dataflow, Dataflow, Dataverse, PowerApps, Uncategorized

Dataflows for Power Apps: transform fixed-width text files

What is a fixed width text file? Data in a fixedwidth text file is arranged in rows and columns, with one entry per row. Each column has a fixed width, specified in characters, which determines the maximum amount of data it can contain. No delimiters are used to separate the fields in the file.

Could we load data from a fixed-width file with dataflow? Absolutely!

This file below is relatively simple. The one for my real life project was really nasty. But let’s have a look at the sample below to understand the idea.

This is the fixed-width text file I created for this tutorial:

Fix-width text file

Mapping for this file will be like:

Column NameField PositionType
Clinic Name1-98CHAR(98)
Post Code230-233CHAR(4)
Fix-width file mapping

Let’s create a dataflow to load this file.

New dataflow

I uploaded my text file to OneDrive.

Dataflow – Choose data source
Connect to the text file
Select Delimiter

Select “–Fixed width–” option for Delimiter.

Zoomed – Select Delimiter
Fix width – set column size

Have a look at the mapping above to understand the idea.

And the ned result looks really good.

It is so simple! I didn’t think the same way when I looked at the file first. It looked as a very tricky thing to do. Yet it’s achieved without any coding.

Have you started using dataflows yet?

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