File - Export Project

The File - Export Project command allows us to export an entire project to Manifold MAP, MXB or MML format.  

 

The File - Export command launches the Export dialog.  The Export dialog is very similar to the standard Windows File - Save dialog.  The  Export dialog allows exporting to a variety of file formats, with available formats depending on the nature of the component being exported.

 

A related command is File - Export, to export an individual component into a given format.  Also related is the use of right-clicking onto a data source and choosing Export to export the data source into a Manifold project.

Controls

In addition to the usual Windows File - xxxx style controls the Export dialog provides these controls:

 

  File name

Enter the name to use for the exported file, or populate the box by clicking on a file in the display pane to choose the same name or to provide a base for a similar name.  The pull-down list for the box provides a list of recently-saved files.

Save as type

 Loaded with a choice of MAP, MML, or MXB format to which the project can be exported.

Export Formats

Projects can be exported to the following Manifold formats:

 

MAP

Manifold .map format is Manifold's standard, everyday working format providing super high speed.   

MML

Manifold .mml format is an experimental XML-based Manifold Markup Language format designed to be able to capture absolutely everything in a project for backup and interchange purposes within a format that can be read by any third party package.  Like every XML-based format it is verbose and is not an efficient way to pack information into the smallest possible file size.  

MXB

Manifold .mxb is a highly compressed and compacted archival form of projects.   It can be opened with a simple File - Open into a Manifold project.    MXB is intended as an archival and interchange format.  It provides compact, reliable storage but is not optimized as an operational format for breath-taking speed like Manifold MAP.   Use MXB to archive collections of files that are not in use every day, or to create a compact file for transmission through Internet, for downloads from websites or other exchange tasks where minimizing file size is important.

Why Export a Project to .map?

Given that a project is already in .map format, why would we use File - Export Project to export the project to create another .map project?  Why not just use File - Save As if a new .map project file for the same project is required?   There are three main scenarios:

 

Modernize older projects - Data created during open beta test programs might have lingering limitations from beta versions of Manifold that have been replaced by production versions.   Exporting such a project to .map format commands a fresh creation and population of all data structures within the resultant .map project to the contemporary level of the build in use.  

Slight optimizations - Modern Manifold editions are very good at garbage collection in terms of efficient use of internal structures, but will not undertake minor compaction during routine work, and will only undertake internal optimization, automatically and transparently to the user, when the system predicts the effort is worthwhile.  Exporting a project to a .map file forces compaction and optimization even if the results, such as very slight reduction in file size, are minor.

Programmatic export - Providing a File - Export Project capability to .map provides an orthogonal way to export the project to a .map project file using scripting.

 

Most people will simply use File - Save As to save a project as a .map file under a different name if they want a second copy of the project file.   File - Export Project is most frequently used to export to MXB, to create a reduced-size file for archival storage or for exchange through the web.

Notes

Three Letter Extensions - Most file names in Windows end in what is called a three letter extension, which is usually three letters at the end of the file name following a dot . character.    The three letter extension is one way Windows at times (but not always) keeps track of what a file is supposed to be.    Unfortunately, by default Windows hides the three letter extensions of files and instead tries to associate files with whatever program it thinks should be used to open that file.   This is confusing when working with the many file formats that Manifold and similar products utilize.  

 

Therefore, please turn off the hiding of extensions by Windows.  A typical way to do so in most versions of Windows would be from Windows Explorer, choose Tools - Folder options, press the View tab and then in the Advanced Settings pane ensure that the Hide extensions for known file types is unchecked.  Press Apply to Folders and then press OK.  You will then be able to see extensions such as .map and others.  See also the Essay on three letter extensions and why the default hiding of them by Windows is such a bad thing.

 

See Also

File - Export Project

 

File - Import

 

Change Coordinate System

 

Formats and Data Sources

 

SHP, Shapefiles

 

Latitude and Longitude are Not Enough

 

Shapefiles Strangely Out of Shape

 

MDB Files in 64-bit Windows

 

Three Letter Extensions

 

That YX Thing