on the number of columns BC3 can handle in a CSV file.

    If this is not the case then we need to look further into the DOORs export routines can see if there are any other embedded characters that could be mistaken by BC3 for being delimiters.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Madison, WI



    First, if you are interested you can send example files and your Support package (Help menu -> Support; Export) to and we can take a look at your specific file issues. Also, please include a link back to this forum post.

    BC3's Data Compare can be configured to treat specific characters as delimiters or text qualifiers.
    Go to the Tools menu -> File Formats, and pick the CSV format (or topmost format associated with your files). It should be a Data Compare type, and have the Type tab.

    If you have a different line ending character for within the descriptive text, and another for the different between rows, you can configure to enable one but not the other.
    Aaron P Scooter Software

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    The Netherlands


    I have a flat file that contains 422 columns, so 200 columns should be no problem I think. The max # columns used to be 99, but it has been extended a while ago.

    The maximum number of characters per record seems to be 4096 by default (also accounts for the column names in Rules under Session Settings). It's possible to increase this a little bit, but when I tried with over 9000 positions, BC couldn't handle it.

    The maximum number of characters per column seems to be somewhere around 83, if you want to be able to read the results.
    If you don't need to keep it readable, than the max is dynamic, it depends on the columns that follow (i.e.: with these column widths, a record of 5240 characters shows the columns after the 5000-column without a problem: "3;5000;20;20;20;20;20;20;20;20;20;20;20;20;20 ", but if I use these column widths: "3;5000;20" I don't get to see the 3rd column... Weird, isn't it?).

    Kind regards,
    ** BC version: 3.1.7 (build 10865) **
    ** OS: WinXP ** Browser: IE6 **

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