More Powerful Import Tools for CxAlloy TQ

In our February 2020 release of CxAlloy TQ we made four key additions to the import capabilities of CxAlloy TQ. You can now:

  • Import issue and equipment status.
  • Import issue assignment and asset.
  • Import multiple systems for equipment and multiple zones for spaces.
  • Import areas served for equipment.

Status Importing

When importing equipment or issues you can now import status. Statuses have some unique considerations, including restricted and locked statuses, which we have been careful to address.

The import will automatically handle restricted statuses to prevent a user from setting statuses they are not authorized to set. For example, if you are trying to import issues with the status “Closed” and you don’t have permission to set the “Closed” status, the import will prompt you to select a different status to use in place of “Closed”.

Similarly, when updating existing issues or equipment you may not be authorized to change the status of certain items at all (see the status locking blog post for more). The import will automatically ignore status changes on those items and will notify you in the results page if any status changes were ignored.

Unlike some other fields, it is not possible to create new statuses through an import.

“Multi-Field” Fields – Asset and Assigned To

Issues in CxAlloy TQ have the fields “Asset” and “Assigned To” which can reference one of several types of items. This is different from most fields. For example, an issue’s asset could be a space, zone, floor, building, system, equipment type, or piece of equipment. Previously you couldn’t import into these “multi-field” fields, but now you can.

Unlike other fields, it is not possible to create new values during the import for these “multi-field” fields. For example, you cannot create new people, companies, or roles for the “Assigned To” field when importing issues. You must either select one of the existing options or leave it blank.

Multiple Value Fields – System and Zone

Previously it was impossible to specify multiple systems for a piece of equipment or multiple zones for a space. Now, it is possible to import multiple systems for equipment and multiple zones for spaces.

To do so, you separate your systems or zones by a custom delimiter: a space, a pipe, then a space ( | ). For example, to have a single piece of equipment belong to both the “HVAC” and “Chilled Water Loop” systems you would put “HVAC | Chilled Water Loop” as the system value in your spreadsheet.

CxAlloy TQ uses the same delimiter when exporting, so you can round-trip (export then import) equipment or spaces and all the systems or zones will be maintained.

As part of this feature we have changed how importing systems and zones into existing items works. Previously whatever system or zone you supplied would get added as an additional system or zone for the item. Now, the set of systems or zones (even if only one) in your spreadsheet replaces any existing systems or zones for that item.

Putting It Together: Area Served

I’m really happy that we can now offer the ability to import “Area Served” values for equipment. Area Served was challenging because it is both “multi-field” (it can be a space, floor, zone, or building) and multi-value, as one equipment can serve many areas.

With the additions we have made it is now possible to import Area Served. To specify multiple values, separate them by the space-pipe-space ( | ) delimiter. The import will automatically match the values against existing spaces, floors, zones, and buildings and suggest the closest match it can find. Please keep in mind that just like our other “multi-field” fields, you can only select from existing values for Area Served, and like our other multiple value fields, whatever you specify for Area Served will fully replace any existing served areas.

Whew! That’s a lot. We hope you like the improvements we’ve made. Please let us know any questions you have at support@cxalloy.com and give us suggestions for future improvements at feedback.cxalloy.com.

More Flexible Reports in CxAlloy TQ

As part of our February 2020 release we greatly expanded the filtering options in the report generator. Each section (issues, checklists, tests, etc.) now includes all or most of the same filters as that section’s list view. Even better, you can select multiple options for each of these filters, just like you can on the list page.

A full list of the filtering options for each section is included at the end of this post. Note that the Building filter is available for any section where it makes sense – one of the common requests we get is to better enable building-level reporting. The addition of these filters should make it easier than ever to report on a building-by-building basis.

Besides building reporting it’s also easier to do system-level reporting. The “System” filter for equipment along with the “Asset” filter for issues, checklists, and tests enables you to build a report specific to one or several systems on the project.

Table of Contents for a report broken down by system

Keep in mind that the same section can be added multiple times, with different filter options each time. In this way you could have a single report that was divided between systems, buildings, or other criteria. As an example, I could create a report that includes all issues, checklists, tests, and equipment for a system with a custom title page in front of it, then repeat that for each system.

Report configuration showing per-system filtering

With the addition of multiple report configurations this is really powerful.

Available Filters

Issues

  • Status
  • Priority
  • Source
  • Discipline
  • Location
  • Asset
  • Area Served

Tests

  • Status
  • Attempts
  • Discipline
  • Location
  • Asset
  • Area Served

Tasks

  • Status
  • Source

Equipment

  • Status
  • Discipline
  • Equipment Type
  • System
  • Location
  • Area Served

Reviews

  • Review Type
  • Review Remark

Equipment Types

  • Discipline

Spaces

  • Building

Zones

  • Building

Checklists

  • Status
  • Discipline
  • Checklist Type
  • Location
  • Asset
  • Area Served

Field Observations

  • Field Observation Type

Systems

  • Discipline
  • Building

Floors

  • Building

Batch Create Checklists and Tests in the Field

We are pleased to announce the latest release of the iOS app with a major new feature: batch creation of checklists and tests! This release also adds next/previous buttons for navigating between items in a list and a healthy dose of bug fixes.

Batch Create Checklists and Tests

In upgraded projects, tapping the “+” button above the checklist or test list will present a new batch create window. Just like the web, you’ll be able to select one or more assets, one or more templates, and then set options such as type and assignment before tapping “Create” to create the checklists or tests.

Easily create checklists and tests in the field with the new batch create

Batch creation is only available within upgraded projects, and only project templates are available currently. A future update will add account templates.

After you’ve created checklists or tests, why not try the recently added batch answer feature to efficiently answer them?

Next/Previous Buttons

You can now quickly step through your lists using our handy previous and next buttons. These are especially useful in the app’s full-screen mode.

New next and previous buttons allow navigation even when the list is hidden

Bug Fixes

This release also includes many bug fixes.

  • Fixed crashes that would sometimes occur when deleting items from a list.
  • Removed hard-coded stand-in numbers on the equipment list view.
  • Changing the sync interval no longer disables automatic syncing.
  • Window titles in App Exposé now properly reflect the window’s contents.
  • Using the app with Airplay Mirroring now responds properly.
  • Equipment list now properly sorts by status in the asset picker.
  • Fixed situation where some lists wouldn’t update their totals after deleting or adding new items.
  • Asset type switcher in the asset picker now scrolls smoothly.
  • Markups added to images using the iOS Markup are no longer removed when the image is added to the app.

We hope you enjoy these updates! As always, let us know how we can help you at support@cxalloy.com and let us know what other features we should be adding at feedback.cxalloy.com.

Webinar Series

We recently held the first of our new webinar series, Bringing Transparency and Effectiveness to the Whole Project Team. You can watch on demand right now at CxAlloy.com/media/20200211.

Join us for future webinars. Every month we will feature speakers from the commissioning and construction industry to share the ways they are using CxAlloy TQ to work faster and more effectively.

During the live event, we had a lot of great questions come in, but we didn’t have enough time to answer them all live. Afterwards, our speakers got together and wrote up answers to share below. If you have additional questions, contact us at support@cxalloy.com and we’ll be happy to help.

Continue reading “Webinar Series”

CxAlloy TQ February 2020 Release

We are pleased to announce the first CxAlloy TQ update of 2020! In this release we’ve made two important tools more useful: importing and the report generator. We’ve also added an export for project attributes and, of course, fixed some bugs.

Importing

New import options for issues include Issue Status, Assignment, and Asset.

We’ve made four key additions to the import capabilities of CxAlloy TQ. You can now:

  • Import issue and equipment status.
  • Import issue assignment and asset.
  • Import multiple systems for equipment and multiple zones for spaces.
  • Import areas served for equipment.

These are long-requested improvements that we are really excited to make available. They open up new flows for managing data in your project and reduce the amount of time it takes to set up large-scale projects with complex combinations of systems and locations.

These new import capabilities are available now, and we’ll provide a deeper dive into how they work in an upcoming blog post.

Report Generator

Many more options are available for each section in the Report Generator.

We have greatly expanded the filtering options available for each section. Each section (issues, checklists, tests, etc.) now includes all or most of the same filters as that section’s list view. For example, when adding the “Construction Issues” section, you can now filter by:

  • Status
  • Priority
  • Source
  • Discipline
  • Location
  • Asset
  • Area Served

Even better, you can select multiple options for each of these filters, just like you can on the list page.

These filters create new possibilities for the reports you create. For example, you can now create a final report for just one building in a multi-building project – just filter each section to that specific building. Or, create a system- or discipline-specific report. There are a lot of options – literally!

To accommodate all these new filters we’ve expanded the options window to a two-column view with sorting and filtering on the left and format options on the right.

We’ll outline all the new options and some ways to use them in an upcoming blog post.

Attributes Export and Bug Fixes

This release also adds an “Export” button to the attributes list in both project settings and account settings.

You can now export project and account attributes.

As always, let us know how we can help you at support@cxalloy.com and let us know what other features we should be adding at feedback.cxalloy.com.

CxAlloy TQ 4.0 for iOS

Newly released in the App Store is version 4.0 of the CxAlloy TQ iOS app, which features significant foundational changes to support exciting new functionality in iOS and iPadOS 13. Aside from dozens of small improvements and bug fixes, this update features three main tent-pole features.

Multiple Windows

A big new feature in iPadOS 13 is the ability for a single app to have multiple windows. Now, in 4.0, you can tap and drag projects, project sections, and list items into their own windows. Work on two different sections of the app or even completely different projects side by side!

Powerful List Views

Do more directly in the app’s list views with support for swipe actions, iOS 13 contextual menus, and batch actions with the new Select button. We’ll add additional actions to the list views in upcoming versions.

State Restoration

When returning to the app after switching away for a while, the app will make an effort to restore your location in the app, getting you back up and running quicker. We’re excited about these features today as well as the possibilities they unlock for the future. Have questions? Let us know at support@cxalloy.com.

Easier Renaming through Imports

Recently we released an update to imports that makes it easier to rename items using an imported Excel file. Although technically possible in the past, doing so was confusing, time-consuming, and prone to error. It’s now much simpler and easy to understand.

As equipment is the most common scenario for renaming, we'll be talking specifically about equipment for the remainder of this post. However all imports (issues, checklist and test lines, spaces, etc.) now work this way as well.

Now if you check the “Update existing equipment” checkbox when starting your import you will have an additional option, “Match”, that you select for one of the columns in your spreadsheet. This column is used to match up the rows in your spreadsheet with existing equipment in the project.

With the addition of the “Match” option you are now free to use the “Name” option to specify new names for the matched equipment. A simple spreadsheet for renaming equipment would look like this:

MatchNew Name
AHU-1AHU-1A
AHU-2AHU-2A
AHU-3AHU-3A
AHU-4AHU-4A

If you don’t have any new names as part of your import you simply don’t select “Name” for any of the columns of your spreadsheet.

As an added bonus, CxAlloy TQ will now automatically update the names of any related checklists and tests when you change the name of equipment.

In this post we’ve focused on equipment, but this same approach can be used to update issue descriptions, checklist and test line questions, and more. For all the details you can read our import support article.