Importing Data from an External File

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Data for a geometry object or certain non-geometry objects (such as materials) can be imported from a variety of external file types. This data is not stored within the SVDESIGNER project; a file link is stored instead. File links are always stored as a relative file link where possible, so it is recommended that the user stores the external file in the same folder as the conceptual model, or in a subdirectory.


When geometry data is stored in an external file, it will be loaded into memory when first referenced. If the external file changes, a menu option can be used to re-load it; the process is not done automatically.




The selection of the external file is done when the geometry object is created. To select a different file, create a replacement geometry object.


Determining Geometry Data Types


Importing data can be done in one of two ways: based on file type or by pre-selecting the geometry object's data type.


Some file types intrinsically know their own geometry object types; examples include ESRI Grid format, DXF format, and the SVOffice numerical model format. Importing files based on their file type will automatically create all required geometry objects based on the file's contents. If a file contains multiple objects, a folder will be created to hold the individual objects; otherwise, a single object of the correct type will be created.


Other files types do not contain object type information; a generic text file is an important example of this. Therefore, the user pre-selects the type of object they want created from the data contained in the file. SVDESIGNER will then attempt to create that object type.




After viewing the data, it may become clear to the user that the wrong data type was chosen. If this is so, the new object may be deleted and the file re-imported. There is also a menu command available to convert the data type to another format.


Modifying Geometry from an External File


To modify data imported from a file, it must first be converted by the user. This is a manual step, and will replace the file link with a full copy of the file's current contents. Once conversion is complete, the original file is no longer referenced, and the data will be stored within the conceptual model.