Product-based Connection Schedule


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Hughes
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Hi Rob,

Hoping for that some other users will also find this feature useful, I strike back again with this functionality requested during ISE2020.

The purpose of this Connection Schedule is to have a report to verify on site, device per device (Product), if all the cables are physically labelled and connected as designed in SD7.

Here is what I have in mind:

An export functionality to generate a spreadsheet that contains all the Ports of all the Products in the project.
Thus there is a line for each Port even if there isn't a cable connected to this Port.

Each line contains:
All Attributes of the Product, Port label and the drawing where the Product is placed.
All Attributes of the Cable.
All Attributes of the Feathers.
An additional field/column "Connected Label" with the content of the Cable Label actually connected (Start Label or End Label) to the Port.
An additional field/column "Direction" with a flag indicating the direction of the drawn cable. Could be like "->" if it's the Start Label that is connected or "<-" if it's the End Label that is connected.
All the Attributes and the Port of the Product where the other end of the cable is connected to. (Maybe the tricky part for you)
 
Unlike the Cable Schedule, the first line with field/column headers should have a unique name (e.g. Product-Description, Cable-Description, OtherEndProduct-Description). By the way if this could be applied to Cable Schedule...

Thank You,
Hughes

Rob Robinson
Rob Robinson
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Hi Hughes,

Thanks for your post.  We can see value in such a report which could simply be described as "1 row per connected port" and I just have 2 questions:
  1. What is the purpose/value of showing unconnected ports?  Architecturally this would, today, be the biggest problem so we'd like to understand if showing all unconnected ports (and there could be a lot) is of critical or real value, or whether it's enough simply to show the ports that are connected.
  2. As the last requirement you state "All the Attributes and the Port of the Product where the other end of the cable is connected to."  Given that this effectively turns the connection schedule into the Cable Schedule (just with twice as many rows) is this a critical requirement?  If the purpose of the Connection Schedule report is to check connected ports on-site, the 'other end' data seems surplus to requirements and is anyway found on the Cable Schedule today.  It's not hard to do, it just seems like overkill.
We look forward to your response.

Kind regards,
Rob Robinson
Stardraw.com
Hughes
H
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Hi Rob,

I'm pleased to see that my request is considered.

Actually, I've already elaborate a procedure to generate nearly (see 2.) the Connection Schedule report I suggest. I've done this merely three years ago, just a few weeks after being a licensed user.
But since that time, I'm not satisfied of that process because of two aspects:

1. I have to maintain/update a very tricky spreadsheet macro+template. Remember the august 26th 2020 update impacting Cable Schedule ?
This formatting/addition/transformation step could be avoid if all information is simply listed in two flat-files. One cable-based and one product-based. And yes, some information is duplicated, but this will simplify the way to generate any kind of report.
So the connection schedule will dramatically simplify this step. And even avoiding it if the file generated meets my requirements.

2. The only piece of information I can't retrieve from both Cable Schedule and Equipment list is unconnected ports.
One of the purposes of showing unconnected ports is to print out a complete datasheet per product that can be annotate on-site (e.g. as-built).
And in fact, I've also already made a workaround by making a Block Schematic that contains all Products without any connected cables and printing it out. With the disadvantage that connected ports are not visible on it and that is a second piece of paper to manipulate.
That was the answer to your first question.

Regarding your second question:
Once I'm on-site to solve problems, when I'm in front/rear of a equipment, I found useful to know where a cable is going to (coming from), to (from) what equipment and where. All of this without having to browse another drawing/plan or another page of my report. All information is exposed beside each ports within a single (twin) row.
e.g. I know immediately where to go when I read that an HDMI cable is coming from a media-player located in the tech-room. Or I don't have to toss the room from the switch port that feeds an access point located two floors above me.

And now, I can't resist to quote you : I hope this make sense!

Regards,

Hughes

Edited 4 days ago @ 5:01 PM by Hughes
Rob Robinson
Rob Robinson
Forum Administrator (340K reputation)
Group: Administrators
Posts: 2.1K, Visits: 8.5K
Hi Hughes,

Thanks for the information.

We will have to investigate whether it is possible to enumerate unconnected ports, but if this is indeed possible then we should be able have 3 levels of report which I imagine will fulfil your needs:
  1. Equipment List (current) - 1 row per Product
  2. Cable Schedule (current) - 1 row per Cable
  3. Connection Schedule (new) - 1 row per Port
This has a pleasing symmetry to it, and I think it makes sense (!)  so I hope it is something we can add in a future version.



Kind regards,
Rob Robinson
Stardraw.com
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