There are many industry standard file transfer formats. The principle ones supported by Tekla Structures are IFC, CIS/2, DSTV, SDNF, DGN, DXF, DWG, IGES, and STEP. Older formats are also included. For a tighter integration, you can link to Tekla Structures using the Tekla Open API technology.
The file name extension normally informs the user which format it is based upon. If you do not know what format it is, or the file does not import, then you will need to open the file in a text editor to look at the header information, where the file type and the authoring application is usually noted. With CIS/2 files the authoring application and version number is sometimes written at the end of the file.