In this article, we are going to look at a new feature released as part of AgilePoint NX v8.0 Software Update 2 which enables importing data from Excel or CSV file to a SubForm.
Over the last couple of years, we have made a lot of investments on the Excel integration which ranges from supporting Excel as a Data Source for Form Based Apps to form enabled excel sheets, generating Data Entities using data in Excel, Excel Read and Write activities, Exporting data to CSV from a form etc.
We now take it a notch up by supporting importing data from Excel or CSV file to a SubForm which was a highly requested feature from within our customer base.
A quick recap, a SubForm is a complex control on the eForms page and is a collection of controls. It is designed to hold data in matrix structure (rows and columns) and allows bulk operations.
Product usage insights revealed that for certain use cases, the end users were manually typing contents of Excel file into eForm page. So, let’s explore how this feature can automate this activity. To begin, standard data types supported by the SubForm (for example Numbers, Date, Text) should be present in the corresponding cells of the Excel or CSV. Files with the extension XLS, XLSX and CSV are currently supported.
Substantial number of apps were developed using the legacy SubForm (SubForm V2 was introduced in release v8). Hence, we are supporting this feature for both the versions of the SubForm. The form developer needs to enable this feature via a checkbox during design time and at runtime, the Excel import icon will appear on the SubForm. If the user is not sure of the Excel template format, they can make use of the download template option which can be used to fill data in a template before it is imported.
While using the feature, it is advised to keep the Excel file size to a reasonable level for e.g. 5 MB to avoid excessive data parsing load on the form and also the number of rows to be imported to be kept at a reasonable level for e.g. less than 100 rows to avoid putting too much stress of form as it has to render those many rows and columns. For larger files, you should consider alternatives like using process model to read rows from Excel and map back to underlying system directly.
Let’s look at this feature in action.