Item-level relational imports

Item-level relationships are not under change control. Item-level relational import files can be imported whenever needed.

The import file doesn't make new items, it simply adds a new relationship between existing items. Both parent and child items must be in the database (except in the case of file attachments, where only the parent item is in the database). Any number of parent items may be in the import file, and each parent can be related to one or more child items. It's common for some child items to be used on several different parents.

You can also use item-level relation files to update item files and external links, as well as to keep parts' materials lists current.

Guidelines for importing item-level relationships§

Before importing your data, back up your database. The import tool can make major changes to your database, and can overwrite data on previously-imported items. You cannot undo the changes it makes; you can only restore your backup database.

If you use Excel as your CSV file editor, it may make undesired changes to values that it interprets as a number. For example, part number strings beginning with zero (e.g., 001234) will often be silently converted to a numeric value (1234). If you have any part numbers, document numbers or other data with leading zeroes, don't use Excel. Instead, use a CSV file editor, Windows Notepad, or other plain text editor (not Word) to edit your import file.

The Batch Importer tool can make an import file .csv template. Select the correct Import Type template, then click the Export button. The file contains existing item data, to check earlier imports or use for updating existing data.

  • Parent and child items in these import files are matched according to the identification rule specified in Tools ➔ System Rules... Item uniqueness specified by: Number, Organization, Class, Type. Columns not specified by the rule (Class or Type) are ignored during matching.

  • Iterations are always ignored in the matching (in fact, none of the relational import files include columns for specifying iteration values).

  • Rows are added cumulatively. That is, you can import a different row without affecting the current list. If you want to replace an existing materials list, you must explicitly clear the list using the special value specified for that import file.

  • The column names in the first row of the import file (the "header" row) must match the definitions in the help topic. The header names are case-sensitive and must be spelled exactly as shown. Every column with data must have a conforming header. Do not include more than one column with the same header name.
  • specified columns may be in any sequence. Extra (undefined) columns in the import file are ignored.
  • Every value must conform to the column's specified type (collection member, string, number, etc.) or be empty. For example, a column that requires a numeric value cannot include non-numeric characters.
  • Leading and trailing spaces are removed from each data element before it's matched or applied. Other space characters are not affected. For example, the value   many  spaces   becomes many  spaces.

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Help Guide Contents [as PDF]