In 1986, the US Army Corps of Engineers recognized the need for a Standard Data Exchange Format (SDEF) to facilitate the exchange of data among contractors using various project management tools. The format chosen was a 132-character per line, fixed-length ASCII file, with data items, field positions, and field lengths explicitly defined by the SDEF specification.
In Primavera’s P6 Professional Project Management module, you can exchange project data with other Primavera users by converting projects to Primavera’s Proprietary Exchange Format (XER). Using Primavera’s import/export capability, you can then convert an XER file an SDEF data file, and vice versa. Primavera P6 converts data between the XER and SDEF formats using the following utilities:
Use Primavera’s SDEF conversion capabilities when you want to:
Primavera P6 projects can store far more data than the SDEF specification requires. For example, the SDEF file structure allows for only one application of a resource per activity, while P6 enables you to apply a resource to an activity repeatedly using resource lags and durations. P6 projects intended for use with the SDEF interface should comply with the SDEF specification. You should not utilize the additional capabilities that P6 offers because the SDEF file structure cannot store the additional data. The following are items to consider when exchanging data between the XER and
Cost per Unit
Qty to Date
Cost to Date
Budgeted Units for the activity assignment
Budgeted Cost divided by the Budgeted Units for the Activity Assignment
Actual Units for the activity assignment
Budgeted Cost for the activity assignment
Actual Regular Cost for the Assignment plus the Stored Material Cost
The US Army Corps of Engineers requires all projects to use a predefined activity code structure. This structure specifies the name and maximum length of each activity code in the project. The SDEF format adheres to this structure; therefore, all P6 projects being exported to SDEF format must have an activity code structure that exactly matches the predefined structure.
The following table shows the required activity code structure:
Workers per day
MOD or Claim #
Category of Work
Feature of Work
This section explains how to:
Complete the following steps to convert a Project Management module project to SDEF:
When the conversion is complete, the utility creates a log file named [filename]_ConversionFromP3e.log. View the log file to obtain information about the conversion, including problems that were encountered during the conversion.
Complete the following steps to convert an SDEF file to a Project Management module project: