The Excel Interface was designed to make importing and exporting multiple worksheets from more than one workbook very fast and easy to do. You can also create your own custom Import/Export code.
You can access the Excel Interface from the Toolbox.
The Excel Importer is capable of automating much of the import process in terms of the table size and cell data type. If you allow the Excel Importer to be more automated in its implementation, it is extremely useful for importing data that will change over time.
The Excel Exporter allows you to export multiple tables to multiple different Excel workbooks. The controls and features of this page are the same as the Excel Importer page. See the documentation above for more information on this page.
The custom Import/Export page allows you to write your own custom code to import and export to Excel workbooks. There is sample code in the picklists on importing and exporting from Excel.
The Import tab has the following properties:
Displays all of the import lines for the Excel Importer. You can use the Add and Duplicate buttons to add additional lines. You may also rearrange lines to group import lines that are importing from the same Excel workbook (this will improve speeds greatly as opposed to trying to switch back and forth between the same workbooks).
The Excel Importer will go in order (from the top) through each checked line of the Import Lines window and execute the import based on its properties specified on the right side.
The Excel Workbook is where you define the name of the Excel workbook file that contains the information that you want to import. There are four ways to enter information into this column:
C:\tempdirectory\myfile.xls. If the file is unable to be found, the import will be stopped and you'll have the option to skip the file or manually select a file to import.
userprojects\myproject\myfile.xls. If the file is unable to be found, the import will be stopped and you will have the option to skip the file or manually select a file to import.
The name of the Excel sheet that contains the import information. For example
Sheet1. If the Excel Importer does not find the name of the sheet because it does not
exist in the workbook or has been entered incorrectly, the import will pause and alert you
of the problem. You will then be given the option to exit the import completely or skip the
offending import row and continue with the next one.
Use the or to select the table in FlexSim that should receive the data from the import. Alternatively, there are buttons located throughout the software that will automatically select the table.
A preview of the current table data in FlexSim will be displayed here. To open the data in a table editor, click on the ... button.
Implementing headers will cause the Excel Importer to import the column and or row names for the table. This is useful for helping you to identify the columns and rows later in FlexSim. The row or column for the header information is automatically calculated. The header information should always come before any data distinction information or actual data.
The starting row and starting column fields determine where the Excel Importer will look on the Excel sheet for the data it needs to import. Enter the starting location for your data in these cells not the location of the headers or data distinction information. If you leave the values for these cells at 0, the Excel Importer will automatically adjust where it imports the data from. If you always leave your data at the top left of the worksheet you will never need to enter a value other than 0 in these cells regardless of whether or not you have headers or data distinction information in front of the data.
The Total Rows and Total Columns fields determine the amount of rows and columns that the Excel Importer will import. If you set these entries to 0 the Excel Importer will automatically calculate the number of rows or columns for you. Letting the Excel Importer calculate the number of rows or columns for you is a great way to allow the developer and or user of the model to add or delete rows and/or columns from the table as necessary without having to worry about changing any other values.
Data distinction determines how the Excel Importer will extract values from the Excel workbook. There are three commands that the Excel Importer can use to read Excel data:
excelreadnum()- If the specified cell contains number data, this command returns the number. Otherwise, it returns 0.
excelreadstr()- If the specified cell contains text data, this command returns the text. Otherwise, it returns the value displayed in the cell as text.
excelrangeread()- This command reads all cells in a specified range. If a cell in that range contains text data, this command extracts the text. Otherwise, it extracts the value as a number.
When you import a spreadsheet, you must choose a data distinction mode. The mode you choose will tell the Excel Importer which of the three commands (or what combination) it should use to extract data from a spreadsheet. The modes are described in the following list:
excelreadnum()command to extract each cell's value.
excelreadstr()to extract each cell's value. It then analyzes both results to determine whether the cell contains string or number data, and based on that, which result to put in the table.
excelreadstr()to extract the data in that column. The cell containing this value is excluded from the final table in FlexSim.
excelreadstr()to extract the data in that row. The cell containing this value is excluded from the final table in FlexSim.
excelreadstr()command to extract each cell's value.
excelrangeread()command to read in all values of the table.
For the Automatic mode, the Excel Importer will attempt to determine whether the
cell contains text or number data. While this process works fairly well, the Excel Importer will
occasionally be wrong. For example, a cell with number data, formatted as a fraction, will
be imported as text like
"1/5" rather than a number like
Empty cells will be read in as a string. In order to correctly import a worksheet, you may
need to change the formatting in Excel or the data distinction mode.
For the Per Column and Per Row modes, the Excel Importer reads the first value in a row or column and uses that value to determine how to extract the remaining values in that row or column. The Excel Importer recognizes four possible values:
excelreadstr(). If importing into a table, the Excel Importer will toggle this cell's node as FlexScript.
excelreadstr(). If importing into a table, the Excel Importer will toggle this cell's node as C++. If this occurs, you will be prompted to compile the model after the import is complete.
The Values Only mode uses the
This command imports text cells the same way
excelreadstr() does. However, all
other values, including dates and times, are interpreted as raw numbers. You can use the
VALUE() function in Excel to see the raw number for any non-text cell.
The following table shows some examples of how an Excel cell might be extracted with each of the three commands:
|Cell Value||Cell Format||
The Import Dates and Times as Numbers option is only available for the Automatic Data Distinction setting. When checked, the importer will import cells from Excel that are formatted as dates and times as numbers. It will also convert the number to be useable by FlexSim which is the number of seconds since Jan 1 1601.
If checked, FlexSim will re-import this table when the model is reset. This will ONLY occur if the Excel file has been changed since the last time the table was imported.
After all the import lines are executed, the Excel Importer can execute Post Import Code. You can write custom code in this trigger to do any additional operations after all tables have been imported.
If checked, the Post Import Code will be executed once all tables have been imported.
Global Tables may be set to use a bundle to store their data. Or, when using the Other table type, you can select a node in the tree that has bundle data. In these cases the import will create the correct fields in the bundle for the imported data. Due to the way bundles work, there are a few restrictions when importing to a bundle:
The Export tab has the following properties:
Unlike the Excel Importer, the Excel Exporter does not use any data distinction when writing to the Excel file. The data type is taken from the FlexSim node data type.
Check this box to have the Excel Export tool create the specified sheet if that sheet doesn't exist in the workbook.
Use the or to select the table in FlexSim that will be exported to Excel.
The starting row and starting column fields specify which cell in Excel the data from FlexSim will start being exported to.
There is no Number of Rows or Number of Columns fields. The export will take the entire table.
The Custom tab has the following properties:
This field has no impact on the custom import/export. It is purely for the user's information.
Enter your own code to import/export from Excel.
To execute your custom import or export code through a flexscript node or trigger, call the following:
treenode excelauto = Model.find("Tools/ExcelAuto"); executefsnode(getvarnode(excelauto, "CustomImport"),NULL); // or executefsnode(getvarnode(excelauto, "CustomExport"),NULL);