Analyze: Troubleshooting ALICE to P6 Export Errors

This document provides some tips for troubleshooting ALICE to P6 Export Issues.

Here you will find how to address:

  • Project Name & Project ID
  • Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
    • Overview of traditional practice
    • How to turn on WBS for schedules coming from ALICE
    • How to customize WBS for schedules coming from ALICE
  • How to Check Metadata?
    • Inspecting Activities for Metadata
    • Adding Custom Columns to view Metadata
  • Why is my duration in the P6 export different from ALICE?
  • I have a logic loop in P6! How do I solve it?
    • Introduction to logic loops
    • How to trace logic loops in P6

Project Name & Project ID

If you’re importing an ALICE export to a P6 database, as P6 XML or XER, it helps to know what to expect in terms of the default project name and project ID so that you can easily locate your project in the P6 database.

  • For XER files coming from ALICE:
    • Default ID = S0 (will use S0-1, S0-2, etc. if project IDs already exist in the database)
    • Default Name = ALICE Project Name
  • For XML files coming from ALICE:
    • Default ID = Plan name (without spaces)
    • Default Name = Plan name (with spaces)



In case of need to modify the Project ID and/or name to distinguish between different exports as multiple exports may come from the same ALICE Plan or Project.

The easiest way to do that is to open the project and change those values from the WBS editor:



Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

WBS in traditional scheduling, as well as in ALICE, is used to make schedule navigation easier by grouping activities by categories and sub-categories.

The Key difference for ALICE is that the BIM Model and the Recipes are used as a framework to build schedules instead of the WBS. Therefore the WBS is only used to group activities into categories and sub-categories for schedule navigation purposes.

How to turn on WBS for schedules coming from ALICE

ALICE Exports schedules with the following WBS:

  • Recipe (example: Concrete Slabs)
    • Operation type (example: Set up Forms)
      • Operation instance (example: Set up Forms of PO_A_L2_Floor)

Here’s an example of the aforementioned WBS in action:


Should there be WBS missing in schedule exports, it is probably traced back to having P6 settings turn off WBS visibility in imports by default.

This can be fixed by simply turning that back on in P6, which can be done using the “group and sort” functionality in P6:



How to Customize WBS for Schedules Coming from ALICE

Based on what we saw in the previous section, you might have noticed that the “group and sort” functionality can be used to group and sort tasks by parameters other than the WBS.

This means that if your goal is just visualization and categorization of tasks, then you can create your own custom “WBS” based on other parameters such as Crews, Activity Codes, or User Defined Fields.

Currently available ALICE parameters to be used for custom WBS creation are:

  • Crews
  • Subcontractors
  • Cranes
  • Equipment
  • Material

In the near future, we will be adding also the User-Defined Fields.


Here’s an example of how ALICE parameters can be used to create a custom WBS in P6:



How to Check Metadata?

Often, we get asked what kind of metadata comes with ALICE P6 Exports. The best way to answer this is an overview of all the data we currently export as well as what is coming in future releases.

ALICE Currently exports:

Data Type

Availability in XER export

Availability in XML export

Precedence + Support Relationships



Resource Flow Relationships





As Activity Codes

Resource Assignments


As Activity Codes

Calendars Variations

Yes (workweeks only)

Yes (complete calendars)

User-Defined Fields


No (future improvement)



No (future improvement)




You can check and visualize the metadata in your exports by either inspecting activities one by one, or loading the relevant column in the Gantt. Both options are detailed below.


Inspecting Activities for Metadata

You can check the metadata that came through from ALICE for a specific Activity in P6 by selecting the activity and then browsing the relevant tabs in the properties window as shown below.



Adding Custom Columns to view Metadata

You may also check the available metadata for several activities at the same time, by loading the specific column(s) in the Gantt chart.

You can do that by Right-Click (on a column header) > Columns and then selecting the desired columns.



I Have a Logic Loop in P6. How do I Solve it?

Introduction to Logic Loops

Logic loops in scheduling are just what they sound like: a series of relationships between tasks that forms a closed loop and therefore are impossible (in-feasible) to schedule.

The image below provides a simplified visualization of the concept of Logic loops.


You can see from the image above that the relationships imply a Task 2>3>4>2 loop, and therefore, a link must be broken to make this sequence possible.

How to Trace Logic Loops in P6

You can find logic loops in P6 by using the schedule functionality and then looking at the error message. If there aren’t any error messages, then there are no loops in your project.


Once you look at the loop information, you can investigate one of the activities in both ALICE and P6.

In P6, you may look at the “predecessor” and “successor” tabs as we saw in the “Metadata” section to get more information, but most likely you will find the solution by looking at the recipe and supports of that element in ALICE.

For example, in the case above, it turns out that one of the supporting elements of the element in the red box above had a missing recipe and at the same time played a key role in supporting and being supported by other elements that had recipes assigned.

Once this element was either removed or assigned a proper recipe, or cleared from its supports, the schedule loops were gone.

Further Resources

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