Monarch vs. TextConverter

TextConverter takes on Datawatch's Monarch

No matter how you approach the task of extracting data from unstructured documents you inevitably will face the problem of identifying fields and records to be extracted. The identification of fields and records can be accomplished manually using keywords and logic or automatically by employing a pattern recognition algorithm of some kind.

The approach used in Datawatch's Monarch software is based on the use of regular expressions as the primary building blocks for their data extraction templates.  In the newest release Monarch merrily offered a tool for speeding up the process of creating one line templates, that is, a template that correlates one line line (no more, no less) of input data to a record. This manual approach is suitable only for simple cases and cannot handle multi-line forms with floating content, a varying number of populated fields, multi-line fields, tag-based fields, and many other real-world complications. Another big disadvantage of manual templates is their low reliability due to the limited scope of input data material at design time.

In essence Monarch is a manual tool with limited programming capabilities attractive mostly for non-programmers trying to solve simple data extraction tasks.

SiMX's TextConverter 2.2 is different from Datawatch's Monarch.  TextConverter offers both true pattern recognition capability for fully automatic identification of fields and records and the full power of VB Script supported with numerous code templates and libraries of built-in objects and methods for manual parsing.  TextConverter is a much more powerful and flexible tool than Monarch, and it gives you virtually unlimited capabilities of both data extraction and transformation.  It also can work with multiple input and, more importantly, multiple output data sources (including all conventional databases and flat file formats).

TextConverter includes support for ODBC, OLEDB, PDF, DOC, RTF, XLS, HTML, CSV, and Txt files in the standard version.  Monarch requires you to buy the Professional version for this support.

TextConverter includes API support so that it can be used in automation.  Monarch does not.

Serious professionals choose TextConverter over Datawatch's Monarch hands down every time.