Once you've added the new plant to the database, you need to generate a new plant list that includes it in order for it to show up in VectorWorks itself. Keep in mind that VectorWorks does not talk directly to the database for its information, but only to the various plant list files. These are not automatically recreated when plants are added or edited.
Once you've added your plants, run a search on the criteria giving you the best selection of plants you would like for your current project, or based on any criteria you choose for general lists. The default lists were created based on category. Once you have the set of plants the you would like, create the plant lists using the File > Create Plant List menu item, and then go back to VectorWorks. Load the list with the name you just used and you should see you new plant there.
About the Open VW Plants: That will run the plant database from the location chosen in the VW Plants Location dialog. If this is the first time running the database, you will be given this automatically. You will probably end up with at least 2 copies of the database on your system. One in the installed application directory, and one in your user folder (the default for where the database will be run from) or any workgroup folder defined.
Once that location is esablished, both the VW Plants menu command and the button on the Get Plant Info dialog will run that copy of the database.
Using the Explore button from the dialog will take you to the folder where the currently chosen plant list is located. This may not be the same location as that configured to run the database since plant lists will be gathered together from the user, workgroup, and application folders like other resources. So if you've never run the database before, the plant lists will load from the application folder, until they get moved to the user folder.
As a quick aside: Do not try launching the VW Plants.usr file. The results are unpredictable. This is according to FileMaker's own documentation. To quote from FileMaker:
"Important?:??Your users should start your solution by double-clicking the runtime application icon, not the primary file icon. Double-clicking the icons for the primary or auxiliary files might result in errors, depending on whether there are other copies of the runtime application on their hard disk. If your users have more than one solution on their computers with the same three-character extension and they double-click the icon for the primary file, the most recently installed runtime application is opened, which may not be the correct application for your solution?s primary file."
I hope this covers what you need. If anything further is unclear, just drop a note and I'll try to help out.
Nemetschek North America