November 29, 2016 Data 0 Comments

How Shall I Compare Thee? An Overview of File-AID Compare in Topaz Workbench (part 2)

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Part one of this series about Compuware File-AID Compare in Topaz Workbench concentrated on setting up your compare to meet your specific requirements, whether that be a literal 1-1 record compare, a compare of a subset of records or a subset of fields within records, or whether the data is keyed or approximately in keyed order.

Part two of this series will walk you through the benefits of your setup choices (whether you gave them careful consideration or took the defaults), and help you understand the Summary and Detail displays that show the compare output.  You put in the work and clicked Run, now let’s reap the benefits.

Summary Display

The first part of the Summary gives a synopsis of the search and the search results:

file-aid top of compare summary screen

Figure 1: Top of Compare Summary screen

Figure 1 shows the top of the Compare Summary. You can see when it was executed, what compare type was used, the names of the files, the records read and compared, and the results. Here you notice the records read and the records compared are different between the two files. This is because we had selection criteria active and the files are not the same size.

You can also see the results show 283 records deleted. If you remember from our earlier blog when you use 1-1 compare the only time you can get records inserted/deleted is when the record count of the two files is different (in this case the old file had 283 records more that matched the select criteria, so the compare saw those records as being deleted).

Compare complete Summary screen

Figure 2: Compare complete Summary screen

Figure 2 shows the various places you can click to get at the compare details. We tried to hyperlink any data point where a user might expect to be able to click for more information. You can click on any of the numeric indicators and the bar charts (be aware in this example some of our bar charts are very modest due to the number of records compared). You can also control what is being displayed in the details once you get there. No choice is irrevocable!

Details Display

Details allows you to see what records were inserted/deleted and the specific changes associated with changed records:

file-aid Compare details

Figure 3: Compare details

In Figure 3 we are displaying the changed records. You can control what differences are displayed with the icons highlighted in the upper right, so in this case we could add the inserted or deleted records to our File Differences section. The File Differences section shows you, in this case, which records were changed and which fields changed. This example is using a formatted compare so a record layout was provided.

The Record Differences on the bottom shows you the specific compare results. Here record 173 had a different EMP-NUMBER value. The results are currently being shown top and bottom. You can use the icon in the middle right to flip that to side by side. You can also use the right most icon in the middle to change the field mapping from indented (so the 05 level fields are indented from the 01 level) or flat.  Clicking on the change icon in the middle will limit the display to only the changed fields. Finally, you can use the up and down arrows to scroll through the differences.

As you can see there are a wide variety of choices in displaying the differences, all geared to allow you to quickly take in the compare results and extract the information you need to complete whatever purpose that caused you to do the file compare.

This is a sample compare that I ran just to produce content for this blog. Ultimately the proof of the pudding is in your compares, and that you find them clear, concise and comprehensive. How shall I compare thee? Using File-AID Compare in the Topaz Workbench, of course!

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James Liebert

Jim Liebert is a product manager at Compuware. He lives in Seattle, just up the block from a coffee shop.