Improvements in custom component handling

Tekla Structures
Tekla Structures

Improvements in custom component handling

Custom components have many interesting enhancements in Tekla Structures 2021.

Data lookup file fVF improvements

  • It is no longer necessary to have a space or separator character at the end of each line in the data lookup files. The last column of data is now correctly retrieved without the extra space.

  • You can now specify a character for data separation: fVF(data file, lookup value, column#[, separator character])

    • You can now use a preferred column separator of choice. Previously, it was possible to use only spaces as separators.

      This enables the support for spaces in names, profiles, shapes, and so on, as well as the use of distance lists as input.

    • You can also use blank or empty strings as input.

    • Leading and trailing white space is dropped.

    • Only a single character can be used as a separator. For example, you cannot use a more complex separator such as "/+/", because only the first character is considered as a column separator.

Data files are now published with the custom component

The data files that are used by the custom component are now included in the exported .uel file, if the data files are located under the model folder.

  • Only files specified directly in fVF functions are exported. For example: =fVF("myData.dat", ...) directly specifies the file, but =fVF(P1, ...) does not.

  • Only data files that are in the model folder or in the CustomComponentDialogFiles subfolder are exported.

  • On import of a .uel file that contains data files, the data files are copied to the model's CustomComponentDialogFiles folder. If there are any conflicts with existing data files, a warning message is displayed.

Enhancements in custom component password protection

The custom component password protection has been enhanced. In the Custom component editor, there is a new command available in the shortcut menu when you right-click a custom component: Explode component with parameters.

Now, when you explode a password protected custom component in the Custom component editor, the new Explode component with parameters command will ask you to enter the password. Only after entering the correct password will the component be exploded, and the component parameters and mappings created.

If you explode a password protected custom component using the existing Explode Component command, the custom component is exploded without creating the component parameters and mappings.

Improvements in custom component dialog editor

The Custom Component Dialog Editor tool now supports all the same value types as those available in the custom component properties. This means, for example, that you can now specify a variable value type as shape, which will give you access to the shape catalog in the component dialog box.

Limitations in variable names

  • Using a mathematical constant, such as PI or e, as a parameter name is not possible anymore in custom components.

  • Variable names that contain mathematical operators (+,-,*,/) cannot be used in the custom component editor anymore.

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