justanyone has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

On my project, I have to parse many corporate reports (>50 of them) and put the extracted data into a database.

What is the easiest way to parse reports? I'm hoping someone has already come up with a generic report parsing engine, where you specify the layout somehow along with how to put data in a database.

Has anyone solved the general problem already? Is there such an animal or are we inventing something entirely new? People have created computer reports since 1965, you'd think that someone would have invented a parsing engine already. Any Hints? Any ideas? I'm open to anything that will cut down our workload.

Originally posted as a Categorized Question.