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Multi-dimensional properties file

 
Mary Shields
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Is there a way to incorporate a multi-dimensional 'array' in a properties file?

In my situation, I want to look up a key and find associated field values for that key. For example: Name(key), address, phone number, etc.

Thank you.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Would you go through a text file and read name, address, phone number, and put them into a Map with name as "K" and address as "V?" That sounds easy enough. You could incorporate address, phone number, etc into a single class.

Is that what you mean?
 
Norm Radder
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Since a Properties extends Hashtable, you have only a single key.
To have multiple dimensions, you can create dotted and suffixed key names for each of the sub values. For example:
Name1=john doe
Name1.address=123 river drive
Name1.phone=232-333-3333

Then use string concatenation to build the keys.
 
Mary Shields
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What I have is a table that uses a key to get multiple fields related to that key, for example, use 'name' to get the other fields (address, phone number, etc.). The values in the table change rarely, and there are very few entries. Maybe the properties file isn't the way to go?
 
Norm Radder
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Not sure how you use one key to get multiple values from the same table. Surely you need one key per value. Or one table per value.
One way would be to have a record that contains the values as fields. Then the key would return the record with multiple values.
[ July 07, 2008: Message edited by: Norm Radder ]
 
Mary Shields
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I went ahead with the properties file, and delimited the values with commas. Then, used String.split to carve out the individual fields. The amount of data I'm using is trivial, so this works for me.
 
Ulf Dittmer
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I'd consider creating a subclass of java.util.Properties. It would have an additional method that returns a Map of all those properties whose key starts with a given prefix ("name1" is your example). That can't be much more than 10 lines of code.
 
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