A great way to build a story up and use data that’s already existing is to import data from Excel into SharpCloud. SharpCloud allows users to copy and paste data directly into the data grid, generating Items.


Data Structure in Excel


With Excel and SharpCloud, the rows of data are translated into items with the columns being the properties which could be attributes or tags.


The only required column is the “Name” column, which will provide the items their Name. If there is no Category” column, the items generated from the data will be assigned to the first category.


Name, Category and External ID



In the above Excel sheet, the following columns exist:

  • Name (Required) – This will be the name of the item.
  • Category – What category does the item belong to. If new categories exist in the pasted in data set, they will automatically be created within SharpCloud.
  • External ID (Optional but recommended) – A unique identifier to make sure all items can be matched uniquely, preventing data being overwritten.


Attributes


Attributes are represented as columns of data in SharpCloud, with various types covering different requirements and view types. The below subset of data has a range of various attributes:



When pasting in data from Excel, a pasting wizard will appear informing of any new attributes and the recommended type (which can be manually changed), more information on this is provided below in the section called “Pasting Data in from Excel”. As seen, all items do not need to have all attribute information and can be flexible to the requirement.


Note: There is no limit on the number of attributes a story can have.


Tags


Tags can be also be imported from Excel as columns of data, with comma separated fields to indicate more than 1 tag to be applied to that item (row).



Tag groups can also be created directly from an Excel sheet, by providing the following structure (as above shows) to the column heading:

Tags.Tag Group Name


In the above example, there will be 3 different Tag Groups created. For more information on Tags Groups, please refer to the Tags article.


Pasting Data in from Excel


Once the data is in the desired structure, highlight and copy the data (Ctrl + A will highlight all data in the sheet), and then go to the Data Grid in SharpCloud, and navigate to the “Paste” button as highlighted below:



Upon selecting Paste, a new window will appear where the data can be pasted in, and it can be matched on either Name, External ID or Internal ID. To ensure the items are created uniquely, it’s suggested to use an External ID and to match on the External ID.



Once the data is pasted in, a new Data Wizard will appear (if there are new attributes), allowing the data types to be confirmed, as shown:



Once the attributes have been confirmed for their type, select OK to see a preview of the data before importing it all to SharpCloud. At this stage, any errors discovered will be highlighted.



Once happy with how the data appears, select OK to import the data into SharpCloud. This will return to the Data Grid with the new data imported, and the subsequent items created in SharpCloud.