Additional Import/Export option for servers that do not have an Excel plugin
The excel plugin is very useful for making bulk edits and changes. Unfortunately, all customers either do not have the excel software plugin or flat out do not allow the installation of excel on their machines thus eliminating the ability to utilize the excel plugin.
In these cases, it would be incredibly useful to have the ability to perform the exact same function that PI Builder provides but built into the System Management Tools, System Explorer, etc. so that it is not necessary to have excel installed. This way, I can export data in a pi builder format, move the file onto a system with excel, make necessary changes, and use that file to "Publish" the changes to the system in question.
The .xml export and import function has too many layers and too much complexity for useful and quick bulk editing.
Reopening this discussion….
I may have misunderstood your original request. Are you asking for us to replicate the PI Builder functionalities in SMT or PI System Explorer? Or are you asking for a way to export into a file so that you can then use PI Builder in a separate machine with this file?
David Macko commented
The suggestion I was making was more related to the latter of the two items you mentioned. However, it wouldnt necessarily use pi builder because my understanding is that PI builder has to be attached to the PI server to function properly.
When I export the database from AF, it is in the xml format and has a multitude of different parameters and is a very complex file. When I use PI builder in a system that has Excel installed, it is very clean with each tag having its own row, the ability to select many or few parameters to change, and ultimately a very quick way to do bulk tag imports through excel.
The issue I see is that some customers either do not have excel installed on their machines or will not install it even if we explain the benefits with PI builder integration. In these cases, using PI builder is not possible which makes adding tags more of a headache.
I do not know how things are handled behind the scenes, but it would be incredibly helpful to be able to do File > Export > PI Builder format. Then you could select the attributes like you do in PI builder and create an excel file (I would assume even .csv would work) which you could then move to a computer that has excel installed, add/modify/remove tags, and then bring this file back to the server and apply with File > Import > PI Builder format.
We have no plans to replicate PI Builder functionalities into SMT or PI System Explorer. The idea of PI Builder was not to create additional complexities in a GUI with tasks that are best done in bulk, such as copy-n-paste. Additionally the native Excel capabilities in string handling of the various configurations would not be something that we want to replicate in our product.