Frequently Asked Questions

Can I view video demos of NameParser?
Yes, click here to view a list of video demos.

How do I install NameParser?
Run setup.exe to install NameParser

What are the files which make up NameParser?
There are 2 central files which make up the component:
nameparser.dll - Name parsing core file
nameparser.mdb - Access database - Contains lookup lists for names. (You can open this and edit the name lists)

Sample files: These files will help get you started using NameParser but are not required
Access Demo.mdb - Demonstrates how to use NameParser in Access queries
Word Demo.doc - Demonstrates how to use NameParser in Microsoft Word tables
Excel Demo.xls - Demonstrates how to use NameParser in Microsoft Excel

What are the system requirements?
System Requirements:
1. Any 32-bit operating system: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.
2. Any COM compliant programming environment, e.g. Microsoft Office VBA, Visual Basic, Visual Studio, C#, etc.

How fast is NameParser?
NameParser processes around 1000 names per second. 250,000 records can be processed in less than fifteen minutes.

NameParser is appending an asterisk * to the end of first name and/or last name. Why?
NameParser does this in demo mode. Once NameParser is registered, the full strings are provided.

How many records can NameParser handle?
There's no upper limit to the number of records which can be processed, once registered.

What is returned by the 'confidence' property?
Not all records will be split properly. Some records are very difficult to split. For example: 'Mr. Robert Richards Trustee for Mrs. Julia Spencer' would not be split properly. This is because the record is not really a name but a reference to a relationship between two people. Therefore, NameParser will make an attempt to split this record but will assign a low confidence to the result. Each record is assigned a 'confidence' rating. A confidence rating of 1 means high, a rating of 2 means low. This means you can sort the processed records by confidence and, for example, print a list of Confidence level 2 records as an exception report.

Does NameParser work with all versions of Microsoft Office and Visual Basic for Applications?
Yes, NameParser works with Microsoft Office 2003 and later versions. Also note that there is a version of NameParser (called Splitter) which may be installed as add-in for Microsoft Access. See Splitter for details.

Does NameParser work with VBA, VB and Visual Studio?
Yes, NameParser may be referenced in VBA, VB, Visual Studio including VB or C# languages as a type (COM) library.

Will NameParser be written in C# or VB.NET in future?
Yes, there are plans for this but at the time of writing (December 2012) this project is yet to begin.

Can I use NameParser with SQL Server and DTS?
Yes, see the audio/visual demo for an example of how to do this.

Does NameParser handle inverted names? e.g. Johnson, Deanna
Yes, NameParser can deal with inverted names as long as there is a comma in the string to delimit the name. e.g. John, Elton

Does NameParser clean up data as it splits names?
Yes, NameParser will remove leading and trailing spaces, and invalid characters. These options may be set in code as properties.

Does NameParser handle errors?
An event named ProcessingError is triggered when NameParser encounters an error while batch processing. You can handle this event in your code and mark the offending records for later examination. This means you are able to process large numbers of records without interruption and deal with the exceptions after processing.
NameParser will create a simple error log file called log.txt in the same folder and log all errors to this file. Set the LogErrors property to true.

How do I register NameParser?
Use the reg code provided to set the RegCode property.
e.g.   <NameParserVariable>.regcode = "ABCD123ABC" '<<<--- Enter your reg code here.

What support is available with NameParser?
Email support is included for the first 90 days after purchase.

Can NameParser parse TWO names from one field?
No, NameParser can only work with ONE name per field, but can handle some multi-name prefixes e.g. "Mr. and Mrs.", "Dr. and Mrs."

Can NameParser log errors to a text file?
Yes, NameParser can log errors to a text file. Set the LogErrors property to true.  <NameParserVariable>.logerrors = True

Can I distribute the NameParser control with my software package? Does the price include a royalty free distribution license?
Yes, NameParser includes a royalty free licence for you to include it in your distribution package, if you wish.

Is the NameParser source code available?
Yes, NameParser source code (Visual Basic 6.0) is available for purchase.
See the downloads page

Can NameParser return a string array?
Yes, NameParser can return an array of string values.  There are 2 methods which allow this.  One is called GetNameArray which accepts a string value,
i.e. the name to parse, and returns a string array of the results.  The other is called OutPutNameArray and also accepts a string value to parse
into a string array (passed By Reference).  It returns an error code other than 0 for error handling and the results are passed back through the
referenced string array. 

Both of these methods are faster than calling the single methods since only one pass of the core parsing algorithm is

In say, VB6 you could create your own function and call the OutPutNameArray() method like this:

Public Function ParseNorthWindCustomers() As Boolean
'Demonstrates how to use NameParser's OutNameArray()method
'Use the "contact name" field in the Customers table of NORTHWIND.MDB
'To run this procedure first make sure that you have set a reference (Tools/References) to the NameParser.dll
'Look for "InfoPlan NameParser"
'Run this function from the immediate window to test
'NOTE: In demo mode NameParser replaces the last char of first and last names with a asterisk*
Dim cnn As ADODB.Connection 'Set a reference to Microsoft ActiveX Data Objects
Dim rs As ADODB.Recordset
Dim strSQL As String
Dim myArray() As String
Dim tArray() As String
Dim lngError As Long

Set cnn = New ADODB.Connection
Set rs = New ADODB.Recordset
Set clParse = New NameParser.Parse

With clParse
.RegCode = "REGCODE12345" '<<<--- Enter your SWREG reg code here
.AddPeriodsToInitials = True
.ConvertToProper = True
.LogErrorsToFile = True
.PlaceAllInitialsInFirstNameField = True
.RemoveLastNamePeriods = True
.StripBinary = False
.ReturnWhenNull = ""
End With

cnn.Open "Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0; " & _
"Data Source=C:\Program Files\Microsoft " & _

strSQL = "SELECT ContactName FROM Customers"

With rs
 .Open strSQL, cnn
 Do While Not .EOF
    lngError = clParse.OutPutNameArray(!ContactName, tArray)
    Debug.Print "Contact name = " & .Fields("ContactName")
    Debug.Print "Name Prefix = " & tArray(0)
    Debug.Print "First Name = " & tArray(1)
    Debug.Print "Middle Name = " & tArray(2)
    Debug.Print "Last Name = " & tArray(3)
    Debug.Print "Name Suffix = " & tArray(4)
    Debug.Print "Gender = " & tArray(5)
    Debug.Print "Confidence = " & tArray(6) & vbCrLf & "------------------"
End With

Set rs = Nothing
Set cnn = Nothing

Debug.Print "In demo mode NameParser replaces some chars with a asterisk*"

ParseNorthWindCustomers = True

End Function


Download sample code here

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