Work Item Import/Export BIC Format Options - EnterWorks_Process_Exchange_(EPX) - 10.5

EnterWorks Process Exchange (EPX)

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Precisely EnterWorks > EnterWorks Process Exchange (EPX)
Precisely EnterWorks
Precisely EnterWorks > EnterWorks
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Precisely EnterWorks
EnterWorks Process Exchange (EPX)
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The Work Item Import and Export BIC offers great flexibility in configuring information for import to or export from a process flow. EPX allows you to use three formats -- Delimited, Fixed, and XML -- to organize information to be imported or exported. Each format has features and functions that can shape your decisions to use them in building a process flow.


The delimited format allows you to select a pre-defined delimiter (comma, tab, semicolon, space, or other delimiter) to import into or export from EPX. If Other is selected as the delimiter, you must specify your own delimiter. All delimiters are found between the values being imported into a process flow or are placed between the work item properties in the export file to differentiate them from one another. You can also use double quotes around each imported value or exported work item property value in the event that one or more of the values contains the selected delimiter.


You must also specify the document style when importing using the delimited format. This helps the BIC during the import process to determine how to parse a particular file for import. There are six different document styles supported:

  • Table with keys
  • Table without keys
  • Array of values
  • Key-Values, one line
  • Key-Values, many lines
  • Values only, many lines

You can specify the name (key) of the work item property that is created for each value in the import file, as well as the file keys that exist in the import file, depending on the document style selected. If no selections are provided in the Import Items region, all values found in the import file will be read and the corresponding work item property values created or updated. In this case, the import file keys will be used as the names (keys) of the work item properties.


The layout of the export file contains either one, two, or several lines, depending on the delimiter specified and whether the option to include keys in the export is selected. If you select this option, the first line contains the export file keys (or all of the work item property keys if these are not specified). The second line contains the hash table values specified (or all of the work item property values if these are not specified). Each key or value is separated using the specified delimiter. If the option to include keys in the export is not selected, the first line contains the specified values (or all of the work item property values if these are not specified). An option to include system properties can also be selected, this will include the system properties in the export file.


Specifying XML as the import or export format option allows you to process and possibly transform work item properties using industry standard XML and XSL notation. The Work Item Import and Export BIC reads XML files and converts the elements in the XML file into the dot "." notation that EPX uses for work item properties. Exporting work item properties into an XML file provides the reverse effect, work item properties using the dot notation is translated into the XML hierarchical representation. XSL and XPath can also be used to transform or search the XML file prior to it being processed by EPX. The syntax, notation, and functionalities of XML, XPath, and XSL are maintained by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). For more information on these, visit


When importing XML files into EPX, you have the option to use XPath, this allows you to search for a pattern in the XML file and import only a subset of the XML document based on the resulting match. Work Item Import/Export BIC

Work Item Import/Export BIC Format Options 3.

Below is an example of an XML import configuration at the Properties tab, using XPath to import the specific subset "BIO" of the sample XML document provided.

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE WorkItem [
<!ATTLIST WorkItem processVersion CDATA #REQUIRED>
<WorkItem processVersion="3.1">
<SALARY>above average</SALARY>

An XSL file can be used to transform exported data from the default XML export format generated by EPX into another XML, HTML, or Text format. XML files can contain nested elements, as do work item properties in EPX. Using the same dot "." notation that EPX uses for work item properties, you can force a nested XML structure in the exported XML. If no selections are provided in the Export Items text boxes, all work item property values are written to the export file with the work item property keys used as the XML tags. The nesting of work item properties is maintained as a nested XML structure for this case.

The default XML export format generated by EPX is wholly dependent on the content of the work item properties that exist at the activity. The default export format is dynamic in nature. By default, the export work item property keys have "WorkItem" as the root element. This root element tag name can be overridden by setting the Root element name in the BIC editor. A Document Type Definition (DTD) for the generated XML file can optionally be generated together with the XML file and can either be included internally with the XML file or saved as an external DTD file.


Fixed format file export and import requires you to understand the structure of the information being manipulated extremely well. EPX does not have the ability to parse files to determine the data structure. You must know the column and line locations of keys and data to either export or import information from EPX.


You can specify that an import file be parsed from specific line and column locations. You can import a fixed format file as a data table, where the line numbers for key value pairs would all be the same and the column positions would be different. If this option is not selected, the BIC will process the import file as if it were a semi-unstructured document (like an email message) where the line numbers and column positions of different import values would be different. For the data table format, you have the option to ignore the first line of the import file if that line contains key names that you do not want to import.

The Work Item Key cell allows you to specify the name of the work item property to create or replace. The Start Line and Start Column allow you to specify where in the file to begin reading for a specific import value in the import file. The End Line and End Column allow you to specify where to stop reading for a specific import value in the import file.


You have the option to specify that export file keys be included in the export file. If this option is selected, then the keys will be placed in the same starting column positions that are specified in the Export Items region of the tab.

The Export Items region for fixed format output must be provided. There is no way for EPX to determine how to write fixed format output for the participant for many reasons. The starting column must be specified for each file key specified.