Configuring AECOsim Building Designer #2 – Adding a Company Dataset to the Simple Test Project

Having established MyDataset_NM and MyProject_NM_Light_01 in part 1 I’ll now show you how to add a Company Dataset to isolate any changes you make from the delivered dataset. This is going to involve a long list of configuration variables, however this list is nowhere near as complicated as it may look at first glance!

While all of Bentley’s configuration files are text files that will open with Windows Notepad, I recommend using Notepad++ or a similar specialised text editor to do this. See Making Configuration Files Legible in Notepad++ for more on this.


1. Create a new folder: C:\ProgramData\Bentley\AECOsimBuildingDesigner V8i Ss4\WorkSpace\BuildingDatasets\Dataset_ Company

2. Edit the ‘Company & Localized dataset’ section of MyProject_NM_Light_01.pcf as shown below to direct ABD to this new folder and use a set of configuration variable values that append the company dataset folders to the existing values pointing to the delivered Dataset_NM.

Note: the local dataset variable is intended to allow a global company dataset to have local, i.e. country/region specific, variations so is not used in this example, so some lines remain commented out.

COMP_DATASET  = $(TF_DATASETS) Dataset_Company/
# LOCAL_DATASET = $(TF_DATASETS)DatasetExtensions/Dataset_Localized/
# Read Localized cfg-file, which adds search paths to localized dataset subfolders
%if exists ($(COMP_DATASET)Dataset_Company.cfg)
%include $(COMP_DATASET)Dataset_Company.cfg
# %if exists ($(LOCAL_DATASET)Dataset_Localized.cfg)
# %include $(LOCAL_DATASET)Dataset_Localized.cfg
# %endif
# Add search path for Company & Localised - level/Building type portions of the
# Dataset (Delete or comment out config variables if subfolder does not exist)

DG_CATALOGS_PATH   > $(COMP_DATASET)datagroupcatalogs/
DG_PATH    > $(COMP_DATASET)datagroupsystem/
ATFDIR_CASEWORK   > $(COMP_DATASET)frame/casework/
ATFDIR_Door   > $(COMP_DATASET)frame/doors/
ATFDIR_Window  > $(COMP_DATASET)frame/windows/
MS_PATTERN   > $(COMP_DATASET)materials/pattern/
MS_BUMP   > $(COMP_DATASET)materials/bump/ 

Note the following changes from the existing variables:

COMP_DATASET = $(TF_DATASETS)DatasetExtensions/Dataset_Company/

I put the Dataset_Company folder directly under …\WorkSpace\BuildingDatasets\ for clarity:


Each of the existing lines pointing to LOCAL_DATASET is uncommented (by removing the #) and changed to COMP_DATASET.

Important: If you have set up a test dataset as described in part 1 you will also need to redefine TF_DATASETNAME





This will revert to using the delivered NM dataset from the copy created in part 1.

3. All of the folders defined by COMP_DATASET must exist in …\WorkSpace\BuildingDatasets\

So create or copy all of the folders listed above. You should end up with:

Tip: use Windows key-in sequence Alt + F > w > f > type the foldername to quickly create new folders.

If a folder does not exist or its location does not match the path set by the configuration the Message Center will list the error. In this example DatasetExtensions/ was left in the COMP_DATASET path causing a series of self-explanatory warnings to be listed, the incorrect path is listed last:

Open a file then open Dataset Explorer:

Note the three Dataset_Company folders are now listed. All three are empty ready for parts to be copied or created. On the whole copying a part for modification is the quickest way to get started.

Warning! Do not try these steps on your office workstation without consulting your CAD/BIM/IT manager!