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Sunday, June 26, 2011

How to set up a connection between Autodesk Revit and Microsoft Access, via DBLink.

The following instructions describe how to set up a connection between Autodesk Revit and Microsoft Access, via DBLink. I used the hardware and software specified below, but these instructions might work for other specifications.

Hardware & Operating system:

Intel i5 , 4 gb RAM & Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

Software:
  • Revit Architecture 2012
  • Microsoft Access 2010 (* see note at the end of this page for other versions)
  • Autodesk Revit DBLink for 2012.
Downloads:
  • From the Subscription Center, from the list of Product Enhancements, download "Autodesk Revit DBLink for 2012", from this link:
http://subscription.autodesk.com/sp/servlet/download/index?siteID=11564774&id=14499814

Steps:
  • Once you have downloaded and installed DBLink, the next time you open Revit, there will be a new tool, named as "External Tools" > "Revit DBlink" in a tab named as "Add-Ins" on the ribbon.
  • Open a project, for example the "rac_basic_sample_project.rvt"
  • Do: Add-Ins > External Tools > Revit DB Link.
  • From the "Link Revit Model with Database" dialog box, from the ODBC tab, select "Select a new connection" and click on "Export".
  • From the "Select Data Source" dialog box, click on "New".
  • From the "Create Data Source" select "Microsoft Access driver" and click "Next.
  • From the "Create New Data Source" dialog box, provide a name for the connection, such as "My connection". Click "Next".
  • From the "Create New Data Source" dialog box, click "Next", and click "Finish" on the next dialog box.
  • From the "ODBC Microsoft Access Setup" dialog box, click on "Create".
  • In the "New Database" dialog box, type the name of a new database, such as "my sample project", and the path where you want the file to be created. It will be created as a ".mdb" file. Click OK.
  • There should be a confirmation message letting you know that the file was created successfully. Click OK.
  • Back into the "ODBC Microsoft Access Setup" dialog box , click OK.
  • Here is something strange: I always get an error message, saying that "The file data source was not saved". Just click OK to that message.
  • Back into the "Select Data Source" dialog box, browse or scroll to the right until you find your "My connection.dsn" file, and click OK.
  • Back into the "ODBC Microsoft Access Setup" dialog box, click OK (again!)
  • There will be a window on the screen, entitled "Link Revit Model with Database". It will begin linking... after a few seconds it will say "(Not responding) Don't panic, just wait... it is working... actually, you now have an Access file (my sample project.mdb) with all the data.
  • From the ribbon, click again on "External Tools > Revit DBLink".
  • From the "Link Revit model with database" dialog box, from the ODBC tab, select your connection, that should be now on the list, and click on "Edit and import".
  • After a few seconds, you will see a big window, named as "Edit Database before Import", from where you could see all the data of the model, in database format.










Comments
:

The process for setting up this connection definitely has some flaws. I did this using the latest and greatest in hardware and software, and I still got some strange errors, that should not have happened. Anyway, if you follow the steps described above, DBLink will be now up and running. Finally!

Note:
* If you don't have Microsoft Access 2010, but other previous versions, you need to download and install the proper drivers from Microsoft, either 32 or 64 bits, from this link:
http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=13255

Friday, June 24, 2011

Best posts of the month of May 2011

The best posts of the month of May in Revitforum.org are:

1) Post #17873 by ekkonap in Thread: Revit Formulas for "everyday" usage.
2) Post #15341 by Munkholm in Thread: Parametric Finish Materials.
3) Post #18723 by funkys in Thread: New API utility

Brief comment about the first post:

Just on May 23rd, 2011, Ekko Nap, from the Netherlands, joined our forum, and now, very soon, one his first contributions has been voted by the community as the best post of the month. The post contains instructions about sorting out the largest of a series of variables in the family editor, as shown in this image:







This post contains, in addition, a formula to create a random value, that Ekko created when he was trying to make some families of trees.

For more information about the first post, please refer to this link: Post #17873

Brief comment about the second post:

The second post this month is by our founder, Klaus Munkholm. It contains a tutorial video, explaining how to create a parameter to hold the name of a material, and how to apply this material parameter to an object in a family. Then, in the project, you can change the material of the object by changing the value of the parameter.

For some reason that we don't know yet, this functionality was available until the 2011 versions of Revit, but was kind of "forgotten" in the 2012 versions. Some Autodesk sources have recognized the issue and said that a fix will be included in a future service pack.

For more information about this post, please refer to this link: Post #15341

Brief comment about the third post:

The third post this month is by Funkys, a user from Sophia, Bulgaria, who joined us on February 20, 2011. This post contains instructions about how to add a custom plug-in to Revit. These Funkys' instructions:

"Copy the (plugin).dll somewhere(X) and then copy the (plugin).addin file here: C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\REVIT\Addins\2012 . Then open (plugin).addin in Notepad and change the path((X)\(plugin).dll) to X place of the plugin."

For more information about this post, please refer to this link: Post #18723

That´s all for now. I will be back with more comments about the best posts in our forum, next month.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Download Revit Families

I´m pleased to announce that the new Download Section is now available on revitforum.org

So far it contains a draft of the coming "Revit Forum Style Guide", and a couple of highly parametric Doors that are built in compliance with the new Style Guide.

We encourage everyone to use and to share families! But to make sure that the Download Section only contains Quality content, uploaded families will not become public available until one of our volunteering "experts" have approved it.

Use at own risk, and enjoy!