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    Default Database of Details

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    Hello again.

    I was recently asked to look in to creating some sort of database for typically used details.

    Ideally these details would be able to be searched on some database by keywords and then details would appear. Has anyone tried anything similar?

    I used to work at an architectural firm that had a database accessible via a web browser. You'd type in whatever criteria you wanted and certain details would show up.

    I'm not thinking of anything that fancy at this time. I'm wondering if Microsoft Access would be an appropriate program to use to create such a database. Currently I don't really know Access, so I'm not sure of it's capabilities.

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    Have you looked into drawing management systems?
    "I have only come here seeking knowledge. Things they wouldn't teach me of in college." The Police

    Eat brains...gain more knowledge!

    I'm now a full member of the Society for the Promotion of Mediocrity in CAD. Standards? We don't need no stinkin' standards! Take whatever advice I offer and do the opposite.

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    The main problem is how to store the details.
    We use - one file = one part.
    The main folder of the database files. Located on the server.
    Inside the subfolder with details.
    A special program shows a tree of files.
    Select the desired file in the tree, the program inserts the part from the file.
    Do not use Access, this is superfluous.
    There is a second option - many details in one file.
    The program shows the miniatures of the parts.
    Select the part and paste it into the drawing.

    You need
    1. decide how to store the items.
    2. how to show the list of details.
    3. how to insert into the drawing.

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    I would not throw out Access with the bath water just yet.

    Its a database engine the dwg management progrm we use is based on access and has a huge quantity of features wrapped around a database. The obvious thing is that you think its a special program graphical interface buttons, pull down menus etc create reports, search and so on. But we could just open the the underlying database as a normal Access file. Its currently 101Mb in size. One of the advantages of going down a true database direction is the use of indexes ie instant searches this is built into them. Its another world of programming and search for SQL. You can do database link to another database using a key ie part number. There is I am sure a huge amount of info about writing front end programs for Access. But as a start you can use Access out of the box its excel look and feel makes people happy to enter data creating search macro's would be next step. The step after that is to hide Access altogether.

    Lastly like Excel->Autocad you can interrogate Access via Autocad just something I have not needed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by maratovich View Post
    The main problem is how to store the details.
    We use - one file = one part.
    The main folder of the database files. Located on the server.
    Inside the subfolder with details.
    A special program shows a tree of files.
    Select the desired file in the tree, the program inserts the part from the file.
    Do not use Access, this is superfluous.
    There is a second option - many details in one file.
    The program shows the miniatures of the parts.
    Select the part and paste it into the drawing.

    You need
    1. decide how to store the items.
    2. how to show the list of details.
    3. how to insert into the drawing.
    Maybe I'm being too simplistic. I imagine it would go like this

    1. At project close out we would select details that worked very well on the the project.
    2. Somone would be tasked with creating an individual dwg of that detail.
    3. We would need some naming system
    4. We would then enter that file name in to the data base and all the keywords that would call that detail up
    5. I would be able to access the database and enter some keywords and some detail file names would show up.
    6. I'm guessing the name would be clickable to open the file.

    A thumbnail would be incredibly useful. I have not thought about how to accomplish that.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BIGAL View Post
    I would not throw out Access with the bath water just yet.

    Its a database engine the dwg management progrm we use is based on access and has a huge quantity of features wrapped around a database. The obvious thing is that you think its a special program graphical interface buttons, pull down menus etc create reports, search and so on. But we could just open the the underlying database as a normal Access file. Its currently 101Mb in size. One of the advantages of going down a true database direction is the use of indexes ie instant searches this is built into them. Its another world of programming and search for SQL. You can do database link to another database using a key ie part number. There is I am sure a huge amount of info about writing front end programs for Access. But as a start you can use Access out of the box its excel look and feel makes people happy to enter data creating search macro's would be next step. The step after that is to hide Access altogether.

    Lastly like Excel->Autocad you can interrogate Access via Autocad just something I have not needed.
    Yes, another language to learn. I'll have to give access a shot. I usually learn best when I have a task in mind.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "interrogate Access via autocad".

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    Quote Originally Posted by ReMark View Post
    Have you looked into drawing management systems?
    Is there one in particular you are thinking of?

  8. #8
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    You can get at the Access database like excel a row:column type answer. You may even be able to use SQL.Autocad has database querry as an option this may only be in Autocad MAP. As an example we could querry our GIS system but IT does not let us, Autocad would become the screen display but all the information is from our GIS database.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by guitarguy1685 View Post
    A thumbnail would be incredibly useful. I have not thought about how to accomplish that.
    Here are some examples:
    https://youtu.be/OO_ev6lMUpc

    Example tree elements:
    https://youtu.be/akEmkkl9Z1A

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BIGAL View Post
    I would not throw out Access with the bath water just yet.

    Its a database engine the dwg management progrm we use is based on access and has a huge quantity of features wrapped around a database. The obvious thing is that you think its a special program graphical interface buttons, pull down menus etc create reports, search and so on. But we could just open the the underlying database as a normal Access file. Its currently 101Mb in size. One of the advantages of going down a true database direction is the use of indexes ie instant searches this is built into them. Its another world of programming and search for SQL. You can do database link to another database using a key ie part number. There is I am sure a huge amount of info about writing front end programs for Access. But as a start you can use Access out of the box its excel look and feel makes people happy to enter data creating search macro's would be next step. The step after that is to hide Access altogether.

    Lastly like Excel->Autocad you can interrogate Access via Autocad just something I have not needed.
    Do you have a GUI though for users to use?

    Is the database more for storing drawings relating to a project (e.g. kerbing of Smith Street etc) or is it more of a block library database?

    We use a few databases (some in house developed, others off the shelf and the main problem I find with them is not the database but users and the details chosen (or not chosen...) to enter.

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