Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Base64 Encoding Binary Files in PT 8.52

My blog contains a handful of posts showing various methods for base64 encoding data (both plain text and binary). While these procedures apply universally, my primary motivation was (and is) integration: sending base64 encoded binary data to other systems. Today I was looking through the 8.52 Integration Broker PeopleBooks and noticed a handful of new features to support binary file operations:

What about files uploaded by users? How do you work with uploaded files? Uploaded files are stored as file attachments in either a database record or FTP destination. The File Attachment API provides the GetAttachment and PutAttachment PeopleCode functions to help you move files in and out of file attachment repositories.

As of 8.52, it seems we no longer need to use the Apache Commons Codec Java library to convert binary files into base64 or base64 into binary files. Likewise, prior to 8.52, if someone asked me if PeopleCode could create a binary file, I would say, "No, but you can use the Java API classes in PeopleCode to write binary files." Now I can say, "Yes, but you will first have to convert your binary data to base64." Hmmm... still sounds a bit funny. Is it better? I think so. Reading and writing binary was the hard part. With 8.52, I have that functionality without having to maintain an extra Java library in my class path. Besides pluggable encryption, as I and my readers demonstrated in my post Base64 Encoding for PeopleSoft, there are a number of ways to encode data including using database features and delivered Java methods (for SQL Server, see sachin's comments here and here).