Format descriptions are one of the handiest features of the OIE workflow engine - no more writing code to read/write all the various files that are received or need to be created; OIE formats can read and write fixed-record length files, delimited files, XLS files, and DIF files. Already built-in to the various format descriptions are various work-arounds for the ways in which each of these files can be mangled. OIE's XLS reading, for example, can deal with spreadsheets where those numbers have actually been occasionally entered as strings, and the delimited file reader can cope with randomly placed escape characters dropped in by applications unaware of what an escape character is. But how do you know, other than trying to run the full process to import the data, if your format description matches the file? Or later on how do you know that the vendor/supplied/department/customer hasn't changed their format without informing you - again without running the process? Answer: Format descriptions can be tested via the AttachFS protocol.