Jump to content

What's the benifit of Plant Catalog vs. Plant Database?


Recommended Posts

  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

That is about it. I prefer to set up my own plant book with one plant per sheet with more info pictures my logo and a layout I designed. This is best in Word, Pages, indesign or the like. Then use the Database or catalogs for plant lookup only. Once you attach the data to the symbol then no need for either.

Link to comment

Thanks for the quick responses @bgoff, Yes, It seems that the Plant Database is ripe for development, 4 pics, lots of data, we just need a way to pull this into a Sheet Layer. Worksheets are not a good option as you have very limited control of the layout.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
6 hours ago, bgoff said:

That is about it. I prefer to set up my own plant book with one plant per sheet with more info pictures my logo and a layout I designed. This is best in Word, Pages, indesign or the like. Then use the Database or catalogs for plant lookup only. Once you attach the data to the symbol then no need for either.


6 hours ago, bgoff said:

Also with some in-depth understanding of the catalogs they are the future of operation. this can be customized but it can be a little involved.


If Vectorworks is considering making Plant Catalogs a replacement for the Plant Database, I sure hope you guys incorporate some method of generating customizable plant cut sheets like the current Filemaker Pro database allows.  Further, I use the Plant Database on my Ipad using Filemaker Go.  This is a very handy tool for collecting information about plants while in the field or visiting a nursery.  If Vectorworks abandons the Plant Database, I hope a mobile Ipad functionality is made available.  This was one of the major selling points of Vectorworks for me as a landscape architect.  Plants are one of those things that are best kept in a database.  Using that database for a variety of purposes such as populating a model with data or generating a Plant Book without duplication of data is an efficient workflow.  I bought a copy of Filemaker Pro just so I could customize my plant books, it's a great alternative to the old school method of doing graphic layouts in InDesign, etc.

  • Like 4
Link to comment

This has me wondering what and where this Plant Catalog is?



By clicking 'Landmark/Open plant data' (or by 'edit plant style/Plant Style/Schedule/get plant data') I can get to the 'Select Plant Data' menu/palette ..

In the upper left of that has "plant catalog' drop down list which points to the plant database folder in my user vectorworks data folder.

But this just seems like different words for the same thing.


Is there a different work flow that doesn't use the plant style menu and the plant data tab?


I'm using 2021 if that make any difference.

Link to comment

@hollister design Studio I'm pretty nervous that VWX is going to discontinue the Filemaker Pro plant database in favor of their internal method of Catalog and Style.


The main reason I use the FMP database method is for the flexibility to use the data for other purposes such as making plant books (with the full version of FMP), collecting data in the field (using FM Go), and having a plant reference that can drag and drop photos into other applications (with the full version of FMP).  Vectorworks doesn't do any of that with Plant Catalogs, and it is a big part of my plant workflows.


I'm not sure how you migrate back and forth between Catalogs and the FMP Plant Database, but I imagine it's possible and described in the help menu.  The data side should be easy, the photographs are probably still problematic.


Link to comment
1 hour ago, bob cleaver said:

Hi Jeff -

how do we share a plant catalog ?? when this info is in the library/application support folder system ??



Hey Bob,

I actually don't know without looking it up.  I don't use the plant catalog, I use the plant database, but I imagine the sharing procedure would be similar.

Link to comment
9 minutes ago, bob cleaver said:

Thank you Jeff - yes the plant catalog and database are in the same library/application support folder hierarchy and they lose their connectivity if moved ??

you can storethe plant database anywhere you want, so long as you provide the software with the folder location.  I imagine plant catalogs work the same way.


  • Like 1
Link to comment

I hope this question isn't out of context here -  I've been using the Filemaker plant database with VW for years but every time I update VW it seems to get lost or I'm not able to connect to it.  Now I see, with 2021, that there is no way to even open the database I've been working on for years as there is not Filemaker program installed with this version of vectorworks.  When I try to navigate to the existing data location the entire program crashes - alas my entire plant library is now inaccessible.  Do I now need to purchase a version of Filemaker?  If so how do I connect the existing data to VW?  Thanks in advance for any help.


@lgoodkind according to the 2021 help menu, Vectorworks still gives you the option of using the Filemaker database natively.

Edited by jeff prince
  • Like 1
Link to comment
  • 1 month later...

Trying to summarize here, with a question in bold & underlined:


Plant Databases pros:

  • share-able via Workgroup folder functionality (see image A)
  • more powerful
  • mobile friendly via filemaker mobile app


Plant Database cons:


Plant Catalogs pros:

  • quicker and endorsed by VWX documentation


Plant Catalog cons:

  • appear to be single-user only, and not suitable for multi-user offices (see image B).  @bgoff or any other VWX staff: is this really a limitation or am I overlooking something?  Must multi-user offices use the Plant Database, or is there some way to point to a shared Plant Catalog?






  • Like 1
Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...