What are Datasheets?

Relative to this article they are historically Excel workbooks which engineers create.   
They are created to convey enough information to specify components and their overall system role, and consume engineering hours.
In many deployments, datasheets give birth to components which ultimately become operating assets.  Companies maintain them during asset life cycles.

What are SOCKETWorx Datasheets?

They are rendered in a web browser so users can access them from anywhere.
The web app is used to setup datasheet templates which in turn are assigned to components such as instruments or pieces of equipment.

Users can be given role based access to browse Work In Progress (WIP) datasheets, or browse previous Datasheet revisions. Once revisions are issued, they are all retrievable documenting change events.

How to get started?

Users create Datasheet Templates and within they assign fields to cells or merged cells.

Almost every Datasheet initiative involves legacy Excel workbooks which are digital assets.  These assets have tremendous value so try using them to import their content.

Sometimes just a few minor alterations make them more compatible to importation. 


Whether starting with an new or imported template, there are 3 field categories; Field, Static, Special.  Access them by clicking the 'Show Field Selection' button in the control header.

This will cause the right-hand flyout palette to display.

Under each palette, users can search for fields to assign when there are a many to choose from.  This highlights the need for a strong naming convention for database field and SOCKETWorx Display Names.

SOCKETWorx provides micro services such as Static, Revision, and Freeform system fields which satisfy many datasheet technical and logistic field requirements.  

They can be deployed to help reduce overall data field counts, automatically mass update common information, and automatically help with document revision control.

Helpful Hints

1.  Setup Table fields so their names starts with a type designation.

Generally, datasheet information is grouped into categories like Location, Identification, Process, Specification, Project Management,  Revision, etc.

Here are a few examples;

Project ManagementPM
Mechanical IntegrityMI

    In this way, they will be displayed in groups when searching for them.

2.  Use static fields for facility and project type information.  Setting these as non-Editable ensures every datasheet has the same value.

3.  Use static fields for units, but in this case consider making the field Editable.  In this way, the default value will populate and users can overwrite it.

4.  Use the Free Form Field to enter datasheet notes.  Users can enter information with a 'hard return' to get multiple line entries.

5.  Use the Revision Number and Issue Date fields to automate their population. 


Datasheets can a mass hundreds fields, so it is important to have a strategy and couple it with SOCKETWorx capabilities.

Creation and Movement

There are several ways to create, manage, and move datasheets across connections and tables.

Create a datasheet from a blank template using the following steps:

  1. Click the "Add Datasheet Template" button from the top of the Datasheet Templates Setup screen
  2. Select the table to associate the template to. This should be the table that stores the data needed for the template
  3. Clicking the check box will add a new record to the Datasheet Template table
  4. This button will allow you to rename and set the active status of the template
  5. This button will open up a spreadsheet view for the creation and formatting of the datasheet template

Duplicate already existing template(s) to the same connection and table using the following steps:

  1. Select the template(s) to clone
  2. Click the "Clone Datasheet Template(s) for this connection" button at the top of the Datasheet Template setup screen
  3. Copy of the selected template(s) now ready for editing

Copy a datasheet template to another connection with the same table name using the following steps:

  1. Select the template to copy
  2. Click the "Copy Datasheet Template to Another Connection" button at the top of the Datasheet Template setup screen
  3. Select the connection to copy the datasheet to.
    *This connection should have a table with the same name as the table in the connection being copied from
  4. Clicking the checkmark will create a duplicate template with all set fields intact
  5. Copy of the selected template in new connection now ready for editing

Export a datasheet template to a local .xlsx file for movement across connections and tables using the following steps:

  1. Open the template to be exported in spreadsheet edit mode
  2. Click the "Export" button at the top of the spreadsheet edit mode screen
  3. The template downloads to your browser's default "Downloads" location with all field data preserved

Import a datasheet template to another connection and table using either of the following sets of steps:

Using this import method, SOCKETWorx will attempt to reattach all fields assigned to the imported datasheet template

  1. Click the "Import Datasheet Template" button at the top of the Datasheet Template setup screen
  2. In the window that opens, first select the table you wish to import the datasheet to
  3. Select the locally saved .xlsx or .xls file to import
  4. Click the "Upload Template" button to add the template to the database
  5. The newly uploaded template in the chosen table is now ready for editing

Using this import method, SOCKETWorx will wipe all connected field data from the template, leaving only text and formatting

  1. Use steps above to Create a blank datasheet template
  2. Open the blank template with the spreadsheet editor
  3. Click the "Import" button at the top of the spreadsheet edit mode screen and select the .xls or .xlsx file to import
  4. Click "Discard" in the dialog box that appears to remove all connected data from the imported datasheet template
  5. The imported datasheet template is ready for editing