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Formatting the Migration Files

The packing list, primary, and secondary files share some common formatting rules, which help you quickly parse migration files. The packing list and primary files use comma-separated value (CSV) format. The secondary files use CSV format for header information, but raw data uses its own format. This allows you to edit the primary file, regardless of the source of the data.

You should use the file extension .PKL for packing list files, .PRI for primary files, and .SEC for secondary files. If you have multiple primary or secondary files, give similar root names to similar files. For example, you could use the names of postoffices or servers, appended with numbers.

All files must be in the same directory as the packing list file. Names of secondary files cannot contain any of the following characters:

# ( ) ; , \ / : * ? " < > |

Rules for Field Entries

Field entries are governed by various rules. Fields that contain any of the following characters must be enclosed in quotation marks:

# ! , \ " % .

The entire entry must be enclosed in quotation marks, not just the embedded character. The following two examples show how the entries should appear in the primary or secondary files.

Entry Appearance in file
Lee, Bill "Lee, Bill"
my name is "Sherry" "my name is ""Sherry"""

In the second example, two quotes represent a single quote, and the last quote shows that the entire entry is quoted.

Any fields in a directory section of the primary file that have a backslash (\) character need to have a second \ character in addition to being enclosed in quotation marks.

For multivalued fields, such as distribution list members or e-mail addresses, each value can be quoted, but delimiters cannot be within quotes. In the following example, the semicolon (;) delimiter is not inside quotes.

"Jim_Hance@Northwind";"Jon Grande@Northwind"

The following table lists other entries and their accompanying rules. Rules for formatting addresses delimited by semicolons are provided in the next section.

Entry Rule
Spaces No extra spaces at the beginning of a line, or before or after field-delimiting commas, unless part of the data to be migrated.
End of line Each line of data ends with a carriage return and line feed.
Blank lines Must consist only of a carriage return and line feed. They will be ignored.
Comment lines Begin with an exclamation point (!). Comment lines are useful for storing information, such as when the data was extracted and what parameters were set for extracting the data.
Continuation character If system supports a limited number of columns in a file, use a double backslash (\\), followed by a carriage return and line feed. It will be placed anywhere in a primary file, and it signals that the next line in the file must be appended to the current line. Line continuations will not work within comments, inside quotation marks, directory sections of primary files, or secondary files.
Code-page No default code-page. Files can be in any code-page supported by Microsoft Windows NT Server. Only one code-page for each set of primary and secondary files. You must specify the code-page on the first line of the packing list file. UNICODE is not supported as a valid code-page.
Case sensitivity Header lines and parsing text are not case sensitive.
Dates, times, and durations Represented by 14-digit numbers: first 4 digits = year, second 2 digits = month, third 2 digits = day, fourth 4 digits = time on a 24-hour clock, fifth 2 digits = seconds. For example, May 1, 1995, at 10:00:05 P.M. = 19950501220005. One year, 4 months, 3 days, 22 hours, and 2 seconds = 00010403220002. (Local times, not Greenwich Mean Time.)
Carriage returns without line feeds Converts to carriage returns with line feeds. When you move the migration file from the source system to Windows NT Server, the conversion is likely to add line feeds, which may be unacceptable.