Electrical Design Software | Elecdes Design Suite by Scada Systems Ltd

Formula Evaluator

Many EDS modules have processes available to extract data from external sources (such as a spreadsheet), or output data to a deliverable (such as a loop diagram). Often, there is a difference between the input and/or desired output format(s), and the EDS storage format. Formulae allow the user to control how this data is converted from one form to another, and this help topic explains how these formulae must be constructed, and how they are evaluated to produce a result.


Formula Syntax

text_a #field_or_expression_a# text_b #field_or_expression_b# ...

Unless otherwise specified (on the help page for the process using formulae), formulae must contain one or more pairs of hashes (#...#) that wrap around a field name or expression. Text before and after pairs of hashes is treated as fixed text (if present), and concatenated with the values produced by the field names/expressions inside the hashes.

For example, #PNLNO#--#TAGNAME#/#TERM# would yield something similar to JB02--X101/8. All three hash pairs contain a field name in this example.

When the text inside a pair of hashes contains opening and closing round brackets (typically preceeded by a function name), it is treated as a formula expression.

For example, #JOIN("-", [PNLNO], [TAGNAME], [TERM])# would yield something similar to JB02-X101-8. The single hash pair contains a function expression in this example.

To include a hash inside a field name or anywhere inside a function expression, escape it by preceding it with a backslash. For example #CONCAT("\#", [TERM])# would yield something like #8.

Simple Formulae

text_a #field_a# text_b #field_b# ...

A formula is considered a Simple Formula when all hash pairs contain only field names, ie, no expressions are present.

While most processes evaluate formulae to produce output values, some processes read in output values, and decompose them into their constituent parts, based on formulae. This will only work for formulae that are Simple Formulae, as expressions are not reversible.

See IM Importing from a Datasheet, Protogen Updating DBF from Clone DWGs.

Expression Syntax

The expression syntax expected by the Formula Evaluator is designed to be very similar to that used by Microsoft Excel - a function, that takes ones or more expressions as parameters, some of which themselves may also be functions with parameters, and so on.

Function Expression

function(expression_a, expression_b, ...)

Evaluates the specified function, passing one or more expressions as parameters (separated by commas, and surrounded by round brackets), and returning the result.

The expression(s) can be of any type listed here, including other function expressions (thus allowing nesting of functions).


  • SPLIT([TAGNAME], "-", 2)

Refer to the Function Reference for a list of available functions and their expected parameters.

Source Data Expression


Returns a text string corresponding to the specified field name from the source data. The field name must be surrounded by square brackets [] to be used as a parameter for a function.

The field name and source data may represent different things, depending on the context of the operation that is utilising the formula. For example:

  • Source data could be a database table, and field name specifies a column to get the value of, for the record being processed.
  • Source data could be a drawing, and field name specifies an attribute to get the value of, for the block reference being processed.

The operation processing the formula is free to interpret the field name how it wishes. Refer to the help page for the specific process for any special considerations given to the field name.

Unless otherwise specified (on the process help page), the field name is case-sensitive.

If the operation could not resolve the field name, an empty string will be returned.


  • [BLOCK]
  • [P1:Tagname]

Text (String) Expression


Specify a text string by surrounding it with double quotes.

To include a double quote mark in a string, escape it by preceding it with a backslash.


  • "01-CV101-A"
  • "Pressure Transmitter"
  • "Shows \"Fault\" when circuit is open"

Numeric Expression



Specify a integer (whole number) as-is, or specify a floating point (decimal fraction) using a period/dot between the integral and fractional parts.

Do not use any other characters, such as thousands-separators or units.


  • 1000
  • 3.142

Math Expression

number_a operator number_b

The formula evaluator is capable of evaluating the following mathematical operators in this order:

  • Brackets: ( ... )
  • Division: /
  • Multiplication: *
  • Addition: +
  • Subtraction: -

Operations are evaluated using double precision floating point arithmetic.

Complete Examples

Source DataFormulaResult
JB02X1018Dash Separated: #JOIN("-", [COL_A], [COL_B], [COL_C])#Dash Separated: JB02-X101-8
01-FT301-ALoop: #SPLIT([COL_A], "", 4)#, Type: #LOWER(SPLIT([COL_A], "", 3))#Loop: 301, Type: ft
98degrees F#STR(([COL_A] - 32) * 5 / 9, 2)# #REPLACE([COL_B], "F", "C")#36.67 degrees C

Processes using the Formula Evaluator

See Also

Formula Function Reference