Alternate Data Key Method

If you are currently using lookup formulas to map data from one element or type to another, the alternate data key method should greatly simplify that effort. By default Ideate BIMLink will use either the Elemend ID or Type Element ID as the unique identifier against which imported Excel data will be mapped. The alternate data key method allows you to define your own unique ID, making data mapping much easier. Learn more about this method in one of the topics below.

Choose an Alternate Data Key

You can choose your own property or set of properties to use as an alternate data key. The data key property must be unique for it to work well, so consider using other properties that are required to be unique such as:

You could also use a combination of parameters that would likely result in uniqueness such as:

Set an Alternate Data Key

By default a link definition will have the Id column set as the data key. You can confirm which is the data key by seeing which property or set of properties is highlighted in blue as shown below. To change the data key to another property you need to right-click on the property and choose the option to “Set as Data Key”.  In the example below the Type Mark value is set as the data key. When data from Excel is imported, it will map the properties when the Type Mark matches, regardless of the Element Type Id value. This can be particularly useful when mapping type data between two files.

Using the Sample Content

The best way to understand the alternate data key method is to try the sample content. There are several examples that come with the product, most of which are labeled with the “-AK” designator to indicate this method.

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