The exchange of table data to and from the MTS is mainly done through standard ASCII files. This makes it easy for any program to get data from the MTS and to transfer data into it. Thus, output files from text editors and Database systems containing table data in a fixed format can directly be transferred into the MTS format.
Conversion between the ASCII data file and the table is defined by a format
file (see section 5.7). If the format file does not exist, the conversion
is done automatically via list-direct input in free format. In this case
only REAL*4 and integer data, without NULL values are allowed.
Normally, table files should be copied to magnetic tape in the FITS format for tables (Harten et al., 1985, Mem.S.A.It., 56, 437) to make it easy to read them again on other computers. The conversion to FITS is done by the MIDAS command OUTTAPE; FITS tables are loaded onto disk by the command INTAPE.