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What is the Minimum valid Excel Input File?

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Ref: 20081106
Last edited: January 5th 2012
The Excel Connector is based on the principle of defaults and overrides. If information appears in the Excel sheet, then it will be used, if it is not there (or is blank) then the default is used.
The minimum working definition of a valid input file therefore is:
  1. It must be saved in Excel XLS format (In PN 11.1.0 and earlier this is Excel XML 2003)
  2. It must contain a Sheet named Process Elements
  3. Process Elements must contain columns named:
    1. Shape Master
    2. Reference
    3. Text
    4. Predecessors (comma delimited list)
    5. GUID (prior to version 11.2)
The Reference column is a unique key scoped to the Excel Workbook. It is used solely for determining which object is being referenced within the Workbook.
The Data type of the Reference column is String by default, however numeric values are permitted. Strings and numbers can be used interchangeably.
The Predecessors column should be blank or contain an entry that appears in the Reference column, or a comma separated list of References. The type of the Predecessors column is String by default.
There is no limit to the length of the Reference, or to the characters that it may contain.
In an obvious way, the Shape Master and Text columns are the corresponding name of the master on the stencil, and the text to display in the shape respectively. Both are string types.
This is sufficient to generate a map using Process Navigator. A sample minimum file is shown below (click to enlarge).


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