2.110 FAQ-1020 Is there a difference between Connect and Import?

Last Update: 7/2/2024

Connect, or Data Connector, is a new import framework introduced in OriginPro 2019b. Both will import data into workbooks, but we recommend using the new Connect framework since many improvements are being made and it will continue to be improved in future versions, while the legacy import code will not be improved.

Origin 2021b changed the Import Single ASCII (Ctrl+K) and Import Excel toolbar buttons to use data connectors. Use system variable @TIB (default 0) to control how these two toolbar buttons work.

  • 0 = both open the corresponding data connectors
  • 1 = Import Single ASCII opens the old Import ASCII dialog.
  • 2 = Import Excel button opens the old Import Excel dialog.
  • 3 = Both open the corresponding import dialogs

From the user's perspective, the key differences between Connect and the original import are:

  1. The Connector will lock imported data. This prevents accidentally changing the imported data. Starting with version 2021b, you can click on the Data Connector icon and click on the Unlock imported Data menu to enable editing the data. You can also control the locking of data using the system variables @IPDC .
  2. The Connector will keep the connection to the source data, from the file or from the cloud.
  3. Data imported using a Connector is typically not saved with project, making project files small. In 2019b, this was the default. In 2020, files smaller than 500kB will be saved with the project but you will have control over default behaviors using LabTalk system variables @DNS and @FSE. In any case, you can opt to save imported data simply by clicking the Data Connector icon DC Icon Live.png and clearing the check mark beside Exclude Imported When Saving.
  4. For a text file, the CSV Connector can be used and it greatly improves the user experience, since for the majority of ASCII text files, you don't need to specify file structure and the process is entirely automatic. Compare this with the import dialogs where you need to specify details of the file structure and such things as date-time format, then save the settings as a Theme for future use.

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