JSON to AL3 / DAT File Creator Details

23.10.2020
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Overview

WinsurTech Al3 Creator is a WinsurTech product to convert JSON or CSV format data into AL3 / DAT files. It supports all the P&C lines of business. WinsurTech AL3 Creator saves the output into an AL3 file which can be consumed by any software that can read Al3 files (like any insurance agency management system). This product also includes a bulk feature to convert any number of JSON / CSV files into AL3 format with a single command. This document will help in understanding the working of this product by going through all the commands and flags.

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. AL3 files are being used by several InsurTech research companies to gather policy data.

WinsurTech AL3 Creator Details

How to Use

To perform any operation using the creator, a command needs to be executed. As the first step Creator license needs to be activated with a command:

AL3CreatorLicense {license_key}

If executed successfully, you will see a message similar to this:

Your license is activated, you can use AL3 Creator now.

AL3Creator -help

The above command will display the complete syntax to run the creator along with details of each flag that can be used with the command. 

AL3 Creator

Generating Sample Input files per LOB Files using AL3Creator

AL3Creator makes it simple for the users to create a sample input file and then fill only the data in the required fields to create the AL3 file.

AL3Creator -gt [-type=CSV | JSON] [-tc=n] [-LOB=LOBFullCode] [-DB=2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019]

The above command can be used to create sample input files without data in JSON/CSV format for any LOB. The output file is created by default in json_templates directory right in parallel to where AL3Creator.exe is located.

Users can use the JSON or CSV template to fill the data in only the required fields and then feed the file to the creator in order to create an AL3 file. The rest of the fields can be left blank.

Sample JSON File Template:

Creator sample input file

Flag Details:

-gt
This flag is a short form for the word “generate”. This is to used for the generation of sample input files for any LOB.

-type
There are two options available – CSV or JSON for the file format. The default value of this flag is JSON if not specified. 

-tc
This is a transaction count flag and its default value is 1. Each AL3 file can contain multiple transactions, each belonging to a different policy number. This flag allows for generating the input format for multiple transactions in a single file. The default count is 1 if -tc is not used.

-LOB
This flag is to specify the LOB for which the sample file is to be generated. If -LOB is not specified, the list of supported LOBs is displayed and the user can choose a number. Otherwise using the -LOB flag the target LOB can be specified (like -LOB=AUTOC).

-DB
This flag allows you to choose the ACORD database dictionary based on which the input AL3 files are to be created. There are four options – 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. The default value is 2019. 

Convert CSV/JSON to AL3 using A3Creator

Once the input JSON or CSV file is ready with data, it needs to be fed to AL3Creator command again to convert to AL3. The syntax to create the AL3 is mentioned below:

AL3Creator {path-to-csv | path-to-json} [-DB=2016/2017/2018/2019] [-OL=d:\test] [-PX=opfile]

Flag details:

{path-to-csv | path-to-json}
This parameter is mandatory. Replace it with the full or relative path of the CSV or JSON file to be converted to AL3. AL3Creator is also a bulk file creator that can convert multiple CSV/JSON files into AL3 (all the files need to be located in the same folder). So this path argument can also contain the folder location that contains multiple CSV/JSON file(s). 

-DB
This parameter is optional, default value 2019. This flag allows choosing the ACORD database dictionary based on which the al3 files are created. There are four options – 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.

-OL
This parameter is optional (OL means output location). Its value is the output folder path or exact full file path for a single file with filename; (optional to specify, if not specified a folder with name al3files-output is created and files are created in it). If the 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 e.g. if -PX=XYZ then an AL3 file with the name myF1.csv will be converted to an output file myF1_XYZ.al3.

Deactivating AL3 Creator license key

If you want to disconnect the license from your machine and folder then you can do this by running the following command:

AL3CreatorLicense {license_key} disconnect

Note: This command needs to be run on the same machine and location where AL3CreatorLicense was activated and specify the license_key you want to disconnect.

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