How can I change the position of a field in my dictionary I use for flat file processing?

Using webMethods 10. I have created a data dictionary to help process a flat file. The flat file will be a pipe-delimited file whose records are separated by new lines. Unfortunately, when I was creating the record definition, I mislabeled my indices and started with “1” instead of “0” (e.g. I used “1”, “2”, “3”, when I should have used “0”, “1”, “2”). Now when I process my flat file, predictably, the wrong fields are mapped.

How do I edit my record definition to relabel the indices? I attached a screen shot of the dictionary’s record definition, but when I right click on each field, I don’t see any option to change the extractor index.

Hi Dave,

best practice might be to delete and recreate the dictionary.

Second approach might be to check the node.ndf of the dictionary locally on the IS directory structure if the values can be edited there.
Remember to reload the package in IS Admin UI or Designer after making any manual changes to the files inside the package.


Thanks, Holger. I looked in the node.ndf file located in the directory defined by my schema but didn’t see anything I could edit. Most of the information is encoded anyway, within the ’ ’ element.

Hi Dave,

the content of the encoded field is a base64 coded String.

You can decode it by any base64-decoder and you will receive another XML structure with the reald data.
After doing the modifcations you need, you can encode the xml again and put in the node.ndf.
After saving reload the package to activate the modifications.


Hi Dave,

At 8.2, the indices appear in the properties tab and can be changed there, but that information appears to be blank in your screen shot.


Maybe with the newer version of WebMethosd that field was excluded (by mistake or otherwise).

Per Holger’s comment, the newlines in the node.ndf file are messing up my ability to decode the data. It would appear I would hvae to start all over again with creating the indexes and fields.


please check the Flat-File-Schema Developers Guide, Chapter 3 for informations about Extractrors.

We are using Field Reference in the Record Definition and we have defined each Field separately under Field Definition.
In the properties of the field reference definition under record definition there is a property Extractor defined as Field=x, where x is the n-th field in the record starting with 0 being the first field.

Just did some small test with Designer 9.12 and I can see the Extractor field and I am able to edit its content.
Do you have the latest fixes applied to your Designer installation?
Might be that you are encountering a bug which is already fixed.

Which exact version of webMethods are you using?
10.1 or 10.3?

When this is still not working after recreation of the Dictionary you should consider opening an Incident in Empower to get this checked.