The conversion of file format from one type to another is termed as data conversion. For example, converting a DOC file to a PDF file. Compared to a DOC file, a PDF file is easy to secure, add your signature, add watermarks, and it can be opened in many platforms. A file format is a standard way the data/information is encoded in a computer file for storage. It specifies how bits (the basic unit of information in computing) are used to encode data/information in a digital storage medium.
Need for data conversion
There are many reasons for converting a file of one particular format to a different format. Sometimes it is a necessity. For example, a document file created in Microsoft Word, may not open in an Apple computer or a computer with Linux operating system. It does not mean that you have to discard that file.
With the help of a File Conversion software, you will be able to convert the file to the appropriate format to open in the respective systems. Another reason is that some file formats, by default, are big in size. For example, a WMV file is big in size than an MP3 file. Hence, converting a WMV file to an MP3 file will help to reduce the size of the file.
Data sharing from one computer to another is nowadays a common everyday process. Servers around the world gather, extract, and load files from various sources. These files come from different computers that have different hardware and software. Hence, it is necessary that the files be converted accordingly for accessibility. Data conversion could also be termed as the technical process of converting the bits contained in the data from one format to another for the purpose of interoperability between computers.
The process of data conversion
Data conversion can be a difficult process, especially in the case of complex conversions. It is easy for a system to discard information, however, adding information will take time and resources. For example, converting a color image to grayscale is easy. Converting a grayscale image to a color image, not so easy. It will require human intervention to get the desired result.
A pivotal encoding is used by most of the applications/software that convert between multiple formats. For example, converting a KOI8-R (an 8-bit character encoding designed to cover Russian) to Windows-1251. The KOI8-R is first converted to Unicode, and then to Windows-1251. This is more practical than using the lookup table between the two encodings (the old approach).
It is important to maintain all of the data during data conversion. It is also important to salvage as much of the embedded information as possible. This is possible only if the target format supports the same data structures and features present in the source file. A thorough knowledge of the workings of both the target and source formats is required for successful data conversion.