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Can we work with external database in Archicad

Anonymous
Not applicable
Dear Archicad User

can we work with external database in archicad ?for calculations purpose materials
12 REPLIES 12

Karl Ottenstein
Moderator
Baheerathan wrote:
Dear Archicad User

can we work with external database in archicad ?for calculations purpose materials
Yes and no (mostly no).

There is no mechanism to directly access an external database, however a programmer can write an add-on/plug-in using the API Software Development Kit to do so. At one point, there was such an add-on available in the US to interface with Timberline Estimating. I have no personal knowledge of that though.

(You can also interface to external files from within a GDL object - but I doubt if that is what you want either.)

The other method is a bit of a kludge and does not yield a live database connection ... but allows you to convert existing data into an ArchiCAD database that can be accessed via the Calculate functions. If you look at your "ArchiCAD Library 10" folder, you'll see a subfolder with "List Templates 10" and then "Property Data 10". Under that, depending on your country, there will be some subfolders for the active "databases" delivered 'out of the box'.

Those 'databases' can be manipulated from the Calculate menu commands... but you'll notice that they are all text files. So, after creating a new database within ArchiCAD, you can convert existing external database content into this ArchiCAD format if that is of any use.

Live connections would be nice. And, if the ODBC interface was made bi-directional (and a version for 10 were delivered), that would be nice too. But, I doubt if GS sees these things as revenue generators, so I don't think we'll see any developments here soon.

Karl
One of the forum moderators   •   AC 25 USA and earlier   •   MacOS 11.6.6, iMac Pro

adamrendek
Newcomer
Hi Karl,

We have a large amount of content in an ArchiCAD project and we would like to edit different kinds of data in Access. The interactive schedule would theoretically be able to do that for us, however every change takes minutes because of the project size. It's simply not feasible. I know that currently there is nothing out - like the newly released Revit Database link - from Graphisoft that would enable bi-directional connection to a database.

Do you know of any custom developed plugin that would do that and which we could use?

Thanks,

Adam

Karl Ottenstein
Moderator
Hi Adam,

I'm not aware of any bi-directional add-ons. Perhaps there are some out there that are proprietary and so are not discussed here? Ralph at Encina may know of something.

ODBC continues to be supported by Graphisoft, but as a read-only access.

A generic two-way add-on would be feasible with the API SDK, at least for all supported elements and attributes, but it would be a fairly large undertaking (months rather than days).

Hopefully someone will post - or if you find something that isn't top secret, please share it here.

Cheers,
Karl
One of the forum moderators   •   AC 25 USA and earlier   •   MacOS 11.6.6, iMac Pro

Ralph Wessel
Mentor
adamrendek wrote:
Do you know of any custom developed plugin that would do that and which we could use?
Encina has developed 2 add-ons that provide a bidirectional link between ArchiCAD and an external database, the first to connect to Codebook and the second to connect to NBS Building. We have a third project of this type underway now, and would be happy to assist with your project. I need to know more about your requirements, but communicating by PM might be more appropriate.
Ralph Wessel BArch

Karl Ottenstein
Moderator
Ralph to the rescue! 🙂

Ralph - I don't see either the Codebook or NBS Building connection add-ons described on your web site. Could you share a a link, or a little description of them here?

Cheers,
Karl
One of the forum moderators   •   AC 25 USA and earlier   •   MacOS 11.6.6, iMac Pro

Ralph Wessel
Mentor
Karl wrote:
Ralph - I don't see either the Codebook or NBS Building connection add-ons described on your web site. Could you share a a link, or a little description of them here?
I don't describe these products on my website because it could cause confusion. These add-ons are simply a 'bridge' between ArchiCAD and other applications, and not an application in their own right. If a company purchases Codebook or NBS Building (to use with ArchiCAD) they must have these add-ons too (and they will be referred to it). But if you don't use these applications, the add-ons are of no interest.

You can find out more about Codebook here.
And information about NBS Building here.
Ralph Wessel BArch

adamrendek
Newcomer
Thanks, Karl for the idea! I'll explore this route further with Ralph.

Adam

Anonymous
Not applicable
This is important to know about. We have clients who are starting to ask for this, assuming that the bi-directionality is available, SOP, from the company that helped pioneer data under the hood.

Ralph Wessel
Mentor
didrik wrote:
This is important to know about. We have clients who are starting to ask for this, assuming that the bi-directionality is available, SOP, from the company that helped pioneer data under the hood.
Contact me via PM or through Encina's contact details if you want more information.
Ralph Wessel BArch

Link
Expert
Ralph are the Codebook and NBS Building add-ons current and working? I wasn't aware that there was a current solution to connect to codebook.

We've been asked by a local QS software company to link to their program. I assume an add-on is the only way to go for bidirectional connectivity, but for a one way path, can labels, keynotes, or property objects be passed through IFC? Do you know?

Cheers,
Link.

Ralph Wessel
Mentor
Link wrote:
Ralph are the Codebook and NBS Building add-ons current and working? I wasn't aware that there was a current solution to connect to codebook.
We've been asked by a local QS software company to link to their program. I assume an add-on is the only way to go for bidirectional connectivity, but for a one way path, can labels, keynotes, or property objects be passed through IFC? Do you know?
Yes, the Codebook and NBS Building add-ons are fully operational. The add-ons provide bi-directional communication with an external application so, for example, Codebook can direct a series of commands at ArchiCAD to open create a layout, open it, and place views, labels, and schedules.

I'm currently developing another add-on specifically for an architectural firm to link its existing document management system to ArchiCAD, for automating the creation and management of drawings, and tracking revisions/issues. This is also bi-directional, but primarily driven from the external database.

I think an add-on is the only way to provide automated bi-directional communication. The alternative is to save and merge intermediary files, and I imagine IFCs could be used that way. However, that approach is slow, limited in scope, and error-prone.
Ralph Wessel BArch

Link
Expert
That's really interesting. Thanks for your reply and I may be in touch privately depending on how things pan out here.

Cheers,
Link.

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