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st: Stata 8 - ODBC utility

From   "Grochulski, W. Daniel" <>
Subject   st: Stata 8 - ODBC utility
Date   Tue, 21 Jan 2003 12:52:54 -0500

   Dear Listers,

   While happily navigating my freshly installed Stata 8 (running under
Windows 2000) I was stopped by seemingly odd behavior of the ODBC utility
(one of the goodies in Stata 8). Loading tables via -odbc- is just a snap,
there is, however, something wrong with the way the string variables are
handled - my Stata consistently adds a 127 blank characters pad to any
downloaded string variable, so i.e. 20 characters string is loaded and
reported as having 147 characters (str147). This happens with both
SQL-server and MS Access databases - below I reproduce results of the load
from "Northwind" database to be compared with printouts given in Reference
Manual for -odbc-. Since all these 'strxxx' strings are longer than 80
characters Intercooled Stata can handle, this dataset is exploding into
user's face when trying to -list-, -drop- or -keep- (Stata crashes and
exits). One can of course extract the original strings by generating
properly defined new string variables using substr function, but this is a
bother (and you have to keep the 'oversized' string variables anyway).

   Any suggestions? 



. odbc load, table("Employees")
note: Photo is of a type not supported in Stata; skipped

. describe

Contains data
  obs:             9                          
 vars:            16                          
 size:        16,740 (99.9% of memory free)
              storage  display     value
variable name   type   format      label      variable label
EmployeeID      long   %12.0g                 
LastName        str147 %147s                  
FirstName       str137 %137s                  
Title           str157 %157s                  
TitleOfCourtesy str152 %152s                  
BirthDate       double %td                    
HireDate        double %td                    
Address         str187 %187s                  
City            str142 %142s                  
Region          str142 %142s                  
PostalCode      str137 %137s                  
Country         str142 %142s                  
HomePhone       str151 %151s                  
Extension       str131 %131s                  
Notes           str207 %207s                  
ReportsTo       long   %12.0g                 

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