Excel import

It can happen that you have lots of ‘legacy’ data in Excel from before you started to work in BriefBuilder. It can be useful to import these data into BriefBuilder. We’ve created an Excel import function for this purpose.

You cannot, however, just import any Excel sheet. The data must fit into BriefBuilder’s structure. Therefore, we have developed an import template that you can use. See below for an empty version and an example.

Before using these templates, please read the instructions below carefully. Depending on what it is that you want to import, it can be quite a complex operation.

We recommend that you test your import sheet in a clone of your model, before importing it into your live model.

How does it work?

The Excel template file does include three tabs.

  • Objects
  • Properties
  • Relations

Objects

In here you define which objects you want to add to a tree, you do this in two ways:

(1) Import a ‘flat’ list of objects

If you want to use the Excel import to just add objects to your tree (and organize them in BriefBuilder by moving them around), you only have to use the ObjectType and the ObjectName columns. In the first, you indicate what kind of object it is (e.g. a space or a location), and in the second you indicate the name of the object.

(2) Import a structured list of objects

If you want to import a structured list (a ‘tree’ structure) of objects, you have to use Parent Object column(s). In database speak, the term ‘parent’ refers to the object that is on top (e.g. the system “power system” is parent for the element “power socket”). To place objects under the right parent, you have to add the name and/or the ID of the parent object.

MandatoryOptionalMandatoryOptionalOptionalOptionalOptional
ObjectTypeObjectIDObjectNameParentObjectIDParentobjectNameDescriptionLabels
Choose the type the object has to be (e.g. space or location). Click here for a list of possible types.

Leaving this field empty will result in a folder in BriefBuilder (except for the spaces & locations tree, in this tree there’re no folders allowed)
You can use this column to add a unique identifier . For example when 2 or more objects do have the same nameThe name of the objectUse this column if you want to add a tree-structured decomposition to the tree.Descripton of the object Seperate multiple lables by a comma “,”

Note: you can only import object types of one tree at the time

Properties

Properties

Optional*MandatoryMandatoryOptionalMandatoryOptional
ObjectIDObjectNamePropertyNameComparatorValueNote
To refer to tab ‘Objects’.

*If you choose to use the ObjectID’s in the ‘Objects’ Tab, you”ll have to use them here as well.
To refer to tab ‘Objects’ The name of the propertyYou can choose between the options:
< > = ≤ ≥ ≈
The value of the propertyThe note of the property

Relations

Relations

Optional*MandatoryMandatoryOptional*MandatoryOptionalOptional
ObjectID1ObjectName1ObjectType2ObjectID2ObjectName2ValueNote
To refer to tab ‘Objects’.

*If you choose to use the ObjectID’s in the ‘Objects’ Tab, you”ll have to use them here as well.
To refer to tab ‘Objects’ Choose the type the object has to be. Click here for a list of possible types. In here you can refer to an object that already exists in BriefBuilder

You can use the BriefBuilder object id to refer to an existing object, or you can choose to leave this column empty, then we’ll refer to the objectname in BriefBuilder.
Choose the type the object has to be. Click here for a list of possible types. In here you can define, for example, a quantityExplanatory note to describe specific needs for

Objects which you refer to (ObjectName2) need to exist in BriefBuilder already.

Analysis

For all three tabs, Objects, Properties and Relations, it is possible to add additional columns to import Analysis information. Given the default Analysis standard properties ‘Review’ and ‘Review note’, if you add columns with these names in the first header row, the data in these columns will be imported as Analysis standard property values. For the Objects tab, the analysis information is attached to the object’s description.

This also works for other Analysis attributes that you are a colleague may have defined in your project. The only restriction is that the names of the Analysis attributes may not conflict with any of the other columns in the excel sheet, required to define the requirements (e.g. ‘Value’ or ‘Note’).

Tips & tricks

Unpivot Excel table

As mentioned before, most of the Excel files you use do not fit in straight away in BriefBuilder. One of the most common formats is a pivot table in Excel. However there is quite an easy way to transform these pivot tables in to the BriefBuilder import template. This video shows a simple method to transform your data: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2482wD1FmEs

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