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Understanding the hints file

A hints file is an optional text file (.txt) that can be used to help generate a big data file share manifest. To learn more about big data file shares, see What is a big data file share. After a big data file share is created and a manifest has been generated, you can upload a hints file and regenerate the manifest in ArcGIS Server Manager. The hints file provides specifications that are used when regenerating the manifest. Each big data file share can have a single hints file with hints for multiple datasets. Hints can only be applied to datasets that are derived from delimited files.

Hints allow you to provide help to manifest generation with delimited file parameters such as field names, encoding, field delimiter and quote characters. It is recommended to upload a hints file before editing individual datasets if:

  • You have a delimited file without headers, and want to apply fields names to your data.
  • The quote and delimiter characters were not recognized when the manifest was first generated.
  • The encoding of your dataset was not recognized.

If you upload a hints file, you need to regenerate the manifest. Only datasets with hints provided or new datasets will be updated, and changes made to any other datasets not in the hints file will remain the same.

The following is an example of a hints file, outlining hints for datasets named hurricanes and earthquakes:

# earthquake dataset (# means comment)
   earthquakes.fieldNames=field1,field2,field3
   earthquakes.delimiter=,
   earthquakes.quoteChar="
   earthquakes.encoding=UTF-8
   earthquakes.recordTerminator=\n
   earthquakes.hasHeaderRow=false

   # hurricane dataset
   hurricanes.delimiter=|

The following table outlines the hints parameters:

Hints parameterDescriptionExample

fieldNames

The names of the fields to be used for the specified dataset. This is useful for delimited files without headers.

earthquakes.fieldNames=lat,long,date,magnitude,description

delimiter

The type of delimiter applied to separate fields.

earthquakes.delimiter=,

quoteChar

The character used for quotes.

earthquakes.quoteChar="

encoding

The type of encoding applied.

earthquakes.encoding=UTF-8

recordTerminator

Character that marks the end of a record.

earthquakes.recordTerminator=\n

hasHeaderRow

Flag indicating if the delimited file has a header row.

earthquakes.hasHeaderRow=false

To learn more about how to add a hints file, see Edit a big data file share manifest of hints file.


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