Quantities and Categories

Just in case you’ve dived into the QTO function in 2010, here’s a little primer on the Category files that help make this process a lot easier to get rolling. When you load up C3D, you’ll find only one matching Pay Item List and Categories file. These are in the Getting Started folder, and match up with the Tutorials. Civil Access folks can follow the jump to get their hands on another data file that we’ve been working on over the past few weeks.

This file is based on the TXDOT pay item list (thanks Lisa!) and a rough break down based on numbers. First, a snippet of the pay item list:

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The Pay Item List is just a simple CSV file of the format shown here. You can modify, tweak, add, remove, etc. Many municipalities and government agencies already have a pay item list generated in some way or another, you just have to get it into a CSV format.

The Categories file is a bit more complicated. This XML file is how C3D turns the list above into this nice list here:

This sorting is done via an XML file. Take a look at the initial breakdown to see how the setup is created:

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Note the payItemIDLocation pair. This tells C3D how I want to break apart the major categories in my file. In my case, I’m telling it to use the first through fourth characters on each line as a category, then I will use the next digits as item numbers.

There are two ways to break apart the pay items list I have. One is to go with large ranges or series of items, i.e. 100 Series, 200 Series, etc. The other is to break it down into tighter groups, i.e. 100 ROW Work; 103 Well Disposal; 104 Concrete Disposal. Both breakdowns work, but the ranges are certainly easier to deal with then you have thousands of pay items to deal with. Let’s look at both here. This is the category XML file created to use ranges, and its corresponding result in the application:

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This is the category XML file broken down by item, and its corresponding result:

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As you can see, it’s a bit easier to navigate if you know what you’re after. Note that in the first breakdown, the XML called for a range while in the second a value was used to create the sub-items.

To me, they’re both kind of silly because I use the search box at the top to find the pay items I’m looking for. If you want to experiment, you can download these files: Pay Item List, Categories by Range, Categories by Item. Hope this helps you in getting elbows deep in the 2010 QTO functionality, and be sure to stay tuned for more great posts from the civil3d.com team.

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