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BCIS Analysis XML Writer

What can the application do?

The BCIS Analysis XML Writer is an application developed by BCIS to create and edit elemental cost analyses of building projects in the BCIS Analysis XML format (versions 1.0 and 1.1).

It was originally developed to assist BCIS subscribers who wanted to submit analyses to BCIS electronically, but can also be used to store an organisation's analyses in an industry standard format or to add information to analyses exported from BQ applications.

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Main Features

The main features of the application are:

Each Analysis XML file can contain one or several analyses. Whether you stick to one analysis per file or keep several analyses together is up to you, the user, but the suggested approach is to have a separate file for each project: complex contracts where different building have been analysed separately would be kept together in the same file.

An example analysis is included with the application which can be used to explore how the program works. Analysis XML files are like any other document stored on your computer: you must find the directory (folder) where the file is stored and then select the file. A BCIS Analysis XML file should always have a file extension of .xml, but not all .xml files will contain analyses. The program will list all XML files in the selected directory and will show a list of analyses in a file. Some of the features work on individual analyses (eg edit an analysis) while other operate on an entire file (eg open in spreadsheet).

For more detailed instructions click on the ? button when you are in the application. There is also extensive help on the information which should be recorded in an analysis: click on an underlined field title to find out about the data expected. or click on the 'element definition' button on the element details tab for definitions of the BCIS elements.

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Version 1.1

Version 1.1 of the BCIS Analysis XML Writer was produced in March 2006. The main changes are:

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Version 1.1.2

A new version of the BCIS Analysis XML Writer is now available to support opening the XML file in a browser. Version ( includes options to open an analysis XML file in a browser (using stylesheets) and additional configuration options to allow different stylesheets. It also includes minor changes to handle errors in XML files and the case where the element unit quantity is set to zero.

To allow the XML file to be displayed in a browser a reference to a stylesheet is included in the analysis XML file saved the BCIS Analysis XML writer. BCIS have developed a stylesheet to format XML Analysis files and this can be found at A copy of this stylesheet is stored with the BCIS Analysis XML Writer as a part of the installation process. Within Defaults and Settings there is a Stylesheet tab which allows you to change the stylesheet referenced when you save an XML file.

Please note that if you change these settings you must open and save the XML file again for the difference to take effect.

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Version 1.1.3

Version 1.1.3 of the BCIS Analysis XML Writer was released in January 2009 to support the 2008 edition of the BCIS SFCA.

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Version 1.1.4

Version of the BCIS Analysis XML Writer was released in September 2010 and includes extended support for the 2008 edition of the BCIS SFCA including building accreditation scores, postcode, specification codes and design fees in the building and contract breakdown. It also includes a spell check with a dictionary that has been updated to cover many specialist and trade words. In order to handle the additional data a new version of the BCIS Analysis XML schema has been produced which can be found at A minor release (version in January 2011 corrected a problem with saving new files and entering multiple specification codes.

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Version 1.1.5

Version of the BCIS Analysis XML Writer was released in July 2013 and fixes various bugs in the application.

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XML is a tool for creating data formats which are used to pass data from one application to another in a way that means each application can reliably interpret the information contained. BCIS has used this tool to create a format for the exchange of elemental cost analyses of building projects. Since September 2002 BCIS Online subscriber have been able to download analyses in this format and third party software suppliers have subsequently configured their applications to import and export these files.

Details of the BCIS Analysis XML format (and third parties who support this format) are available here.

The next step is to exchange the data using Web Services and BCIS provides a range of SOAP services to support submitting and retrieving analyses and associated functions. The BCIS Analysis XML Writer use two of these SOAP services to keep the list of codes up to date (eg if BCIS adds a new building function code this can appear in the list of building function codes within the program if you click on the 'Update Codes' button) and to submit analyses to BCIS for publication (email is supported as an alternative method of submitting analyses).

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