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Thread: Revit DB Link

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    Revit DB Link

    can someone tell me what file format(s) DB Link exports to? I need to be able to get a file to Excel or Access. Does DB Link export directly to .xls or .mdb? I don't have it installed yet or I would figure it out the easy way...sorry

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    Member hypnox1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Jones View Post
    can someone tell me what file format(s) DB Link exports to? I need to be able to get a file to Excel or Access. Does DB Link export directly to .xls or .mdb? I don't have it installed yet or I would figure it out the easy way...sorry
    It does both of these formats. However, when I was using it I never got it to work properly with xls format files.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hypnox1 View Post
    It does both of these formats. However, when I was using it I never got it to work properly with xls format files.
    me either, then I uninstalled it. But now I'm working with an Access developer on some other stuff and I may have him do some investigation into DB-Link from the Access direction. Thanks for the info

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    Member hypnox1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Jones View Post
    me either, then I uninstalled it. But now I'm working with an Access developer on some other stuff and I may have him do some investigation into DB-Link from the Access direction. Thanks for the info
    I suppose I should warn you that the access side has a lot of limitations and nuances (read as annoyances). When you first build your access export every category has its own table and nothing is linked together. From there you have to manually build links between tables, if needed. Stuff like links and formulas (can't remember if that is what they are called in access) get broken every time you export to access. It's almost best to just work with it the way it gets exported, which is a real pain sometimes.

    Those issues may have been fixed for the 2011 release as I have not used it since 2010. I have since switched to using the Revit Data Transfer Tool which works exclusively with xls files but doesn't seem to have as many problems as DB Link does. It still has its issues though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hypnox1 View Post
    I suppose I should warn you that the access side has a lot of limitations and nuances (read as annoyances). When you first build your access export every category has its own table and nothing is linked together. From there you have to manually build links between tables, if needed. Stuff like links and formulas (can't remember if that is what they are called in access) get broken every time you export to access. It's almost best to just work with it the way it gets exported, which is a real pain sometimes.

    Those issues may have been fixed for the 2011 release as I have not used it since 2010. I have since switched to using the Revit Data Transfer Tool which works exclusively with xls files but doesn't seem to have as many problems as DB Link does. It still has its issues though.
    good to know. I'm copying my Access guy with your post so he at least some idea of what he's getting into. I'll check out Revit Data Transfer Tool also

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    Member Dive_Syko's Avatar
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    Take a look at Ideate BIMLink. Plain ol' Excel in and out of Revit. I'm just using it in demo mode currently.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hypnox1 View Post
    I suppose I should warn you that the access side has a lot of limitations and nuances (read as annoyances). When you first build your access export every category has its own table and nothing is linked together. From there you have to manually build links between tables, if needed. Stuff like links and formulas (can't remember if that is what they are called in access) get broken every time you export to access. It's almost best to just work with it the way it gets exported, which is a real pain sometimes.

    Those issues may have been fixed for the 2011 release as I have not used it since 2010. I have since switched to using the Revit Data Transfer Tool which works exclusively with xls files but doesn't seem to have as many problems as DB Link does. It still has its issues though.
    I don't do Access, so I don't exactly know how it works, but here's a handy trick for xls:
    -Export the files from revit
    -Open in Excel and open a new excel document, call it Dummy or whatever you like.
    -Link the new excel document to the exported files from revit. In excel, go to cell A1, simply type "=" and switch to the document to which you want to link and select cell A1.
    - It will show something like ='Export$A$1' (with export being the name of the exported revitfile). Remove both the $-signs.
    - In the new file, stretch out the the cell using the little black quadrant in the lower right corner, first stretch to all columns. Let go, regrab and stretch to all rows (it won't let you stretch in two directions simultaniously)

    Now you have a link to the exported file from revit. The trick is this: close all exported files from Revit, save and close the new file. Change something in Revit, re-export, open the exported file in Excel first and then open the Dummy-file. All changes will update automatically.

    Few drawbacks:
    - You need to have some breating room in your linked cells. Excel doesn't automatically update the range of links. So if you link to a export which contains 10 rows of data, alter that in Revit to being 15 rows, the last 5 rows will not show in your Dummy. What I normally do is this: have a link to at least 2 blank rows of data. You will get 2 rows of 0's in Dummy. If it's less, you know you will have to adjust the link range.
    - Make sure you have the auto-update on startup OFF. Update manually and only if the exported are also opened within Excel. If not, you could end up with manually cancelling all attempts to update from excel.


    Pro:
    This works with delimited exports too. So you can use the "normal" schedule export from Revit.

    Like I said, I haven't tried this with Access but I do know you can link cells in the same way as you do in Excel. So it should work (without any addons or extra costs).

    I could mock up a dummy for you if I have more time (on a deadline) and if you're interested to play around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mdradvies View Post
    I could mock up a dummy for you if I have more time (on a deadline) and if you're interested to play around.
    I don't do Access either which is why I'm dealing with an Access programmer. I'm going to check out Ideate BIMLink suggested by Brian above. For what I'm going to have to pay the Access guy I could buy several copies of this software. And I know enough about Excel to get through by myself. Thanks for the offer though! I'll report back on my trial of BIMLink.

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    I am testing BIMLink as well. Its a very powerful program. Ideate also have excellent support for the software.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Cunningham View Post
    I am testing BIMLink as well. Its a very powerful program. Ideate also have excellent support for the software.
    so, for the 70k I'm paying you, you can help me out?

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