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DaviesTheChair

Alternative to broken ODBC (until fixed)

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While ODBC has stopped working in VWks 2020 and Catalina (at least with Filemaker Pro), I am searching for alternative options for a live project. One of these is to find a way to import an excel spreadsheet into VWks - doable as tabbed text import, then to link record fields to the worksheet containing the imported data. This would by-pass ODBC which is great (when it works) but takes more set up for inexperienced users> Also an internal look-ups within a drawing file should be more efficient within the programme.

 

However I cannot find any reference to lookup commands within the Vectorworks ecosystem, no equivalent Lookup and Match or Find routines from Excel for example. I know there are specific search criteria for object data and attributes, but no spreadsheet cell lookups based on Find criteria. Have I missed anything obvious here?

 

Essentially I need to get ID key data from database cells, find matching data from spreadsheet cells and return other values from a row and return them to record fields in the database cells so that I can add Symbol data automatically. Can this be done internally within a Vectorworks file or across referenced VWks files?

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This functionality is not part of the VW Worksheets. I believe someone wrote a script to simulate a VLookup command a couple of years ago, but I have never used it.

 

This could certainly be done with scripts, but probably not something that could be implented in days or maybe even weeks to be a general solution.

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Thanks Pat, really helpful to know. You have confirmed my searching and prevented me looking further in vain. 

I'm trying to figure out a workaround for the short-term - I really hope it is short term, until there is a fix for external ODBC object connections for a large catalogue of furniture information I need to get into a VWks BIM drawing.

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I have never managed to get Filemaker or Excel to work as ODBC with VW, but I never really tried that hard either as I never had a real need.

 

What about using a different database as a go between? Filemaker to MySql to VW? (or PostgresSQL or SQLLite)?

 

Or a third party ODBC driver?

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ODBC has worked really well for me with Filemaker previously, but the connection quality varies over time depending on compatibility of updates for a) operating system ODBC driver, b) ODBC drivers for Filemaker, c) Vectorworks implementation between Service Packs. However when it works, it is truly indistinguishable from magic! When it is up again I plan to set up a how to video for colleagues and I'm happy to share.

 

My plan B is to learn how to query and connect to MySQL, but I suspect the ODBC connection issues are not at the database end on this occasion as I think we are currently in version c) of the above options. I have tried various drivers and the Database connection works, the record format links from Vectorworks are all OK and I can even get small packets of data into the Vectorworks objects on first run (sometimes), but it constantly crashes on object connection.

 

I have a five storey building with 1500 objects on each floor to connect up to an external catalogue of coded items so doing this by hand is (gulp) not really an option I want to pursue. I'm awaiting a VWks tech support call, so will see how that goes.

 

Thanks for your valuable advice.

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