Applies To:
  • CitectSCADA 1.00, 1.01, 1.10, 1.11, 1.20, 2.00, 2.01

Question: How do I use Excel to edit the configuration databases? 

The Citect configuration databases are in dBase III format. So you can use any database tool or other application that supports this format to edit the Citect databases. These type of tools allow more complex editing of the databases, however using more advanced tools, such as Excel invreases likelihood of database damage. Ensure that the project is backed up regularly.

You must observe the following rules to stop any incompatibility with Citect.

  1. Some of the databases are indexed. If you add new records or edit the index key field the index must be rebuilt. The easiest way to do this is to Pack the database in CtEdit after you have finished editing in Excel. Packing the database will deleted all records marked for deletion as well as re-index all the databases.
  2. Adding records to non pages databases, eg VARIABLES, ALARMS, REPORTS, causes no problems to Citect. You must add records to the page animation records, eg NUMBERS, COLOURS, STRING, BUTTON etc with care. These databases are linked into the background graphic image. When you add a new record, the next time you load the associated page in the graphics builder, CtDraw will find the record and because there will be no associated AN, CtDraw will delete the record. You should only add records to a page database where the AN already exists, if it does not exist when you save the page in CtDraw the record will be deleted. You may stop CtDraw from deleting these records by setting the option, CTDRAW.INI [RSC] CreateAN=1. This option will tell draw to create a new AN at (100,100) for each record if finds. You will then have to move the AN to the correct position. It is OK to edit existing records so long as you don't change the AN number. If you delete a record when you load the page in CtDraw, the animation will be displayed as a AN number only, so will have to delete the AN as well.
  3. When using Excel, you cannot change the width of the fields - all the fields will be truncated to the new size, effectively destroying the entire database. Also if Excel sees only numbers in one field it will try to change the type of the field into the number format. Citect only supports the string format - this will also destroy the entire database.

Because of the above problems Citect does not recommend Excel for editing databases. It is better to use a database tool such as Access, dBase, Clipper or FoxPro.