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Plant not displaying after trying to upload external plant list, and general database confusion.


tomtomtom

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After trying to upload my work's plant data base I've been having occasional issues with plant creation. I usually create a plant by duplicating an existing one, and then modifying it's name, metadata and visual features as needed. For some reason my new plants are, from time to time, coming up as blank object, although the ID tag is still being displayed. I can't see what's causing this and have tried turning on all the class layers, but this has no effect. I've also been unable to pull in any of the plants from the database I uploaded, even though it is visible now. I have noticed that the "vectorworks plants" application keeps opening when I add plants now...so I guess the issues are relate, but am pretty confused as to what I've done. My first priority is figuring out why plants are displaying as expected...please see image for reference. And thanks in advance for anyone taking the time to help here! ūüôā

I have included 3 images, 1, how the plant displays, 2. the missing parts that aren't displaying but which are visible in the 'edit 2d component' space, and 3. how my plants generally look for reference.

Screen Shot 2021-07-30 at 4.11.04 PM.png

Screen Shot 2021-07-30 at 4.11.22 PM.png

Screen Shot 2021-07-30 at 4.15.47 PM.png

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Hi Jeff or anyone else who can help. I've attached a test file that displays some of my issues. There's a couple of plants here, one created before I tried to upload a database (the purple circle with the tag RVp), and a couple of others created after trying to upload a plant database - one is showing up as Plp, for example, even though it's 2d component style is pretty much the same as the other plant. The error is not consistent, but seems to be happening with most new plants that I try to create. The main issue is that the plant's visual component (just a simple circle) is not displayed. I guess this has something to do with my trying to load up an alternative database, but I cannot see why the plants would be displayed differently, and I don't understand how to revert to the previous way that vectorworks worked, i.e. previously it was not opening the plant database application when I added a plant, but doing things from withing VW.

test for help.vwx

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17 minutes ago, tomtomtom said:

Hi Jeff or anyone else who can help. I've attached a test file that displays some of my issues. There's a couple of plants here, one created before I tried to upload a database (the purple circle with the tag RVp), and a couple of others created after trying to upload a plant database - one is showing up as Plp, for example, even though it's 2d component style is pretty much the same as the other plant. The error is not consistent, but seems to be happening with most new plants that I try to create. The main issue is that the plant's visual component (just a simple circle) is not displayed. I guess this has something to do with my trying to load up an alternative database, but I cannot see why the plants would be displayed differently, and I don't understand how to revert to the previous way that vectorworks worked, i.e. previously it was not opening the plant database application when I added a plant, but doing things from withing VW.

test for help.vwx 6.66 MB · 0 downloads

 

Your "Plp" plant is present graphically, it's just a 2mm circle.  Your "Rvp" plant is a 1500mm circle.  Are you using the actual Plant Database or Plant Catalog to manage your plants?  I suspect the issue is the two different systems you are using to manage plant data are defining units differently, one incorrectly.  I would investigate there first.

 

 

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Thanks, I think you are right. I tried to import my work's plant database (I made a CSV with a template from Vectorworks, but added one more column for spacing. It seemed to work at first, but don't know the first thing about doing this and it has caused all sorts of issues, missing plants etc. Would I edit the units/scaling in the "plant database" application?

 

I'm finding the whole database pretty clunky to be honest, and wouldn't mind some tips. I tried to import my work's database because I find the process of entering basic data (spread, latin names, spacing etc) really inefficient due to needing to click on different subtabs each time.

 

 

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@tomtomtom You might want to read thru "PlantDatabase.pdf".  This is the most informative reference that shipped with Vectorworks, just search your computer for that specific file.  I think this will help you understand how to import other databases, manipulate, and manage them.  Basically, the database is only as good as the information typed in.

 

Sidebar...

The problem with the size field is that it is sensitive to how the data is entered and it allows you type a range of size however you wish, more on that later.  I bet if you compare how you enter data and how your office is doing it, you will find the problem.  Even the default Vectorworks database contains errors in this regard with becomes evident when switching the database between Imperial and Metric using the Edit ->Options-> Use (metric or imperial) option from the database's menu (not Vectorworks).  If you look closely, you will note the data entry is different between Proven Winners, Monrovia, and even different years of the Vectorworks plants.  Running the conversation from Imperial to Metric skips over tons of plants and leaves them in Imperial since the database has no table for these different data conversions.  Had they structured the database with discreet fields for max and min rather than allow for people to enter data however they wish, this wouldn't be an issue.

 

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@tomtomtom Before you get too deep in the Plant Database, a note from me pestering @Tamsin Slatter with questions at the Design Summit: It's my understanding that the VW Database a la Filemaker that ships with the software is a legacy from previous versions and it's future with VW is unknown. I was encouraged to use the Plant Catalog, which I'm currently experimenting with by creating separate drawings for each supplier I use, but I'm also unclear on the best practices for managing plant data and other data in general. I agree it would be nice to have more guidance in this area.

 

Cheers

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2 hours ago, Peter W Flint said:

@tomtomtom Before you get too deep in the Plant Database, a note from me pestering @Tamsin Slatter with questions at the Design Summit: It's my understanding that the VW Database a la Filemaker that ships with the software is a legacy from previous versions and it's future with VW is unknown. I was encouraged to use the Plant Catalog, which I'm currently experimenting with by creating separate drawings for each supplier I use, but I'm also unclear on the best practices for managing plant data and other data in general. I agree it would be nice to have more guidance in this area.

 

Cheers


If Vectorworks forces us to adopt proprietary Plant Styles and abandons the FileMaker database connectivity, I for one will be extremely disappointed.  The nursery industry, government agencies, and academia publish tons of databases which landscape architects rely on to curate their own plant information sheets.  Plant Styles fail to address the data management and publication needs of LAs outside of Vectorworks and would eliminate one of the most valuable tools in the program… the use of an outside database to populate plant information.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Just to confirm. Vectorworks has no plans to "abandon" the FileMaker database. The long term issue with the FileMaker solution is that FileMaker is a third party product, and FileMaker no longer support the application specific licence that is bundled with Vectorworks. It continues to work, which is why it is still available for you to use. However, at some point, it may stop working, and our engineers will have no control over this as it's not our software. At the Design Summit, I suggested that customers familiarise themselves with the Plant Catalogs which provide an interim solution that IS within our control.

Ultimately, our goal is also to provide links to external databases through the web and not rely on anything proprietory.

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6 hours ago, Tamsin Slatter said:

Ultimately, our goal is also to provide links to external databases through the web and not rely on anything proprietory.

 

I hope the goal is to link to external databases that are local, hosted, or on the web.  Limiting it to a web connection would be problematic.  It would also be nice if Vectorworks fixed the problems associated with connecting to outside databases (not plants).  The issues are well documented here on the forum and have been going on for some time.

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