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Tip of the Week #33 - Easy *.job to *.jxl file conversion

By Joseph Blecha posted 03-23-2018 11:48


Did you know there is a quick way to convert binary *.job files from Trimble Access into *.jxl files that can be opened in a text editor for review or re-imported into different versions of Trimble Access?  The conversion routine reveals a secret of TBC… TBC converts *.job files upon import into *.jxl files temporarily, then displays the data as a *.job. Capturing the *.jxl during this temporary conversion is this week’s TBC Tip of the Week.

First, open the file folder where your field data resides:

and drag and drop the *.job into TBC:

Looks good, right?  Total station observations and points are imported into Plan View.  Save the project if you wish.

Now, back in your field data folder, grab the same *.job file again and drop it into the same TBC project.  TBC knows that this data is already in the project, so it prompts for how it should merge the data:

If you wanted to continue in TBC, select one of the options, either disable merging of the data which results in multiple versions of the same job in the project; overwrite office edits, which overwrites changes made in TBC to the data; or preserve office edits, which keeps any changes made in TBC to the data.  But… for this Tip of the Week workflow, do not select anything.

Rather, find your field data folder again and notice a *.jxl file called ‘Temporary Conversion File.jxl’ exists now.  Copy and paste this file to the same or another directory and give it a new name if you wish:

Then, click Cancel to the TBC merge options.  Notice that the Temporary Conversion File no longer appears in your field data folder:

But, notice that the newly copied ‘New jxl file.jxl’ file remains.  Congatulations, you’ve just converted the *.job file to a *.jxl.

Double-click on the *.jxl and select a text editor to read the file, you’ll be able to review the XML-based schema of the *.jxl:

The *.jxl can also be imported into different Trimble Access editions with you having to worry about file versions like with the *.job file format.

This tip is also a great routine for survey managers working with crews with potentially different versions of Trimble Access!

TBC - Field to Finish with Confidence.




10-01-2019 03:46

I was able to get hold of the intermediate SCS900/Siteworks XML using a copy loop in a batch file. Unfortunately Siteworks doesn't save as much information into the XML as Access does. Below a short excerpt from the Siteworks XML.

So, with SCS900/Siteworks it's pretty much useless to look into custom stylesheets.

I've lodged a feature request with Trimble Support to have full XML export in Siteworks in the future.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<JOBFile jobName="cenping maiolani" version="" product="Siteworks" TimeStamp="2019-09-30 13:01" productVersion="1.10.19200.344" productDBVersion="">
    <UnitsRecord ID="00000001" TimeStamp="2019-09-30T13:01:29">
      <AzimuthFormat />
      <GradeUnits />
      <AreaUnits />
    <CorrectionsRecord ID="00000002" TimeStamp="2019-09-30T13:01:29">
      <MagneticDeclination />
        <WeightExponent />
      <RoadCrossSectionInterpolationMethod />
    <ProjectionRecord ID="00000003" TimeStamp="2019-09-30T13:01:29">
        <ProjectLocationLatitude />
        <ProjectLocationLongitude />
        <ProjectLocationHeight />
    <PointRecord ID="00000004" TimeStamp="2019-09-30T13:01:29">
      <Name>blocco comune1</Name>

09-30-2019 03:51

Unfortunately that doesn't work for SPJ files from SCS900/Siteworks.

With procmon I found out that SCS900/Siteworks is creating an intermediate XML file in the work order output folder during a custom XLST export. But it's deleted as soon as the output file is created, just a few milliseconds.

Does anyone know how I can get my hands on that file for debugging purposes? I need to create/alter a custom export stylesheet to include some specific nodes I need.


The SCS report utility isn't an option since the customer switched the used language forth and back.




08-13-2019 05:54

I failed to mention that you can have the "Auto Convert Trimble Access Job File" Utility load at user login and becomes a Icon in the Taskbar Notification area near the clock.  From there you can exit, pause and configure it by right clicking on the icon.  Again, it is not a stand alone tool and requires prerequisites such as TBC, Configuration Update, CSM, etc. to function properly.



08-13-2019 05:42

FWIW, Trimble also has a utility called "Auto Convert Trimble Access Job Files" that is very handy.  You can define various folder locations for the utility to monitor at user configurable time intervals.  Then you can set it up to automatically convert any files matching the criteria to any of the formats that you have have "Style Sheets" for on your computer.


For example, I have a folder called Download and have the Auto Convert Utility monitoring that folder.  So when I copy a TA job file to that folder, it creates a copy of the *.job file in JXL format.  In addition, I also have it running several other "conversions" such as a "Quality Control Report", "Calibration Report", "Productivity Report", "Survey Report", "KML" as well a a few others (depends on the project).  The is all done without user interaction in mere minutes of copying the *.job file to that folder.  Then I move them over to the Projects main folder for review.


I believe you need to have the "Trimble ASCII File Generator Utility" installed along with its prerequisites / minimum requirements.


I have included the URL to Trimble's webpage where the utilities above as well as several other utilities are available for download below.


Trimble Utilities 


These are great tools and kudos to Trimble for making these available to us users.



06-26-2019 16:00

Thank you very much for discovering that the output format to use is "Trimble JobXML." I wasn't able to find that in any of the Trimble documentation. This completely solves our problem.


Thanks again!

06-21-2019 06:16

Yes, There is a way to do a batch Convert.


Let me Help you how to do it


Example in Powershell / you may do it in python as well


Add all Job files to a one Folder

add the AsciiFileGenerator.exe to the same folder (from  C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Trimble\ASCII File Generator)


$files = Get-ChildItem "YourFolder"
for ($i=0; $i -lt $files.Count; $i++) {    $infile = $files[$i].FullName    AsciiFileGenerator.exe "$infile" "Trimble JobXML" "$i"}

that is it. 


If you want to code as CMD batch, please let me know ill send you a complete code with example jobs.


Kind Regards.

09-11-2018 20:48

Is there a way to do this with the ASCII File Converter program from the command line, in order to batch convert JOB to JXL?

04-01-2018 04:35

Heinz I just hope that Trimble is providing the safeguards against tampering the RAW data in TBC and ACCESS with illegal intentions and ways to detect these frauds in surveys

03-28-2018 16:45

With the Raw Data editor in Terramodel it is possible to edit the raw data. My understanding is, in non of the above and Terramodel it is possible to edit the original .JOB file from Trimble Access.

03-28-2018 08:15

Adam and Joe this is something that TBC should warn and inform the user when importing these files so that specifically cadastral map inspectors and reviewers become aware of it during their analysis

03-27-2018 12:26

It could but I don't think it would be any different then exporting a JXL from TA or TBC, this is just a shortcut to do that. You would still see that it's not a JOB file but a JXL file imported in TBC. These plain text XML files can be edited but we can't control that.

03-24-2018 05:51

Joe could this feature be used to change the raw data of illegal cadastral surveys by its PLS modifying time stamps, point measurements, inserting points not measured, etc?