5 Replies Latest reply on Apr 26, 2010 9:56 AM by cdc109

    DIY AF Configurator for Excel

    cdc109

      Hi all,

       

      I'm part way through developing an Excel Add-in in .NET for configuring an AF 2.x database (creating elements, linking elements, etc.) and things are going fairly well. The AF SDK seems very comprehensive (Office Interop is painful though).

       

      We have not been able to manage with the AF 1.3 "PI-AF Configurator" and the compatibility layer as it only seems to understand composition references and nothing else.

       

      It has occurred to me though that I might not be the only person who can't wait until 2011 for the AF 2.3's Excel configuration tool. Has anyone done anything similar already, and if so is there anything special I need to consider? Or is there another option for bulk loading data into the AF?

       

      Chris.

        • Re: DIY AF Configurator for Excel

          I'm not too sure about the "has anybody else done it?" question, but for the "is there another option for bulk loading data into the AF?" question, you might want to look into the AFExport and AFImport command line utilities. These are discussed briefly (very briefly, actually) on slide 38 of the "What's New with AF Programming (AF 2.1)" webinar.

           

          Hope this helps!

            • Re: DIY AF Configurator for Excel

              You have 2 options for bulk loading to AF.

               

              1. Use Excel's (not the Office XML format)  native export to XML and then XSL to bulk load to AF; simple AF hierarchies can be done this way.

               

              2. If you will be at UC2010, you can preview the AF Excel Configurator in the demo pod, we are planning on a CTP for this soon on vCampus. Note that even though AF 2.2 SDK is required for this, you can work against AF 2.1 databases.  AF 2.2 SDK will be part of the CTP.

                • Re: DIY AF Configurator for Excel
                  Lonnie Bowling

                  I have been working on a similar tool to automate many of the functions.  So far I have been able to do most of the basic things, there are a few threads in the AN SDK area that could help.  Also, I used Open XML SDK 2.0 to read excel files, it is much easier that way.  If you do try it, be sure and get the code snippets, they will save you a ton of work.

                   

                  G/L

                   

                  Lonnie

                  • Re: DIY AF Configurator for Excel

                    Gopal

                    If you will be at UC2010, you can preview the AF Excel Configurator in the demo pod, we are planning on a CTP for this soon on vCampus. Note that even though AF 2.2 SDK is required for this, you can work against AF 2.1 databases.  AF 2.2 SDK will be part of the CTP.
                    Well, when Gopal said 'soon', he really meant soon! You'll be pleased to learn we posted the Release Candidate (RC) for our PI Server 2010 and AF 2010 components (see this announcement).

                     

                    As per the announcement, we also made available the Community Technology Preview (CTP) version of the new AF Builder Excel Add-In (which replaces the old AF 1.x Configurator Excel Add-In).

                     

                    Enjoy!

                      • Re: DIY AF Configurator for Excel
                        cdc109

                        Thank you all for your input. I have downloaded the RC AF Builder and it is proving more useful than the 1.x version. It seems to ignore the "ReferenceType" column though and always defaults to Parent-Child but this is OK for now. I had already developed an Excel add-in that allows you to link AF elements using custom weak reference types (and links either by path or by attribute value) and between this and the RC AF Builder I should have all that I need.

                         

                        Thanks again,

                         

                        Chris.