WinsurTech AL3 Parser | Convert ACORD AL3 to JSON, XML, Excel, CSV, PDF Formats

4.03.2020
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Overview

WinsurTech AL3 to JSON REST API is now available – Click here.

WinsurTech AL3 Parser is a command-line translator application that converts the ACORD AL3 format file to JSON, XML, Excel, CSV, and PDF formats. WinsurTech is an ACORD Member. WinsurTech AL3 Parser is a standalone library (supported for both Windows and Ubuntu) that can be invoked from the command line or through a program written in any programming language like PHP, C#, Python, NodeJS, Ruby or any other. AL3 parser is an optimized AL3 to the multi-format converter. It can convert the AL3 file to JSON, XML, Excel, PDF, or CSV formats and its output can be easily consumed by any software. Further, in JSON and CSV formats, there is a simple output format (key-value pairs) and another more detailed one that includes internal details of the AL3 groups and elements if you need to program around that. WinsurTech AL3 parser also includes a bulk parse feature to convert any number of files into the required output format with a single command. In addition, blank values can be omitted from the output, codes can be converted to detailed value (like M to Married), AL3 files can be masked (contact and policy info can be convoluted) so that they can be easily shared with others and files can be searched for a keyword. AL3 parser can also help you to get all the possible values of a code list according to ACORD standards. It also supports searching on a substring in the AL3.

Commands can also be scheduled in Windows Scheduler or as a Cron job to look for new AL3 files after a fixed interval and convert them into output files. Note that WinsurTech AL3 parser does not download files from IVANS or Ebix. It can only convert AL3 to readable text format. We also provide AL3 consultancy so our team can work closely with your team for integration assistance and to provide any consultation you need.

What is AL3?

The ACORD AL3 Standard was developed in the early 1980s. AL3 is a flat-file of fixed length. AL3 Standard is widely used across the P&C Industry today. According to ACORD, over 500 insurance companies use this standard to share policy data with over 20,000 agents and/or brokers using over 40 individual agency management systems. It is used exclusively for P&C policy download. A carrier sends a full image of all policies on which a transaction has occurred including new business, renewals, changes of any kind to the agent, daily through the AL3 files.

WinsurTech AL3 Parser Details

How to Use?
WinsurTech AL3 Parser is provided as a standalone binary application. The parser is available for both Windows and Ubuntu. To perform any operation using the parser, a command needs to be executed. As the first step Parser license needs to be activated with a command:

AL3ParserLicense license_key
After this you can use the parser using the command syntax below:
AL3Parser path-to-al3 [-OF=json/excel/xml/pdf/sjson/djson/dxml/csv/scsv] [-OL=d:\test] [-PX=opfile]

Where:

path-to-al3 – Replace it with the full path of the AL3 file to be parsed or the folder location that contains the AL3 file(s). AL3Parser is a bulk file parser that can convert multiple AL3/DAT files into JSON/CSV.

-OF – Output Format (‘d’ stands for detailed and ‘s’ stands for a simple [for e.g. djson means detailed json and scsv means simple csv] )

-OL – Output Location, its value is the output folder path or exact full file path for a single file; If specified folder path does not exist, this command will create the folder(s).

-PX – This is a postfix string that can be specified to add this to each output file name. For Example – if -PX=XYZ then an AL3 file with name myF1.al3 will be converted to an output file myF1_XYZ.json.

You can use AL3Parser not only on a single file but also over a folder containing multiple AL3/DAT files, so you can convert AL3 files in bulk. You just have to give the path to the folder containing files and it will automatically find the eligible AL3/DAT files from it.

If you want to disconnect the license key from your machine to move it to some other machine, then you can firstly disconnect the license from the current location and then activate the license on the other machine by using the first command explained above.

In case a group/element is faced in the AL3 file which is not valid or not one of the standard ACORD groups/elements, it is skipped, the process does not fail and it generates the output correctly skipping the non-standard group/element. A log file is also created to debug in case the process fails for any file.
AL3ParserLicense license_key disconnect

Output Samples

JSON

json

Excel

excel

PDF

pdf

SJSON

sjson

DJSON

djson

CSV

csv

SCSV

scsv

XML

xml

DXML

dxml

New Flags

The following are some new features/flags that are added to the AL3 Parser:

  1. ‘-OB’ is added to omit blank values in al3 files.
  2. ‘-RC’ is added to replace element codes in the output with code list values.

-OB
It is an omit blank values flag that is used to remove empty or ‘?’ like element values from the parsed file. This flag can be better understood by the following example:

Command syntax that is to be used:
AL3Parser {path-to-al3} [-OF= JSON/ CSV / PDF / DJSON/ EXCEL / SJSON / SCSV / DXML / XML] [-OL=d:\test] [-PX=opfile] [-OB=Y]
On adding -OB=Y flag to the syntax the Excel format output of AL3 Parser changes as shown below. The first image shows the property information of a policy in Excel format without using the ‘-OB’ flag. The second image shows the property information of the same policy in Excel format using the ‘-OB’ flag.

ob
withob

Similarly in all formats of AL3 Parser outputs, ‘-OB’ flag removes the empty or ‘?’ like element values.

-RC
It is defined as a replace code flag that is used to replace element codes in the output with code list values (like M with Married).

Command syntax that is to be used:
AL3Parser {path-to-al3} [-OF= JSON/ CSV / PDF / DJSON/ EXCEL / SJSON / SCSV / DXML / XML] [-OL=d:\test] [-PX=opfile] [-RC=Y]

-RC code can be better understood by the following example:

json

json2

In this example, the first image shows the coverage information of a policy in JSON format without using -RC flag. The second image shows the coverage information of the same policy using -RC flag. Here the element value ‘GENAG’ is replaced with ‘General Aggregate’ when we use the [-RC=Y] flag with our syntax.

Generating Code List Files

AL3Parser also supports providing all the possible values of a code list according to ACORD standards (for e.g. all the possible values of Marital Status).
AL3Parser {-clv} {string} [-OF= JSON] [-OL=d:\test] [-PX=opfile]

{-clv}
This flag invokes AL3Parser functionality to generate code list values.

{string}
Enter the string value for which code list values have to be generated.

-OF
Output Format, only JSON format is supported.

-OL
Output Location, its value is the output folder path or exact full file path for a single file. If the specified folder path does not exist this command will create the folder(s). If no output location is given then the file is created in the codeList-output folder.

-PX
This is a postfix string that can be specified to add this to each output file name. For Example -. if -PX=XYZ then the String with value myF1 will be converted to an output file myF1_XYZ.json.

  • Example of -clv flag:
    AL3Parser {-clv} {string} [-OF= JSON] [-OL=d:\test] [-PX=opfile]When we replace the string with ‘Business’ and provide the output folder path, the following output file in the JSON format is given by the AL3 Parser:json-formatIn the above example, AL3 Parser outputs all the unique code values related to business from the latest version of AL3 DBs(DB.2019). It also describes the groups under which a code value lies.

    Searching Code Values

    AL3 parser can also search the code values according to the LOB type of the string from the ACORD database (for e.g. search all the possible values for a driver when lob type is AUTOP).
    AL3Parser {-s} {string} [-OF= JSON] [-OL=d:\test] [-PX=opfile] [-LOB=lob type]

    {-s}
    This flag invokes AL3Parser functionality to search code values.

    {string}
    Enter the string value for which code values have to be searched.

    -OF
    Output Format, only JSON format is supported.

    -OL
    Output Location, its value is the output folder path or exact full file path for a single file. If the specified folder path does not exist this command will create the folder(s). If no output location is given then the file is created in codeSearch-output.

    -PX
    This is a postfix string that can be specified to add this to each output file name. For Example -. if -PX=XYZ then the String with value myF1 will be converted to an output file myF1_XYZ.json.

    -LOB
    Enter the lob type for which code value is to be searched. If the lob type is not specified in the syntax then the user has to pick the lob type from the lob list.

  • Example of -s flag:
    AL3Parser {-s} {string} [-OF= JSON] [-OL=d:\test] [-PX=opfile] [-LOB=lob type]When we replace the string with ‘driver’ and provide AUTOP as the lob type, the following output file in the JSON format is given by the AL3 Parser:json-format-searchIn the above example, AL3 Parser outputs all the code search values related to driver from the latest version of AL3 DBs(DB.2019) for the AUTOP lob type. It also describes the elements for the groups as per the lob type.

Write to us at contact@winsurtech.com for pricing.

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