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

 

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Video: How to transfer a Construction Project from Primavera to Tilos? – 20min Tutorial

This video tutorial shows how to transfer an existing project schedule created in Primavera P6 to a Time Location Diagram in TILOS. The TILOS Exchange Software is used. 20min to invest for a better understanding of the concept and the how to do.

Direct Link to the video: http://youtu.be/AWLbNw2KuMA

 

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New module for TILOS 8: TILOS ProgressMap

View to the earth: TILOS ProgressMap can show your project and schedule on the globe using GIS programs like Google Earth® or ESRI©

The geometry (path, place marks or polygons) can be connected with the schedule data from TILOS. For each path point a distance value is generated that becomes the connector to the TILOS distance coordinates.

ProgressMapViewExample: The thick lines displaying work areas of selected crews in week 24-28 April 2013. The orange lines aside are displaying the baselines (Where the crews should have worked according to the initial plan)

The yellow symbol displays that the river drill is progressed by 75 %.

Message: It is not needed to create complex BIM data models to make a simulation of the project execution and to see what is built at each location on the map.

Adding geometry: Geometric data can be imported from KML/KMZ files, which is a standardized format. In addition Spreadsheet tables can also be used to import the geometry with the GPS data.

Adding the schedule: Schedule data is imported from the currently opened project in TILOS. During the import, the data is sliced by time to calculate the work planned for each period.

Adding configuration: Simple filter and grouping functions are used to transform the schedule to “moving lines” or to “changing symbols” based on the progress state of the associated activities.

Progress table: The progress table displays the progress situation for each type of work.

ProgressMapSituationEach color corresponds with the % complete of the total cut or fill. The map provides the same overview on each area.

ProgressMapReportClicking on an area, all tasks connected with that area become visible.

 

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What is New in TILOS 8: In details

wint8

Increased Speed – More Capacity – Greater Flexibility

TILOS 8 was developed with a new kernel providing the technology for rapid future developments in the coming years.

We have also made many evolutionary little feature enhancements that are not specifically mentioned, but makes working in TILOS 8 a lot easier and comfortable.

Usability

Zooming: The zoom of a view can be directly modified by pressing the control button and using the mouse wheel.

Scrolling: The horizontal scroll position can be changed by pressing the shift button and using the mouse wheel.

Auto scrolling: When creating links or sizing tasks and moving the mouse towards the border of the working windows, the view starts scrolling to make further objects visible.

Multiple instances: TILOS can be started multiple times with different projects. Using drag and drop with the mouse allows data to be copied directly from one project to another. (see: Drag & Drop below)

 

Architecture

Speed enhancements: TILOS 8 uses multiple processors/threads to execute the code in parallel. For example: While reschedule runs, you may be edit objects.
Loading projects is up to 20 times quicker, reschedule up to 50 times – as well as importing and exporting data.
Loading grouped and sorted Gantt charts shows up to 100 times quicker.

Tables and Lists: The tables (grids) and the list boxes have been re-engineered to work much faster than before in terms of loading, scrolling and sorting. Each column can be used for sorting by clicking on the column header.grid
Any column can be locked and only the columns to the right of this are scrolled. This can be done by right-clicking on the column heading and locking the columns to the left.
The whole list can be copied to the Windows clipboard – by right-clicking on any column header.

Multi-edit: Multiple rows (max 500) can be selected and any edits on the Properties Tabs will multi-edit the same data item on all selected items.
Tree structures (task templates) can be moved by drag and drop to change the parent items. In simple lists items can be copied by dragging them.

Drag & Drop: If two or more TILOS projects are opened at the same time, data can be copied between the two TILOS instances. This works based on the tables (grids), not in the time distance view.drag
All library items as well as activities can be moved/copied in that way. Missing library items in the destination file are automatically created, if they do not exist in the destination file. For simple items (“other” library objects and graphic)., the “already-exists”-check is done by the name  Other items, like task templates, resources or calendars are identified by their ID.
If tasks are copied between sub projects, all new items are created with a new TASK ID.
If a whole sub project is dragged between TILOS instances the behavior is different: If a sub project with the same ID is existing in the destination file, then its tasks will be replaced completely by the sub project that is copied.  In this case, tasks in the destination project keep their old Task ID from the source file.
This function allows to merge different sub projects into one destination file.

 

Explorer view

The explorer has now three main folders to simplify the navigation:

Views: In the VIEWS-folder all views are grouped by view type. The result is a better exploreoverview as all data views are grouped in one place. (The task and link list  of version 7 have been moved from sub project context to an own view type in view folder).
Views can be sorted and grouped by type or user defined values.
A few new list views have been defined such as the Micro Progress View, that displays all the micro progress records of a project.

Project data: All project specific data is stored in this folder. In earlier versions of TILOS those have been partly located in library folder. Now there is a good separation between project specific data and general library data.

Library: This contains base data not necessarily linked to one specific  project –  such as task templates, resource and cost library.

Time distance view

Cell wizard: The new cell wizard supports all types of cell content to embed existing cell contents or to create new cell contents in order to view them in a cell. Cell and View setup is more easy and intuitive now.

Multi sub projects: Up to TILOS 7 one time-distance cell could display only 1 sub project. In TILOS 8 now multiple sub projects can be added to be displayed the same time-distance cell. Planning and viewing of data is now more flexible:

  • Different scenarios can be overlaid in order to compare them.
  • Parts of the project can be planned in separate TILOS files from different persons, merged and then overlaid to highlight the interaction between the different planning states.

Gantt Chart Output

Grouping and sorting: The grouping and sorting options for the Gantt chart view have been enhanced and is much faster in TILOS 8. Different views can be created and saved for later use.

Print to multiple pages: Large projects can be printed to multiple pages by enveloping them to a definable border view around each page of the output.

Hide bars panel: This options allows us to only print the Gantt chart text panel without the gantt bars, For example as a project summary report list with progress and earned value data.

Enhanced Controlling features

Baseline: In TILOS 7 baselines were created at the sub project level and each baseline baselinehad its own report date. This has been unified in TILOS 8 and the baselines are now global for the whole project.
Newly introduced tasks can be added to existing baselines as an update. Different baselines can be merged to one baseline after conversion from Version 7.
This allows more powerful reports and progress analysis in time distance diagrams where different sub projects are merged in one view.

histoHistograms: Histograms can display baseline data in TILOS 8 in order to compare them with the original planned values.
The main advantage is to analyze the planned and achieved productivity during execution phase.
Cumulative curves have a new option to draw the lines and show the data only up to the report date.

Dashboard: The dashboard showing performance and earned value data from different crews can now be embedded into a cell of the time distance view.
dashboard

Mass Haulage

 

Overview: This is a completely new functionality added to TILOS 8 and is designed for heavy civil works. It supports a multistep planning of mass transportations. After importing the quantities and the areas, the haulage itself and the sequencing can be planned more easily and smart.

Mass Diagram: The mass haulage diagram displays all quantities (mass areas) along the distance axis referring to a soil type table.
The diagram displays the main cut and fill areas, borrow pits, dump sites and stockpiles.

mass diagram Histograms: Based on the mass areas, diagrams can be defined using TILOS standard functionality:

Cumulative quantity curves showing total cut and fill values and balanced curves preparing the haulage are available. The shortest transports are between the zero line of the balance curve indicating equal cut and fill situation.

mass histogramHaulage planning: Planning the haulage is interactively done by drawing connectors between the mass areas. On the fly the transport distance and the cut / fill state of each area is analyzed and displayed.

haulage planningScheduling: By a wizard you may create from the haulage lines the cut and fill tasks in the time distance diagram. After adding the links, the reschedule process can be activated to calculate the required time for the mass haulage and also the time based usage of the equipment in the diagrams.

haulage schedulingControlling: The Mass haulage controlling uses the standard reporting function of TILOS. Different progress methods can be used: Direct progress entry or micro progress can be imported. Evaluation is also using the standard functionality of TILOS.

haulage controlling

Data Exchange

General enhancements: The XML profile editor has been integrated into TILOS and it is located in the Tools menu option.
When creating a data file, the XML profile information can be embedded  in that data file. This simplifies the import by using the embedded profile.
Additional to transfer data by creating a data file, the data exchange in TILOS 8 can directly connect TILOS to the Exchange macros via a TCP-IP based connection.

MS Project: Support for MS Project 2013 has been added.

Primavera: Support for WBS structure that can be exchanged with TILOS directly.

iTWO: A new module has been developed to exchange data with the RIB iTWO software.

It can import the activitiy model with assigned resource and cost from RIB iTWO. In the reverse way, the TILOS activity model can be exported to iTWO.
This allows creating the schedule in TILOS and export to iTWO to make the connection with the estimate. The resource loaded schedule can be passed back to TILOS updating the existing activities.

Other enhancements

wbsWBS Structure: In addition to category structures, a WBS structure can be created and   applied to the tasks. This can be used for grouping the data in the Gantt chart based on the WBS code.

 

 

duration displayDuration display: For each calendar a base time unit can be defined to show working days in relation to the working time defined in that specific calendar. (e.g. 8h days, 10h days depending on the defined working time).

 

Distance profiles: More text and user definable data fields have been added.

linestylesLine styles: Viewing task progress in TILOS 7, the progress line styles have been overlaid with the line style of the task. In TILOS 8 this can be placed behind the task.

customizecolors

 

Using the enhanced display mode (Customize colors for progress) for each task, a task individual definition for color and line style can be made for: planned, performed and baseline state of a task.

 

 

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TILOS Version 8 contains Google Earth Integration

Linear project GmbH releases the ‘beta’ version of its linear scheduling software TILOS 8. It is a major step in the development of the software providing the foundation for a wider usage of TILOS in the future: It can handle much bigger projects and works faster. It allows merging of data from different planning phases or partners using the simple drag & drop function to consolidate sub-projects into one central file. The improved planning features of TILOS enable its usage as an analysis and visualization tool for those who still plan with Primavera or Microsoft Project Gantt Charts.

One of the most interesting aspects of TILOS 8 is the new Google Earth add-on component. Just some clicks are required to visualize your project on the globe.

The steps are:

  1. Import the paths and placemarks from Google Earth or a spreadsheet
  2. Load the schedule from TILOS
  3. Set the filters and the display criteria of what you would like to view.

The image above is showing the situation on Feb 09, 2013. The autoplay function simulates the ongoing construction process in user defined steps. The Screen is updatedevery ten seconds to show the new status on the next step. Linear tasks are displayed as lines in different colors while those being executed in one place (buildings) are displayed as symbols. The animated map provides a rough roadmap of the execution of the project for all parties.

To get more information, watch the video on how to make a Google earth visualisation:
This video ist hosted by youtube. please change to the best resolution availlable in the bottom settings bar.

If you would like to test the new TILOS Version 8 with Google Earth Integration, you may sign-up and register for our global test program. Be one of the first to try the new functions with TILOS8. Send an email to BetaTest@TILOS.org.

We intend to release the international version of TILOS 8 (English) at the end of January 2013.

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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

 

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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
No
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
Yes
ASTA Generate task ID by Generate on
Export
MS Project Always a GUID is created.

Any other combination we do not recommend.

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