How to prepare a Primavera Schedule for Exporting to TILOS Time Location System

Following a description of the most basic preparations on a Primavera Schedule, when you intend to transfer this Schedule to TILOS and display it in a Time-Location-Diagram:

Promavera To TILOS

A. Additional Data Fields

Some additional information for the activities has to be edited in the Primavera project:

  1. Location information
    Each activity needs to have a Start Location and End Location value. Those are needed to display the activity along the location axis and this is displaying the working direction too.
    Preparation: Create User Defined Fields (Text) named StartLocation and EndLocation and insert the corresponding values.
  2. Display information (Colors and shapes)
    In the Time-Location diagram a task cannot only be displayed in one fixed way: They can have different shapes (e.g. lines, rectangles, parallelograms), linestyles and color. Those graphical characteristics are in TILOS controlled by the object “template”.
    Preparation: Create a User Defined Field (Text) named TilosTemplate and insert for each activity a value (e.g.”pipe laying” or “concrete work”): All activities that should look the same in TILOS get the same value.

B. Activity Filter

Preparation: Create a Filter that selects all the activities that you want to transfer. You may create another User Defined Field (Text) named TilosExport and set a value when the Activity should be exported.

Think about Structures, Summaries and Granularity:
Is the Time-Location diagram showing all details or is there a different Granularity? E.G. Some Buildings/construction elements can be displayed by the Summary activity only. In this case Summary/WBS activities or level of effort activities has to be created.

Define the task granularityDownload this description as a PDF



How to import activities to TILOS from a simple Primavera Excel-Output

Primavera P6 allows to put activity data in an Excel Spreadsheet. This small guide is showing how to set up the TILOS Excel import profile in order to create a TILOS chart fast and easy.

1. Preparation

a. Location information:
In Primavera create the activity user defined fields “FromLocation” and “ToLocation”. For each activity in question fill the location values. (e.g.12’580).

b. Template information (Display of the TILOS tasks)
One activity field is necessary to contain the TILOS task template information in order control the display of the task in TILOS.  You may use codings that are containing all names of the TILOS task template. (e.g Code “Welding”, that points to the task template “Welding” in TILOS.)

c. activity selection (Filter)
In most cases not all activities shall be transported. Please use a filter to select the activities to export.

d. Export to Excel file
For Primavera output use the predefined P6 activity fields and add the user defined fields for template code and FromLocation and ToLocation.
The Output file looks similar to that sample: On the page “TASK” you find some columns containing you activity data. The table has two headlines.
(You may also export the Links in the Excel file. In this case for links there will be a page “TASKPRED”.)

Primavera Excel Export

e. Prepare the TILOS file
Adjust the Time-Distance-Diagram to show the time and distance range fitting to the activity data.
Approve, that all activity templates are existing and the display is set up correctly

 2. Importing into TILOS

  • In  TILOS choose “File -> Import” to call the Import Wizard.
  • Import Wizard Step one (Import format): Choose “Microsoft Excel (XLS)” (Note: You have to licene that module)
  • Import Wizard Step two (Data source): Select the xls file that cotains the data.
  • Import Wizard Step three: (Select profile): Select the template profile “Primavera Import Sample WBS as Task field”.
    Once you have to change the profile to match your spreadsheet. Later you may reuse it.

Here are some important hints:
The Format m/d/yyyy h:nn:ss AM/PM describes the Standard US date formatting Primavera uses for the dates.You may adjust that to your local settings.
TILOS Import: Formatting

Number 3: Edit the activity field list used in the spreadsheet. The fields and the number of the columns in the spreadshee has to match:

TILOS Import, Fieldlist

  • Import Wizard Step four (Sub-Project selection):  Choose the subproject the data should be inserted in.

During the import the Wizard is doing.

  • Creating each line as a task with the desired field values
  • Assigning the Template (Display) for each task
  • Checking the Task-Id: if this task is already existing there will be no new task created. Only the values will be updated on the existing task



Data Exchange from CPM (Gantt-Chart) to Linear Schedule (TILOS)

TILOS is being used on many huge projects in combination with CPM based project management systems, in most cases Microsoft Project and Oracle Primavera. The initial demand from new users having planned without linear scheduling concepts in the past is: To convert the project into a linear schedule, display a time-distance-diagram (also named time location diagram).

As the projects data are rich, calendars, tasks, relationships, costs data and actuals, we recommend to use the xml based data exchange. It can exchange in both directions and opens the gate for parallel planning in different systems.

Supposing you are familiar with the program workflow how to data exchange, we concentrate here on specific options to optimize the exchange and the results:

For each of the discussed special cases, there is a sample template profile available along with the standard setup of TILOS. You can open the profiles with the profile editor.

How to set up the basic profile settings?

All profiles require:

This sample: Application 1 and Application 2 defines the programs that shout exchange data. The Checks on Calendars, tasks and Links define that these objects are transported from MS Project to TILOS.

How to get distance data into CPM schedule?

It is important to have attributes in the CPM System, that contain the placement of the tasks according to distance axis. As there is no dedicated data field for that, it need to be done based on user defined fields in the application.
In order to avoid conflicts with formats, we recommend to use a text field. This allows also to use special format like 400+00 or imperial formats like 4m 50y.
In the profile -> task Object the following settings are required and already set by default. If you use other fields, please change the Fieldname on the CPM Side (in this case: Text13 Text14 from MS Project)

During import TILOS interprets the string based on the current default display sets for the distance unit. If this is not the same as set in the CPM system, you need to change the unit before import to TILOS or set the import unit in the import parameters to a different one. Press the Button Edit right of Application 1 (TILOS) field and set up the Distance unit to apply.

How to convert sector based data into TILOS Station values?

Having no distance values in the CPM system, but sector names assigned to the schedule it is also possible to generate a location in TILOS:
In TILOS a sector table is required to match Sector name (from CPM) with coordinates.

In the CPM system you need a code assignment or text field with sector name as value (Sample: Text15). In the profile match this field with the sector name assigned in TILOS.

During import, TILOS will assign the task to the belonging sector, and displays this in tab coordinates. However, coordinates cannot be changed for that task until the sector assignment is released from the task.

How to get different colors and shapes in TILOS?

Each TILOS task refers to a task template defining color and line style. In General CPM a code library assignment or a text field contains the work type or other categories. This can be matched with TILOS templates and beginning from the first import there is a ready to display result in TILOS.

There are 2 possibilities:

How to map task template name with external data?

Use the task template name, if you have coded in the CPM system a single text field for the work type.

Using Primavera, you might link a code library. The sample matched the description of the code assignment with the TILOS field Task Template.

How to map task template ID with external data?

The TILOS template library is a structure and has UID created based on the structure level. This is the same logic Primavera uses.

In exchange profile, the template can also be transferred using the path of the code assignment to match with TILOS template.

How to transfer sub sets of data?

Considering, that the CPM schedule is huge with multi thousand tasks, it will overflow the time distance chart. We recommend to reduce the exchange data to a reasonable level, that should be displayed in TILOS.

MS-Project and ASTA Powerproject exchange the data based on VBA macros. Here only those tasks get exported, that are visible on screen in the current view applied. This means: Collapsed tasks get not exported. This enables to export only upper level activities and not the details. Similar things can be done with filter views.
Primavera exchanges the data in the Primavera API interface. Here you are able to set filters on those tasks that should be exchanged. We recommend to make a user defined field: ExportToTILOS, populate this in P6 with global change and use this field as export filter.
While MS Project allows on summary tasks, Primavera has more options: You may create task of type Level of effort and control they duration by incoming links from other tasks and export only those to TILOS. A further way is to define WBS summary tasks.

How to export code library assignments?

Additional structures can be transferred by using the TILOS categories.

This 3 types (categories, category entries, category assignments) checked also transfers the complete libraries to TILOS. See sample profile regarding setup.
In the API program filter for categories that should be exported. In that way you avoid to create big, needless data sets in TILOS.

How to export WBS code from Primavera to TILOS?

Version 8 has built in WBS code structure, so the transfer is fairly easy. In Version 7, the WBS structure is matched into a TILOS category. (Edit button right of Application 2 Primavera)

Export WBS as category: Checked option exports only WBS no code, if you want to transfer just the WBS as category library and no codes. Enter in WBS Category name the name of category library you want to assign in TILOS.
To exchange the category assignments itself, you need to exchange the category assignments also.

Primavera adds ProjectID ahead of WBS. There is option to add this during import and to remove during export.

How to exchange cost and resource data?

To exchange also cost and resource data, further options need to be applied.

There are further sample profiles with this options checked. The API program exports only those resourses, that are used on the projects.
The resource and cost assignments get simplified. Only total quantity and total cost get exchanged.

How to exchange progress information ?

To exchange progress further options need to be applied. Select in the profile editor the task attribute: Progress%.

Note, the progress can only bet transferred to tasks, that have progress model: Simple % (As CPM only reports simple %). In any other case this field gets calculated by TILOS and can’t be imported.

How to set the TASKID from CPM system in the TILOS tasks?

Each system has its own model to handle unique task ID’ s. Besides that, TILOS also has a field called GUID, that allows tasks to keep its TILOS ID and maintain the exchange ID in a further field. The GUID was invented to have a global unique ID for tasks that are exchanged between different applications, especially if multiple applications share the data exchange.

Settings for data exchange to use application ID as ID:

Application Parameter Setting
TILOS Taskidentifier TaskID
Primavera Use Global UID
as Task Identifier
ASTA Generate task ID by Unique TaskID
MS Project Always a GUID is created.


Settings for data exchange to use application GUID as ID

Application Parameter Setting
TILOS Taskidentifier GUID
Primavera Use Global UID
as Task Identifier
ASTA Generate task ID by Generate on
MS Project Always a GUID is created.

Any other combination we do not recommend.