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ReportAdapter for Microsoft® Excel®

ReportAdapter for Microsoft® Excel® is designed to export data from Excel sheets to a Microsoft® Access® database, resulting in one table per Excel sheet. The Access file can be used with UniversalReporter, e.g. to compare Excel data with data out of other ReportAdapters.



  • Supported operating systems:

  • Microsoft® Windows XP

  • Microsoft® Windows Server 2003

  • Microsoft® Windows Vista

  • Microsoft® Windows 7 or later

  • Microsoft® Excel® 2003 or later

Administrator rights are required on each computer to install CAXperts ReportAdapter for Microsoft® Excel®. “Run as” is not supported.


To uninstall the software, select Control panel from the start menu. Then on

  • Windows 7-10: in large or small icon view, click Programs and features. If you're using category view, under Programs, click Uninstall a program.

  • Windows Vista: in classic view, double-click Programs and features. In control panel home view, under Programs, click Uninstall a program.

  • Windows XP/2000: (Double) click the Add or remove programs icon.

Select the program you want to remove, and click Uninstall/Remove. Alternatively, right-click the program and select Uninstall.

Setup command line (for administrators)

The following command line options are supported by the installer:

/S:<<optional ini file>>

Allow an install to be run in silent mode. As a result, no screens or dialogs will be shown.

This command line option also has an optional INI file that can be passed containing session variable values. For example:

"C:\output\setup.exe" "/S:C:\setupvars.ini"

This will cause the session variables in the INI file to be used for the setup. The INI file should be in the format:


%AppFolder%=C:\Program Files\MyProduct

/U:<<XML config file>>

This command line option must be used when calling the uninstall program from the command line. This command also has an optional XML file that can be passed containing session variable values. For example:

"C:\Program Files\MyProduct\uninstall.exe" "/U:C:\Program Files\MyProduct\irunin.xml"


CAXperts software supports two types of licences:

Site licence (local)

Domain based licences are restricted to machines within a 5 miles (8 kilometres) radius at a specific geographic location (building) for which the licence key file was issued for. There is no limitation regarding the number of users or machines.

CAXperts will need your Current domain name to issue a licence file (.lic).

The licence file has to be stored on a local or network location accessible by the machine running the CAXperts product; a licence server is not required.

The location of the licence file should be defined on every machine with the CAXperts product installed, which can be done

  • Either by setting the environment variable
    CAXPERTS_LICENSE_FILE=C:\Program Files (x86)\CAXperts\Licensing\

  • Or by setting the registry key
    > HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\FLEXlm License > Manager\CAXPERTS_LICENSE_FILE=C:\Program Files > (x86)\CAXperts\Licensing\

Multiple licence key file locations should be separated by semicolons (“;”).

If the licence key file location is not defined, “C:\Program Files (x86)\CAXperts\Licensing\” is used.
The licence key file may be renamed (including the extension). The CAXperts product will check the content of all files in the licence folder(s) for valid keys.
Changes to the key path (in the environment variable or registry key) are read during the next start of the CAXperts product.

Floating (server) licence

Floating licences require a FlexNET server (lmadmin or lmgrd) accessible by the machine running the CAXperts product. The licence key file is typically located on the FlexNET server machine. The licence key file defines the maximum number of seats which can be used at the same time.

Every running instance of the CAXperts software product will require one seat, no matter if the application is running multiple times on the same or different machine(s).

New instances can only be started as long as seats are available and the FlexNET server is accessible.

The location of the licence server must be defined on every machine with the CAXperts product installed, which can be done

  • Either by setting the environment variable

  • Or by setting the registry key
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\FLEXlm License Manager\CAXPERTS_LICENSE_FILE=@YourServerName

Every computer name must be preceded by the @ symbol. Multiple licence server locations should be separated by semicolons (“;”).

YourServerName is the Windows computer name of the machine running lmadmin (FlexNET server). If lmadmin is running on a non-default port, the port number should be defined like this: port@ YourServerName.

Changes to the server path (in the environment variable or registry key) are read during the next start of the CAXperts product.
Borrowed licences

Licence seats can be borrowed for a period of time from the server and saved to the local machine. Once the seat has been borrowed the CAXperts application can be used without any connection to the FlexNET server.

To borrow a licence seat press the Borrow seat button, define the loan period (up to 7 days) and press OK. When the borrowed seat expires it gets automatically returned back to the FlexNET server.

The seat can be returned earlier by pressing the Return borrowed seat button.

Without a valid licence file the software will run in demo mode.


The ReportAdapter for Microsoft® Excel® is used to extract data out of an existing Excel® file. The resulting Access file can be used with UniversalReporter or ApplicationReporter, to compare data of Excel® sheets with Access tables, e.g. with those extracted with other CAXperts ReportAdapters.

Setting up ReportAdapter for Microsoft® Excel®

Extracting data

Start ReportAdapter for Microsoft® Excel® and select your Excel® file using Browse… button, next to Excel file field:

ReportAdapter for Microsoft® Excel® will always display the Excel® file that was last opened with ReportAdapter for Microsoft® Excel®.

Use Browse… button, next to Access database field, to select the location to create a Microsoft® Access® database file in which the results will be shown.

Settings are stored automatically in the configuration file which is found under Tools → Settings (see Settings).

Start the process by clicking the Extract button, after attributes to be extracted were configured (see Configure attributes).

If the specified Access database already exists, a message box will appear whether to overwrite the existing file or not. In case of overwriting it, a backup of the existing file (.bak) is created first. A possibly existing backup file will be overwritten with the new backup.

Depending on the settings (see Add manual extract info) additional information can be added to extracted data. If the option Add manual extract info is set another window will come up, before extraction, where information like revision number or a description can be added. This information is stored in the output database and can be recalled in UniversalReporter (or ApplicationReporter).

The field Days valid can be used to define a period during which the extracted data are valid. After this period UniversalReporter (or ApplicationReporter) will display a warning whenever the database is opened.

Days valid has to be a positive number (or empty); all other fields are text fields with up to 255 characters.

To modify or add attributes to the resulting Access database see Configure Attributes.

Configure attributes

ReportAdapter for Microsoft® Excel® does not contain a predefined set of attributes, which are extracted by default. After starting the program for the first time, customer has to define and configure by his own, using Tools → Configure attributes. No database specific or programming knowledge is required.

In the appearing Configure attributes window, attributes have to be configured by Excel sheets. The combo box Available Excel sheets contains a list of all available sheets of the selected Excel® file. To add a sheet, with all its attributes, to the Available attributes tree, select the Excel® sheet from the combo box or type the name in the Available Excel sheets field, type the row number of the header (the row which contains the column names of the selected sheet) in the field Header row number and use the Add to available attributes button. The Excel sheet name with all its attributes will appear in the Available attributes tree.

From the Available attributes, user can access all attributes given in the Excel® header row. Names displayed in brackets are the column names in the resulting Access database (see Attribute mapping). The right side (Used attributes) contains the attributes defined for extraction.

Column names in Access are not allowed to include blanks or special characters. This is why these are removed from all attribute names.

Drag the desired attributes from the left side to the right side or check them and use the > button. Drag from right to left or use the < button to remove attributes from the Used attributes list. A maximum of 230 attributes per sheet can be selected as Used attributes. If this number is exceeded the sheet name will get a red font colour.

The Search in available attributes field can be used to find an attribute or its mapped name in the Available attributes tree. If the search field contains a search word, the Available attributes tree displays only attributes which contain the search word. To go back to the complete tree, remove the search word from Search in available attributes field.

To remove a sheet from the Available attributes, select the sheet name from the combo box Available Excel sheets or type the name in the Available Excel sheets field and use the Remove from attributes button. All Used attributes of the respective sheet will be removed as well.

Press OK to finish the configuration. The changes will be applied on the next extraction.

The attribute configuration is saved and will be reloaded whenever the same Excel® file is used.

Attribute mapping

For comparing Excel® data in UniversalReporter with data of other applications, a mapping of attribute names might be necessary. It is possible to define a separate sheet in the Excel® file which contains this mapping information (see Settings). If no mapping is available, the attribute names from Excel® headers are used as column names of the Access tables and all attributes are extracted as text. With mapping, the mapped names are displayed between brackets, in the Configure attributes window. The mapping sheet has to be defined as described in the following example:

The mapping range to be specified in Settings is the range marked in red (in the example: A4:E15). The header of this range will be ignored, important is the sequence of columns only.

The first column has to contain the header name used in the Excel® sheets (written in exactly the same way as in the sheet), the second column is the name to be used as column name in the Access database. The third column is only needed if data from UniversalReporter are to be written back to Excel® (see Manual_UniversalReporter for SmartPlant). In this column, Read only means the value in the Excel® sheet will never be changed, allow insert means that values of existing rows will not be changed, for new rows however the value will be inserted. In general, all Excel® fields are exported as text. If needed, however, a number format can be defined in the fourth column of mapping sheet. Optional data column defines attribute behavior in UniversalReporter (see Manual_UniversalReporter for SmartPlant / Rule data window).

Additional SQL statements

Create additional SQL statements

SQL statements to extend standard output tables with user defined attributes, to combine output table or to perform some other tasks (like creating additional tables, queries) can be defined using Tools → Additional SQL statements. They will be executed automatically after the extraction process has been completed.

The additional SQL statements can be typed in the Additional SQL statements to be processed after extraction field. They have to look like the following examples

SQL1=ALTER TABLE Equipment ADD COLUMN [MyAttribute] VARCHAR(255)

SQL2=UPDATE [Equipment] SET [MyAttribute] = 'Test'

Tables that can be used in the queries are those that will be created during extraction. Additional tables (if needed) have to be copied before extraction to the Template.mdb database which can be found in the application folder.

Use query builder

The included query builder can assist to create the SQL statements. Create a new statement with the Add button and add one of the Available SQL query templates to it. Add query or double-click on a list item will add the query at the cursor position or replace the selected text.

The Available SQL query templates look like:


When the template is used, the %TABLE1% and %COLUMN1% fields will be filled with the table name and column name selected in the %TABLE1% and %COLUMN1% fields.

The %TABLE1% and %COLUMN1% fields are filled from the Access database defined for extraction output, which also includes the tables from Template.mdb. This means, the fields are only filled after the extraction was performed once.

With the Show hidden tables field checked, all tables of the database can be selected to build the query. If it is not checked, only tables that will be displayed in UniversalReporter are available and tables created for internal use are hidden.

Create new SQL query template

User defined SQL query templates can be created. To add a new template, click the Add button and enter the template name.

Fill in the text of SQL statement and the Placeholders for Tables and columns to be used by query textboxes by using the %TABLE1% and %COLUMN1% buttons.

User defined templates can be deleted or modified using the Remove or Edit buttons.

The SQL text boxes support syntax highlighting.


All program settings are stored automatically for each Excel® file in the ReportAdapter configuration file, located by default in the user profile folder. The configuration file can be changed by using menu Tools → Settings.

Load settings from file

To import settings into the current configuration file use menu File → Load settings from file.

The location of the configuration file is not affected, only the content of the file will be overwritten.

Save settings to file

To export the settings from the current configuration file use menu File → Save settings to file.

The location of the configuration file is not affected.

Add manual extract info

Under Tools → Settings General tab, the user can configure whether he wants to enter additional information that will be stored together with the extracted data.

Only if Add manual extract info is checked, additional information can be added before extraction.

If Keep last values is checked, the Information window will be filled with the values last used for the selected plant.


For attribute mapping the name of the mapping sheet and the range with mapping data (see Attribute Mapping) has to be defined on Mapping tab:

Content of result database

When extraction process has finished, resulting database in Microsoft® Access is available in the specified location. The database contains the configured tables and attributes. Some key attributes (e.g. OID) are extracted independent of being configured or not. These are needed for internal use.