Using Excel as a Reporting Tool in SOLIDWORKS PDM

SOLIDWORKS PDM AdminSome SOLIDWORKS PDM administrators want to gain more use of their data. Installing and using Reporting in SQL Server can be very powerful, but it requires a foundation of knowledge in setting up reports, permissions, and additional installations that some companies are not willing to give a PDM administrator.

SOLIDWORKS PDM can also generate reports using the Report Generator, but it can only deliver the results in table format. Reporting in Excel can be more flexible and allow you to analyze the data with formulas and graphs without the need for installing and setting up the SQL Server Reporting Services. There are a few ways to import SQL data into Excel, but this is one way it can be done.

For this example, we will run a query to show what vault transitions are more frequently utilized. This example query is borrowed from SOLIDWORKS Solution S-070156.

First, you must create a data source file. To do this, navigate tot he Data ribbon and select From Other Sources > From Microsoft Query in the Get External Data section.

Select New Data Source and select OK to continue.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Admin data source

Next, select either SQL Server or SQL Server Native Client 11.0.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Admin data

Enter the server name, login ID, and password. Select Options >> to choose your vault database. Once complete, select OK.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Admin server login

Select Cancel on the Query Wizard since it does not have enough power to create the query we need for this example. It will ask if you say Yes to the prompt asking if you want to continue editing in Microsoft Query. Select Close on the additional Add Tables pop-up that will come up. Click the SQL button in the top of the tool.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Admin

Enter the following query in the pop-up window:

select T.Name + ' (' + W.Name + ')' as [Transition(Workflow Name)], Count(1) as [Count] from TransitionHistory TH

inner join Transitions T on TH.TransitionID = T.TransitionID

inner join workflows W on W.WorkflowID = T.WorkflowID

where W.WorkflowID > 1

group by W.Name, T.Name

order by 2 Desc

Select OK to submit the SQL statement. It will warn you that it can’t be represented graphically and will show the results of the query in a table. Select the Save button to save the file. This will be a reference for your Excel document so it must be kept with it. Finally, select Return Data to insert the data into Excel.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Admin

It will ask you what cell you would like to import the data at and if you would like it in Table, PivotTable Report, or Pivot Chart format. For this dataset, it makes sense just to use the Table format.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Admin Import Data

The result will be a table showing the most used states and how often they are used.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Admin

To ensure the data is refreshed every time the file is opened, click on a cell in the table and select Properties from the Connections section of the Data ribbon.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Admin

Then, select the Connection Properties button.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Admin External Data Properties

Finally, you can select the option to Refresh data when opening the file to make sure users are always viewing the most up-to-date information.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Admin Connection Properties

Now you can utilize your data in graphs, charts, and other calculations without needing access or knowledge about Reporting Services.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Admin Graph

I hope you found this SOLIDWORKS PDM tip helpful. For more useful tips check out the related articles below.

Screenshots courtesy of Microsoft Office 2016.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Administrator

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About the Author

Lindsay EarlyLindsay Early is an Application Engineer Consultant and has been with Fisher Unitech for seven years. Lindsay is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert and Elite Application Engineer having earned over 14 SOLIDWORKS Certifications including Mechanical Design, Simulation, and Data Mangement.