In Update 7, all ProStructures based structural members pull their available list of sections from MDB files as opposed to the traditional XML files from previous versions of OpenBuildings Designer (or when in legacy mode). However, there are some XML based sections that don't exist in any of the MDB files so they're unavailable for placement. Is there any way to convert XML data into MBD format so I can use those sections for ProStructures based members?
Yes, there is a process whereby legacy XML section data can be copied into an MDB file for use in ProStructures mode. The first section below outlines the steps to create a new MDB file for this purpose. If instead you want to copy certain shapes from an existing XML file into an existing MDB file, you can skip to the second section, making sure to append the copied data below any existing rows in the applicable MDB table.
1. Browse to ..\Configuration\WorkSpaces\Building_Examples\Standards\ProStructures\ and from one the available regional sets navigate to the \Shapes sub-folder to locate the Custom_xxx.mdb file (Metric or Imperial). In this example I am using the Custom_Metric.mdb file from the Great Britain folder.
2. Create a copy of this file, either in the same folder or elsewhere in an appropriate location within your workspace, and rename it as desired. This will serve as a template for your custom shapes database.
3. Open the file using Microsoft Access, double-click on the Content table, and modify the two fields in row 1 to match the new MDB file name as shown.
4. Use the existing Round_Pipe_M table as a template for your new shapes table, using one of the following methods.
A. Right-click on the existing Round_Pipe_M table and choose Copy, then Paste. In the "Paste Table As" dialog click on the Structure Only option and choose a name that represents the applicable shapes it will include. At this point you can delete the Round_Pipe_M table if not needed.
B. Right-click on Round_Pipe_M and select Rename. If you choose this option, open the renamed table and deleted the existing row.
Note: Regardless of the method chosen do not use dashes in the table names. Instead, where needed substitute with underscores; e.g., “I-Shapes” becomes “I_Shapes”.
5. Modify the Config table to either add a new record or modify the existing record.
A. Open the Config table, right-click and choose New Record to create a new empty row. Right-click on the first record and choose Copy, then right-click on the new row and choose Paste. This should duplicate the contents of the first row into the second row.
Modify the contents of the second row as shown below where "Name" is the table name, "Table" is the file name.table name, and Geometry Class is the type of shape, in this case SHAPECLASS_HE for I shapes.
B. Open the Config table and modify the contents as outlined above: "Name" is the table name, "Table" is the file name.table name, and Geometry Class is the type of shape.
SHAPECLASS_HE = I BeamsSHAPECLASS_LNE = AnglesSHAPECLASS_U = ChannelsSHAPECLASS_HALF_HE = Half I Beams, half T shapesSHAPECLASS_ROUNDPIPE = PipesSHAPECLASS_EDGEPIPE = CHS, SHSSHAPECLASS_FLAT = FlatsSHAPECLASS_ROUNDSTEEL = Pipes, Tubes
At this point your MDB database should be ready to accept shapes to be copied from the legacy XML file.
1. Open the desired XML file using the Open With option and choose Excel.
2. During the open operation choose the options "Open without apply style sheet", "Use the XML Source task pane", and accept the prompt to allow Excel to create a schema based on the XML file.
3. From the XML Source dialog, drag and drop the desired shape type directly into the active spreadsheet to generate the required columns.
Note: If the XML Source dialog is not displayed, right-click and choose XML > XML Source.
4. Right-click over the table header, choose XML > Import and select the desired file.
5. This should result in the original XML data now stored in the proper columns.
6. Copy and paste the populated rows and columns from Excel into the new table in your MDB file, one column at a time, so that each set of data is pasted into the correct corresponding column.
A few of the column to column mapping examples include:
d = GEO_Hwidth = GEO_Btw (thickness web) = GEO_TStf (Thickness flange) = GEO_TGw = FLA_GEWICHTfilletRadius = GEO_R
The complete set of column mappings can be found here:
Since the first five columns are shape names, depending on usage you may or may not choose to copy the values from the first column into columns two thru five.
Once you’ve copied all of the data from Excel into the applicable table, your MDB file should be ready for use in OpenBuildings Designer.
Configuration Changes to Support ProStructures Interoperability
New and modified files in OpenBuildings Designer Update 7 datasets