Collect! Credit and Collection Software™

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Import Record Definition

An Import Specification requires at least one record type definition. This tells the import program which record type you are importing. You can specify additional record types as necessary.

Multiple record types are often used when working with Collect! interoffice files, and in some more complex imports from large institutions.

Within each record definition, you specify the fields to be loaded into the record. Each field can have various attributes on importing, and you can set conditionals, default values, multiplication factors and other useful details.

Import Record Definition


Press F2 to pick from the list of available record types. Typically, you will import only one record type at a time. Most likely, this will be the Debtor record, but you can also import transactions, contacts and notes.

The records will be attached to the correct Debtor, provided that you have included a key identifier (such as the Debtor's name) with the contact, transaction or note record being imported.

Warning Note WARNING: Do not change record types after you have defined fields. This will cause the import to fail if you try to run it.

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This is for your use.

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This is used in conjunction with the Import Field Specification form field, Lines After Identifier.

Use this to trigger importing the current record type. The record will only be imported if this identifier is found in the file you import.

This is usually used in fixed length files. You specify the offset from the left margin, and the size of the identifier. In comma delimited files, the first field is assumed to be the record identifier.

When you specify an identifier, Import will skip any lines that don't have that identifier at that location in the line read from the import data file. When the identifier is found on a line, Import starts loading the fields specified in the import record definition.

Each field can be on the same line as the identifier, or it could be one or more lines below the identifier. This feature lets you import from a wide variety of files, including files that were originally designed as printed reports. Use the Lines After Identifier field on the Import Field Specification form.

If you are importing multiple record types, there should be a record identifier on each line to tell the system which record type the line pertains to. However, in some cases (some note files, for instance) it is not necessary.

In the Collect! Inter Office file format, record types are identified on the first field of each line.

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End Of Line ID

This is the identifier used to mark the end of a specific record type started by the Identifier field.

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This indicates that the record Identifier begins on the nth character of the line. This is used only for Fixed Length format files. Note that the first character on the line is offset 0.

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EOL Offset

This indicates that the End Of Line identifier begins on the nth character of the line. This is used only for Fixed Length format files. Note that the first character on the line is offset 0.

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This indicates the length in characters of the record identifier. It is used only on Fixed Length format files.

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Skip Lines Before

This tells the import that the identifier is located n lines above the actual data being imported. This will typically be used when defining formats for reports generated by external accounting programs.

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This tells Import to skip n lines after the record has been imported before it attempts to import another record. Typically, it is used as above.

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Selecting this displays the Import Record Options form where you can set additional key values for fixed length file importing and exporting. Press F1 when the form is displayed for more details.

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Selecting this OPENS the EXPORT FILTER FORM for the highlighted line in the list of export filters. You can review what you had previously set up and make any modifications if desired.

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The list of Import Field Specifications list contains the fields being imported on this line. Press F5 to display the Import Field Specification form for the currently selected item in the list.

Useful Note To fill a field with a fixed value when you Import, check the Default Value field in the Import Field Specification.

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Order Of Field Types

The order of the field types may be important, depending on the type of file you are importing. For instance, a *.csv file has a very particular ordering of fields, whereas a comma-delimited text file can be scanned in any order necessary.

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Press this button for help on the Import Record Definition form and links to related topics.

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Select this to delete the record definition that is displayed. You will be prompted to confirm the delete process.

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Select this to display a blank form where you can enter another record definition for this import.

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Select this button to ignore any changes you may have made and then return to the previous form.

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Selecting this button will save any data you have entered and return you to the previous form.


Selecting this button will take you back to another record.


Selecting this button will take you forward to another record.

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