Determine Data Ranges in Excel Files
You can provide Excel cell ranges as input data to AIMMS AXLL functions. Here we show how to adapt when the ranges are unknown, for example, when end users upload Excel files as input in the AIMMS app.
Sufficiently large ranges
Provide a sufficiently large range and use the appropriate arguments to instruct AIMMS to traverse in the Excel file until it encounters an empty cell. For example, if you have set elements in “A2:A33” and corresponding parameter data in “D2:D33”, you can use the AXLL read procedures as shown below. If you are expecting empty cells in the set range, change the argument ‘SkipEmptyCells’ to 1 so that the entire range is traversed.
axll::ReadSet( SetReference : sTeams , SetRange : "A2:A50" , ExtendSuperSets : 1, MergeWithExistingElements : 0, SkipEmptyCells : 0); axll::ReadList( IdentifierReference : spStadiumName , RowHeaderRange : "A2:A50" , DataRange : "D2:D50" , ModeForUnknownElements : 0, MergeWithExistingData : 0);
This works for most cases, but be aware:
if data extends beyond the large estimate provided, it is lost.
if two different data ranges are in the same column/row separated by empty cells or a header row, results are unreliable.
In AIMMS 4.70.4 and above, you have four new functions in the AXLL library to determine the boundaries of data in an Excel sheet. You can use these functions to find the last used row number or column number and coupled with other functions, you can construct the final cell range. For example, the code below will return
spSetRange as “A2:A33” which you can then provide as an argument to
If there is more data in a different column, then
spSetRange will be a larger range than expected. That then becomes a case of using a sufficiently large range described in the previous section.
axll::LastUsedColumnNumber will return the number of the last column in which there is data and you can use
axll::ColumnName to convert it. For example, the below code will return
spDataRange as “A2:AG33” in the Distances sheet:
pRowNum := axll::LastUsedRowNumber; pColNum := axll::LastUsedColumnNumber; axll::ColumnName(pColNum, spColName); spDataRange := FormatString("A2:%s%n", spColName, pRowNum);
Like the previous method, using these functions is not straightforward if you have multiple data ranges in the same column/row separated by empty cells.
Another way is to create “Named Ranges” in the input Excel templates. You can then provide “NameofRange” as input to AXLL function arguments like ‘RowRange’ or ‘DataRange’ instead of “A2:A10”. However, the end user must update the named ranges if they add new rows or columns. A table name is automatically expanded but AXLL functions do not recognize Excel tables.
Other techniques to determine the consecutive ranges include:
To use existing functions and avoid custom procedures for data input, follow these guidelines:
Separate out data into different sheets based on the index domains of the corresponding AIMMS identifiers.
Don’t mix list-type data with matrix-type data.