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Reading database file assumption?

Mark O' Sullivan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 17, 2009
Posts: 160
Just wondering is it possible not to read all values in database file, e.g. magicCookie, record length, etc. and just assume an offset into the actual file content since we know the schema and the actual file format or does 1 have to implement and return all file content and headers in file? Or would 1 automatically fail if didn't implement this?
Roel De Nijs

Joined: Jul 19, 2004
Posts: 8384

Hi Mark,

You could hard-code the position where the records section starts (and maybe document this decision). Because the assignment has no must requirement about having to read the database schema, you certainly won't fail taking such an approach. Maybe you will lose some points, because this approach is not really flexible for future changes (like columns getting bigger, smaller, being added, removed,...)

Kind regards,

SCJA, SCJP (1.4 | 5.0 | 6.0), SCJD
Roberto Perillo

Joined: Dec 28, 2007
Posts: 2271

Howdy, Mark!

Also, some people choose not to read the magic cookie value and just assume that the file provided to the application is a valid one. This is really your choice; just remember to document it!

Cheers, Bob "John Lennon" Perillo
SCJP, SCWCD, SCJD, SCBCD - Daileon: A Tool for Enabling Domain Annotations
Jason Moors
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 04, 2001
Posts: 188
Hi Mark,

I agree with the Roberto and Roel, I don't think your approach would automatically fail but I'd be surprised if you didn't lose some marks, as I'm not sure how you could justify not checking the magic cookie, it's there to check you are opening file in the correct format, i.e. what would happen if didn't check the magic cookie and tried to open a Word document for example.

I definitely agree with keeping it simple, but not to the extent where I cannot reasonably justify implementing functionality.

Gert-Jan den Besten
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 02, 2008
Posts: 56

Hi Mark,

In my assignment I hard-coded the starting position of the records section. But I did check the magic cookie.
No points were deducted.

Mark O' Sullivan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 17, 2009
Posts: 160
Cheers, thanks to everyone for all their kind help.
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
subject: Reading database file assumption?
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