Existing Similar Feature: Importation of Group Addresses
So long as I have used ETS, there's been a feature to import group addresses to projects using an XML-file. This allows us to import automatically generated addresses through either an Excel sheet or other tools. The advantage of this is that you can generate the same structure on all your projects, which means quicker diagnostic and easier navigating.
Importation of Building Structure and Building Functions
The feature I feel is lacking and this post is about, is to be able to import the Building Structure and their Building Functions. Before the Building Functions feature was introduced, it was no problem adding the rooms by yourself in ETS, but since then, adding Building Functions can be a bit tedious when the rooms have different functions, and ETS' automatically generated group address lack any real structure.
Office Buildings (copy/paste) compared to Domestic
In office buildings, most of the rooms are identical. You could therefore theoretically create one room in ETS, and then use ETS Extended Copy App to duplicate these throughout the building. I've done this before and it works really well. However, in domestic installations, the different rooms varies alot, so you can't create a "template" room. Therefore adding rooms and building functions in ETS is, like I said, tedious. This is why I feel enabling us to import building structure and building functions through an XML file could be a great time saver.
Use Case: My Custom KNX Configurator Tool
As I said, domestic installations have room with varying functions. Some have heating, some have downlights, some have blinds, some have all of the above. Thus you cannot create a template of one room and copy it all around. You have to first create the group addresses, the building structure, then the building functions. If you like using the automatically generated group addresses in functions, that don't have any structure, that's fine. However, if you like to have your group addresses structured by function, you must then delete the auto-generated group addresses, create your own and then link them to the function. Cumbersome? Yes, sir!
I have created a tool for my own convenience where I can add rooms and their respective functions (switchable, dimmable, blinds etc). This generates an XML file containing all the group addresses required for the rooms and their functions, in a structure that separates each function to their own Main Address. This can then be imported into ETS by the existing Import Group Addresses function.
What I also would like to do (which this feature request is about), is to generate the building structure and building functions from the same tool, and import that into ETS. That will in the end, allow us to fill in a simple form containing only the Rooms, Functions within room and their Function Type, then generate Building Structure, Building Functions and Group Addresses automatically.
Below is image of the tool I created. I enter in the room, their functions and type. When I'm finished, I press Generate
The result from generation
The response when I press Generate, is an XML file containing all required group addresses. I can then import that into ETS5, using their "Import Group Addresses" function. The result for that is below this image.
Imported addresses into ETS5.
As is now, I can't import the building structure and building functions, but you can easily see from the tool image that it could be generated from that same form, with no further action required from the system integrator.
Example of generated building structure and functions, with their linked group addresses.
Below is automatically generated XML file from what was filled into the form shown on picture 1. It has generated the building structure with their respective functions, and also linked group addresses with their functions.