New Insights into an Xcelsius (XLF) File

Xcelsius is a powerful dashboarding tool, but sometimes we find limitations and need to use our imagination to find workarounds.  One example is when we are developing a dashboard without connection to the final production server using QAAWS. Before the rollout we need to open the XLF file and remap the connections one by one to the new server.

One day, by chance, I found a very nice solution to this problem. I also found out about extra capabilities that are not available through the Xcelsius interface.

Uncovering new capabilities

Getting straight to the point, there is an XLF file at the end of a standard archive file. All you need to do is rename it to .ZIP and extract it in any folder. You will find the following files inside:

  • Xldoc: This is the Excel Data model used in Xcelsius (you can open it using Excel)
  • Document.xml: This contains your Xcelsius definition (graphs, canvas, connections…)
  • Folder(long name): This contains the pictures embedded in your Xcelsius file

The most interesting file for the purposes of this article is the Document.xml. In this file you will find the entire definition of your Xcelsius model; which provides great capabilities and opportunities! Let me give you three examples:

  1. You can replace the server of your QAAWS connections: just search for your server name to find the entries of your QAAWS connections (with the credentials if they are hardcoded in the model) then replace them for the new server.
  2. Change the color schema without fighting with the Xcelsius client: To change the color schema, all you need to do is replace the old color with the new one in the XML file and you are done. If you have defined a customized color schema you will also find it in the file.
  3. Change the logos/pictures: You just need to overwrite the logos that you get after unzipping the XLF.

You can play around as much as you want with these files. To get your new XLF file all you need to do is add the folder back to a zip file and rename it to XLF!

If you have any feedback, questions or new functionality for this trick, I will be happy to read and reply your comments!