Manually Editing Archive Files

March 1, 2007 at 6:03 pm

Time to get the stetsons out, as we used to say in London on those rare [ahem] occasions when we needed to get something done fast-and-dirty.

If you use Tools, you know about .sif files: the output you get from the Add to Archive… command. Maybe you’ve found somewhere with beautiful automated change control software that integrates seamlessly with Tools and you don’t have to manually backup, compare or rollback your own changes – but I never have. [Aside: if you don’t have awesome change control and you’re not personally archiving objects before making changes, start now. Seriously. You never want to have to go to your DBA and ask him for something from the backup just because you screwed up. Anyway… ]

What’s particularly useful about these sif files is that they’re just text. No binary, no hex, not even any fancy encoding as far as I’m aware: just a bunch of loosely approximated XML. And these can be imported into Tools and interpreted as objects.

So if you have a need to, say, change the field for a list column that appears in fifty different applets, then there’s nothing to stop you archiving all of the applets to a sif, opening up that sif in your favourite text editor, running a little search-replace and re-importing the sif into Tools. Similarly with the ‘Allow Object Locking flag’ that’s read-only in 7.7.

I’m not saying you should, of course. Just that you could. If you wanted to. And it’s maybe a little less of a hack than doing something similar with SQL through Sybase.

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Entry filed under: Siebel.

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