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The parsing engine in Campground Master is the "brain" behind automatically processing online reservations for E-mail requests. The parsing engine is used to examine and extract the reservation data whenever you use the functions in Online Reservation Requests to retrieve online requests, re-process downloaded requests, or paste & process requests.
Setting up the parsing rules for the engine is almost like writing a little computer program. The rules are use by the engine to look through the text of the request and figure out how to extract the customer's name and address, the dates they want to stay, what kind of site they want, and all of the other vital information for the reservation. Obviously some experience with programming or database manipulation is helpful, but if you're patient and follow the examples then you should be able to set it up. See the Parsing Rules Technical Details section later for more information.
"Parsing" is a computer term that generally means manipulating or extracting useful information out of some data. In this particular context, it means extracting the various bits of reservation data out of the E-mail text or other downloaded data.
Parsing Sets and Parsing Rules
A parsing "set" is a group of parsing "rules". Each parsing rule is like one command in a computer program, defining where to find a single data field like the customer's name. A set of these rules, along with a few other parameters, is a parsing set that defines how to extract a complete reservation from one bunch of data, for instance one E-mail message.
The parsing sets are divided into sections depending on the source of the request -- E-mail requests and Reservation Friend (the old 1-way E-mail interface). This helps avoid confusion for both you and the parsing engine. However each section can have any number of parsing sets. For instance if you receive E-mail requests from several different online reservation services, you would create a separate parsing set for each service (since the requests would most likely be in different formats for each service).
In some cases you might even have separate sets for different types of requests from the same source. For instance if you have two forms on your web site that ask different questions, like one form for camping sites and one for cabins, you can set up a separate parsing set for each form. You just need to have some unique text in each type of request so that Campground Master can tell them apart and use the right parsing set for it.
Reservation Friend Default Parsing Set (only used for the old 1-way interface)
The general format of the reservation data E-mails from Reservation Friend is already known, so a default parsing set has been set up in Campground Master. When you first select Reservation Friend for the parsing set type, this default will be loaded automatically.
However, you may need to make some changes to the parsing set in order for it to work completely. In particular, you may need to configure it to work with your specific reservation options (50A, extra adults and other "adders"), and for your Rig Type selections. Since the same parsing engine is used for Reservation Friend as for E-mail requests, refer to those sections for details.
E-mail Parsing Sets
Since there is no standard format for E-mail requests, you will have to set this up on your own. However there are some examples later to help you get started.
Parsing Rule Details and Examples
The basic functionality of the setup dialogs will be covered first, followed by detailed information about parsing rules and some practical examples.
Setup Parsing Sets Dialog
Edit Parsing Set Dialog
Save and Test Parsing Set
Edit Parsing Rule Dialog
Select a Data Field Dialog
Parsing Rules Technical Details
Parsing Set Example
Completed Web form example with parsing rules