Like V8i? You’ll Love CONNECT – Replacing Tag Sets with Item Types

You like MicroStation V8i, but…

MicroStation V8i allowed elements to be “tagged” with non-graphical data referred to as Tags. Tags were stored in Tag Sets, with the tag data providing for the reporting on tagged elements.

Though a useful feature, Tags and Tag Sets had their limitations:

  • Tag Sets stored locally – Tag Sets were created and stored in the active DGN file. To use a Tag Set and its related Tags in another design file, the Tag Set had to first be exported to a Tag Library, and the Tag Library subsequently imported into the desired DGN. This resulted in multiple disparate copies of the Tag Set with those copies having no relationship to each other.
  • Tag Data display – Tag Data displayed in the view window as though it were text. To prevent the Tag Data from appearing in the view or when printing, the display of the Tag Data had to be disabled through a View or Print Attribute.
  • Reporting – Tag reporting capabilities were limited, with Tag Report Templates first being created in an external report template file, and the resulting template ran on the tags available in the active model. This resulted in the creation of a comma delimited text file or an XML file.
  • Stand-alone data – The data was effectively stand-alone in that if the data in the DGN were updated, there was no connection to any reporting that used the data.

 

You’ll love the MicroStation CONNECT Edition because…

The MicroStation CONNECT Edition introduces the concept of Item Types. An Item Type is a user defined set of properties that are used to describe an object or element, replacing Tag Sets. They provide many enhancements over the Tag Sets found in earlier MicroStation Versions. Some of these enhancements include:

  • Stored in a DGNLib – As with many other “standards”, Item Types are typically stored in a Design Library (DGNLib). This makes them easy to distribute across your organization and share amongst Users as well as allow a CAD Manager to maintain and control the master Item Types library.
  • Attach Item Data – Items may be attached to an individual element, cell, model, file, or reference.
  • Possible Uses – Items can be used to label elements, in reporting, or to change the display of elements, making them vastly more functional than Tag Data.
  • Reporting – When used with reporting, the report results can be placed as a MicroStation table element, exported directly to Excel, or exported as a text file with the report definition linked to the data. If the Item data is updated, the report may be rerun, and the resulting data refreshed.
  • Upgrade – Tag Data and Tag Sets may easily be upgraded to Item Types.

The robust reporting features associated with Item Types and Items can be used to generate door and window schedules, a bill of materials, or perform simple quantities. Items attached to elements can be used to repurpose geometry, changing the display of elements not just at print time, but rather while a User is working in the design.

Item Types and Items are a powerful addition that can be found in the MicroStation CONNECT Edition!