Using a Database in COADE CADWorx Plant

I wanted to talk today about another underutilized tool in CADWorx Plant (and Pro). The Database. Now, some of us have had run-ins with other software that made the database a less than pleasant experience. This doesn’t have to be one of those times. I’m going to talk about a few places where I’ve used the database, and ask you guys to do let us know how you use it.

Database for a spec

OK, don’t get excited, really! This call came in yesterday, a client has a model that was given to them by a contract designer. He used his specs, and now those specs aren’t available to the end user. The model they have looks great, but as we all know, it’s going to change. These guys are left with the unenviable task of building specs that they don’t have, to match a model that they do. To do this, we’ll use a database. Now this isn’t the 1 button "save all" button to fix our problems, but by doing a 1 time data "dump" to an access database, we can get a headstart on the process. To do the one time dump, we’ll go to Plant>Accessory>Database>Export. Select the database type, and name it. This will give you the information you need to build a spec based off what is already in the model. The information exported to a database not only includes short and long descriptions, it also shows the datafile used to create the component. This is HUGE to determine if it was an out of the box file, or one that was created.

Database to Rebuild a model

This one looks really cool, and has some big implications. Once you export to a database, or the case of plant pro, use a live database, you can import that into a new drawing to rebuild all of the piping. Imagine a drawing corruption, if you have a database of the model, you can pull the pipe into a new clean drawing.

Database to change Descriptions

This one has happened to us all. We "finish" up a model, and start turning in drawings and someone doesn’t like the descriptions that we used. An easy way to clean up an entire model in a hurry is with a live database. In the database, use the filter tools in access to align up the descriptions, then use find/replace to bulk change descriptions. Save and close the database, then sync your drawing back up to it.

These are just some of the things we’ve toyed around with. We’ve also done semi-realtime material drags from the database to see where things stand during various stages of the project. With the amount of data that is available, the possibilities are HUGE!

Let me know how you are using database, and as always, if you have any questions, please let me know!


  • So how exactly do you use the database to rebuild a model? Do you have to have the specs?

    • You can use the database inport to build the model, you do need the specs that were used to create it however. What I’ve found is that in many cases, most people use the defualt datafiles for the bulk of their models, so recreating a spec using the information in the database isn’t too bad either. It can be a little time consuming, but it does work. The problem is that the spec will only be for the components in the model at that time, rather than the complete spec. It’s manual, but again, pretty easy. The database gives you Datafile name and Folder, in addition to the Long and Short Description.

      Let me know if this confuses in any way, I’d be more than happy to discuss it in greater detail if you would like.