Data Management Capabilities > Using Excel to Export and Import Data > About Importing Data from Excel > Considerations for Importing All Data
Considerations for Importing All Data
When you import information from Microsoft Excel to Windchill PDMLink, consider the following:
If you are unsure of the format to use for your import spreadsheet, export a spreadsheet that has the required information or review a sample template. For more information and links to sample Excel files, see Best Practices for using Excel to Export and Import Data.
When importing parts and product structures into the system, the import/export framework is used. When the Excel spreadsheet is loaded, the file is converted to multiple XML files where each row in the worksheet is represented by an XML file. Because each row is sequentially loaded in Windchill, this results in some limitations in what changes are allowed, especially for product structure importing.
A preference determines if an empty attribute value remains blank or if the value from the previous iteration is used. The default is to use the value from the previous iteration.  Navigate to Utilities > Preference Management > Create and Edit to view the Empty Values When Importing from Spreadsheet preference.
You can import a spreadsheet with multiple worksheets. You can combine multiple BOM sheets with part sheets and AML/AVL sheets in one spreadsheet.
The order of the worksheets in the workbook is not important. The system first imports part sheets, and then BOM sheets.
The order of columns in the spreadsheet is not fixed.
In Row 1, the first cell contains a string that defines the type of data to be imported:
For parts: ImportSheetType=PART
For a BOM: ImportSheetType=BOM
For an AML/AVL: ImportSheetType=AXL
For replacements: ImportSheetType=REPLACEMENTS
If you want to exclude one or more worksheets from import, leave the first cell of the worksheet empty or change the value for ImportSheetType, for example, set it to ImportSheetType=NONE. A worksheet that does not list the correct value (PART, BOM, AXL, or REPLACEMENTS) will be excluded on import. This is a good technique for troubleshooting a spreadsheet if it has more than one worksheet.
Rows 2 through 5 of each worksheet are reserved for comments. If you previously exported the spreadsheet from Windchill PDMLink, row 5 may contain the display names for the attributes included in the spreadsheet. The display names of attributes are shown only if they have been previously defined in Windchill.
Row 6 contains column headers. For attributes, Row 6 will contain the logical ID for the attribute which may be a system generated name. For example, for the display name “color,” the logical ID may be xje256.
Rows after Row 6 contain the data to be imported.
You can create parts in the product from which the import action is launched. You cannot create parts in any other products. You can, however, update parts in other products.
The Import from Spreadsheet action is not available for custom parts.
For additional considerations for different types of data, see:
Considerations for Importing Parts
Considerations for Importing Product Structures or BOMs
Considerations for Importing Replacements
Considerations for Importing AML/AVL Entries