(Eng) Excelator v0.1: Edit Aras Innovator data within Excel

Posted on April 2, 2012

At Minerva we recently enhanced our product delivery process in order to make sure we use our ressources the best way to deliver the products which provide you with the most efficient features. As we get bigger these days with an Increase of the Aras Innovator subscribers, we needed to enhance that process. This new process gives us a better framework to know what anyone does on a specific product and why he does that. But as at Minerva, we are mixing competencies of PLM consulting with technical development capabilities, we allow each one to come up with new idea of new products sometimes just by taking a day developping an Idea. So the latest example is this “Excelator” tool which is an Microsoft Excel Add-in I started to develop based on some customers request.

Editing Aras Innovator Data within Microsoft Excel

This is a pretty simple development answering a feature request we had from many customers. “Can we get a list of information from Aras, like a list of Part’s price, in Microsoft Excel to edit the information and send them back in Aras Innovator”. So that ‘s what we did. The main concern was to make sure we have a very flexible and a framework which we can enhance by adding features. So in the following video, you can see this first draft of the tool. It has taken one day to developp it, mainly because we capitalized a lot from our previous developments and we are now able to use a lot from these existing products. Now I leave you with the video, feel free to comment this post if you like the video or if you think of some feature you would like to see in the future version. And if you want a closer look at it we share the software for free until it becomes v1.0 (just like we do with the Structure Browser). For now, we invite you to ask us for it, before we put it in place the download link on our corporate website.

Yoann Maingon

Yoann Maingon is an Entrepreneur and a PLM enthousiast. He is our main blogger at Minerva as he has been publishing articles about General PLM concepts and Aras Innovator for more than three years.

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  • robvandijk79

    Cool tool! Is there a ARAS subscription needed to use this tool? And is there also a feature to change and/or build BOMs?
    Would like to have a closer look at it and experiment. How can this be arranged? Keep up the good work!
    BR, Rob van Dijk

    • Hi, 
      thanks for your message ! No there is no subscription needed for this tool as it is not really intrusive in Aras, it shouldn’t have to impact your data-model (unless you edit the ItemTypes records but it would be your own decision
      !). It should just impact data. Today it just works on flat listing of item instances. It was the first step to reach to be able to demonstrate something (using the power of SCRUM methodology!). We already brought some new features, like freezing the first column to avoid going back and forth from column A to column XYZ.. I’ll generate a new Build and I’ll let my colleague Antoine from Netherland sending you the file. Feel free to get back to the blog and report bugs or enhancement request. As I’ve said, the tool will be delivered as-is until v1.0 even though it is a pretty safe product (managed by Aras access rules) you should be carefull when using it on a production Instance.Best Regards,yoann

  • Henrik Olesen

    Hi Yoann
    Nice talking to you at ACE in Frankfurt.
    Could you please send me an installer for the Execlator Excel add-inn?
    Please email at my Kamstrup mail: hol@kamstrup.com
    Best Regards
    Henrik Olesen
    Kamstrup A/S

    • Hi Henrik,
      Here is the download link : http://dl.dropbox.com/u/14981316/Excelator.zip
      I think it requires Framework .net 4.0 at least.
      Have fun with it ! I’ll wait for your feedbacks!

      • Henrik Olesen

        Hi Yoann

        I have some problems installing the tool. When I run the setup file I get an error in Windows.

        Windows can’t open this file.
        File: Excelator.vsto.

        Do you have any ideas what’s causing this fault?

        • I just reproduced the issue. I’ll look into that.

  • Lakshminarayanan

    Hi
    Where to download this tool?

    • Hi Lakshminarayanan,

      This tool was built years ago and unfortunately we have stopped sourcing this utility. Upgrading this tool today even if we had kept the source would take more time than creating a new COM component into EXCEL/Visual Studio.

      This type of knowledge is provided during the ARAS Training (“Developing Solutions”) which is a 5 days training, I warmly recommend you to attend this training as you will learn a lot of really interesting features that you will be able to use any kind of EXCEL integration.

      As a starting point, I can guide you of how to create inside EXCEL, a MACRO calling ARAS to get/edit data easily.

      You will find the .COM IOM.dll which contains all the API compatible with COM components like Office applications (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access, etc….) in the ZIP to install ARAS.

      11.0 SP5 CD ImageUtilitiesAras Innovator 11.0 SP5 IOM SDK.zipCOMIOM.dll

      1. Copied the dll and pdb somewhere
      2 Register the DLL with (regAsm.exe, google it, it’s an official tool from Microsoft), this will allow this DLL to be used into you MACRO.
      3. Create/Open an EXCEL file and create a MACRO
      4. Inside the VBA, reference the “ARAS IOM” from menu: Tools > References… and (click Browse) to pick the dll from the location where you put IOM.dll
      5. Design you macro using standard ARAS API.
      5.1 Create an Innovator (Context Item) using IomFactory
      5.2 Create a connection to ARAS with HttpServerConnection
      5.3 Design you own logic using ARAS API

      But again, if you have some specific needs, try to get the ARAS Training course, you will do it during the course and you will see how easy it is to do what you want from EXCEL or anywhere actually, even IoT (Android/Iphone/Microsoft Phone).

      Hope this will help.

      regards, Damien

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