option

Overview

The option statement is used to set global parameters during the execution of a Transcript task.

Syntax

optionoption = setting

option noquote

Details

The options statement can be used multiple times within the same task script and always takes immediate effect. It is therefore possible (for example) to import a CSV file delimited with commas and quoted with single quotes, change the options and then export it with semicolon delimiters and double quotes.

The supported options are as follows:

Option

Default

Notes

continue

disabled

Determines whether to proceed to the next day in a date range or bail out if an error occurs on any given day when processing a range of dates - see notes below.

delimiter separator

,

Specifies the delimiter character between each field in a CSV file. This character will be used when importing and exporting Datasets. The default value is a comma. If a dot character is used, then the option statement will be ignored and a warning generated in the logfile. Either delimiter or separator can be used - they act in exactly the same way.

services

readonly

May be set to readonly or overwrite. This determines whether defining a service that already exists will update that service with the new configuration or not. Note that rate revisions are always updated where possible.

mode

strict

May be set to strict or permissive. This option specifies whether or not to terminate a transcript task if an error is encountered - see notes below

quote

"

Specifies the quote character used for quoting fields in a CSV file. This character is taken into consideration when importing and exporting Datasets. When importing a Dataset, any fields that begin and end with this character will have it removed during the import process. When exporting a Dataset, all non-blank fields will be quoted using this character. Note that when specifying a literal quote character, it must be escaped: \"

noquote

n/a

Specifies that no quoting is to be performed either when importing or exporting Datasets. A subsequent option quote statement will override this option.

loglevel

INFO

Sets the logging level - see notes below

logmode

SAFE

Sets the logging mode - see notes below

overwrite

yes

May be set to yesor 1, no or 0. If set to nothen statements that update cell values will only affect blank cells. Refer to the documentation articles for any given statement for more information.

embed

no

May be set to yesor 1 , noor 0. If enabled, then when importing a CSV file, any text between an opening curly brace - { - and its matching closing brace is not checked in any way. This permits separators and quotes to be included in the value. The curly brackets may be nested to any depth. If there is no matching } for the opening bracket then an error will be generated and the task will fail.

merge_blank

(none)

The default value for create mergedcolumn to use if a source column is blank

merge_nomatch

(none)

The default value for create mergedcolumn to use if no match is found for a regular expression in a source column value

When using options, there must be whitespace on each side of the = sign

Additional notes

Continue

option continue = yes|enabled

option continue = no|disabled

When executing a task file repeatedly against each day in a date range, by default Transcript will abort the whole run if a task failure occurs. In cases where this is undesirable, setting the continue option to enabled or yes (both work in exactly the same way) will change the behaviour such that if a task failure occurs then execution will resume with the next day in the range.

When combining the continue option with option mode = permissive it is possible to process a range of dates for which usage or other data is not available, because the mode option will prevent a failed import statement from being treated as a fatal error.

Delimiter / Separator

When specifying a quote or tab as the separator it is necessary to escape it in order to prevent Transcript from interpreting it as a meaningful character during the parsing of the task script. For example:

option delimiter = \t # Specify a literal TAB character
option delimiter = \" # Specify a literal quote

Execution mode

option mode = strict
option mode = permissive

Transcript supports two modes of execution for tasks:

  • In strict mode, if an error is encountered at any point in the task, the error will be logged and execution will terminate

  • In permissive mode, many errors that would otherwise have caused the task to fail will be logged, the statement that caused the error will be skipped and execution will continue from the next statement in the task.

The mode option can be used multiple times and changed at any point during task execution. This means that specific sections of the task can be more error tolerant.

Errors that can be handled in permissive mode are mainly syntax errors or those involving invalid parameters to Transcript statements. There are error conditions that can arise during the execution of a statement will cause the task to fail even in permissive mode.

Log levels

Transcript generates a considerable amount of logging information during the execution of a task. The loglevel option can be used to increase or decrease the level of detail written to the logfile. All logging levels must be specified in UPPER CASE. The following levels can be set:

Level

Details

INTERNAL

Self-diagnostic messages indicating an internal error detected with Transcript itself

FATAL

Non-recoverable errors, usually as a result of an Operating System error such as no available memory

ERROR

A transcript task error (syntax or data related)

WARN

An unexpected event or a syntax error that can be recovered from

INFO

Informational messages about actions performed during the execution of a transcript task

DEBUG

Detailed logs of actions performed during the execution of a transcript task

DEBUGX

Extended debugging information (may cause very large logfiles and a minor reduction in performance)

The order of the logging levels in the table above is significant, in that for any given level, all levels above it in the table are also in effect. Therefore a logging level of WARN will result in log entries for ERROR, FATAL, and INTERNAL level events, as well as warnings.

The loglevel option can appear multiple times within a transcript task and will take immediate effect whenever it is used. This means that within a task, the loglevel can be increased for certain statements and reduced for others.

Regardless of the logging level, some events will always create a logfile entry, for example the success or failure of a transcript task at the end of its execution.

Log mode

In order to minimise the effect on performance when logging, Transcript opens the logfile when it is first run and then holds it open until the completion of the task being executed. The logfile can be accessed in one of two modes:

Mode

Details

SAFE

After every message, the logfile is flushed to disk

FAST

The logfile is not explicitly flushed to disk until the termination of the task file

The default is SAFE. It is not recommended that this be changed.

Examples

The following Transcript task will import a CSV file quoted with double quotes and delimited with commas and then export a copy with semicolons as delimiters and quoted with single quotes:

It also increases the logging level for the import statement

option quote = \"
option loglevel = DEBUGX
import usage from Azure
option loglevel = INFO
option separator = ;
option quote = '
export azure.Usage as c:\transcript\exported\azure_modified.csv