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-   -   Getting Data in and Out (Mostly FileMaker <-> OmniPlan, but could apply to others) (http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=1215)

ppc970 2006-07-28 12:48 PM

Getting Data in and Out (Mostly FileMaker <-> OmniPlan, but could apply to others)
 
I first asked about AppleScript, but what I really wanted was to be able to export files from FileMaker, and load them into OmniPlan.

Here are the things that I have found so far:

0.) Apparently, OmniPlan *can* import ".csv" format files, which wasn't clear from the mini-manual or the OmniPlan web page.

1.) When you export from OmniPlan to what Omni calls ".csv" what you really get is a tab delimited file. To get FileMaker to happily import this file, you must change it to be a ".tab" file.

2.) The converse is true in exporting from FileMaker. To make OmniPlan understand the file, you have to ask FileMaker to make a ".tab" and then re-name it to be a ".csv". I would recommend that you change this to match FileMaker's terminology, as it is one of the most likely programs apart from Excel which people are likely to want to use. Or, just fix your .csv files to really be comma separated values.

3.) The names of the columns created on export are different than the names that the "Column Mapper" is looking for on import. Further, could it be possible to make a .csv file that would not need to be mapped? OmniPlan could look at the file, and if it looked "right" (Properly ordered column names in the first row?)

4.) I think an import function which would allow you to load data into an already existing file could be really cool. Of course, this would raise the issue of resolving conflicts between old and new, so it might be a mistake. Of course, through the use of Task ID's and unique resource names, etc, this problem could be avoided.

In the end, I am interested in being able to do the following:

Store information about tasks and dates in our FileMaker database.

Use OmniPlan to visualize that data. Manipulate the data in OmniPlan: Resolve conflicts, adjust the order of tasks, etc. That is, stuff that should be really slick in OmniPlan, and which would be tedious and kludgey in FileMaker (and require a lot of custom layouts, scripting, etc.)

Export the data from OmniPlan and use it to update our FileMaker records.

Lizard 2006-07-28 07:04 PM

Thanks for the clear, detailed suggestions. 1, 2, and 3 are issues we're already working on and hope to send your way soon. Look for csv files actually having commas in them (as advertised) and column names that match what's in the UI.

4 is a bit more complicated, and probably a feature best left for a future release. (We have to leave ourselves some room to grow, right?)

marc 2006-07-29 12:47 AM

Great news... as ppc970 says, FileMaker is key app to work with, and one I'm interested in personally.

Thanks for the prompt action. :)

Greg Titus 2006-07-31 06:06 PM

We should probably go ahead and support importing and exporting .tab files as well, since we really already have all the code there to do so...

ppc970 2006-08-03 11:19 AM

I'm looking forward to seeing the import/export of CSV's cleaned up. I've been thinking about it, and I think item 4 in my original post is probably not necessary anyway.

ppc970 2006-08-08 10:31 AM

Beta 5 Improvements...
 
I've been playing with Beta 5's implementation of CSV, and I have a couple of comments:

1.) Cool, it works better! Exporting from OmniPlan into FileMaker works much better.

2.) OmniPlan Beta 5 can't handle CSV files which have quotation marks bracketing all of the comma separated values. Therefore, exports from FileMaker into OmniPlan don't work without deleting the quotes.

3.) Notes are not imported, but they can be exported.

4.) Would it be possible to identify a CSV file such that OmniPlan wouldn't pop up it's "Column Mapper", like if the contents of all the columns of the first line were the names of the target values?


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