AECOsim Building Designer - DataGroup Objects: Excel Exchange

In AECOsim Building Designer SS6 we added two really useful features to help with design change and data management. These features also apply to CONNECT Edition.

In-Place Editing

In-Place Editing in the DataGroup Explorer allows you to double-click on a Catalog Item instance's field and change its value. It also allows multiple selections so ranges of instances can be edited at once as described in Tom Waltz's quick video: Multiple In-Place Editing Through DataGroup Explorer Schedules in SS6.

This feature also works on instances in a reference. If any of the selected instances are in reference files ABD will cycle through them updating the values in all writable reference files. This advisory dialog is displayed on first use:

If a reference is in use ABD will skip over that file and continue with the update. The values in skipped files will not be updated, they can be retried at another time.

Excel Exchange

Obviously creating sequential list entries one at a time is impractical so we also have bidirectional editing in Excel via a new command in the DataGroup Explorer:
Excel Exchange > Edit in Excel

Clicking Edit in Excel will add the metadata that AECOsim Building Designer needs to return the data after editing to an Excel spreadsheet and then opens it.

Use Excel's features to add/change the appropriate data, then save the file.

To bring the data back into AECOsim Building Designer, click the Update from Excel command in DataGroup Explorer, browse to the file (the open dialog will open in the right location), click Apply All in the confirmation dialog, review and Close the Import dialog (or open the log if there are items of concern):

The values in DataGroup Explorer will be updated:

This feature also works on elements within a reference. As with In-Place Editing, if a reference is in use ABD will skip over that file and continue with the update. The values in skipped files will not be updated, they can be retried at another time.

At present not all values can be edited in-place or via Excel Exchange. For instance multiple steel column lengths must be modified graphically (fence stretch) but other properties such as labels, fireproofing, section sizes can be edited using either technique.

Label and similar text fields can be edited freely using Excel copy/fill cell tools. Where specific values are required, e.g. section sizes ensure that either an example already exists or the value matches exactly the value available in the ABD UI.

Editable values are shown in black, non-editable in grey.

Note: Hidden column A contains the Filename and hidden column D contains the element ID. If the same element ID occurs in different files the filename/element ID combination will still be unique [provided there are no identical filenames... :-) ]. These can be used to maintain the realtionships with the original elements if extensive data manipulation is carried out with Excel wizardry.

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