Reporting for CAD Administrators: Easily Create Reports on File Branding

During almost every course of QuickStart for MicroStation CONNECT Edition for Existing Users and certainly every MicroStation CONNECT Edition Upgrade for CAD Managers-Configuration we are asked about the branding of design files.

The question is “How do I tell what files are branded to what WorkSpace and/or WorkSet?”

Our stock answer has been we can brand (or un-brand) a file by opening it with the correct WorkSpace and WorkSet or by using a keyin or even batch process a group of files.

We have written various pieces of courseware and taught quite a lot about creating reports in MicroStation. This has typically been for reporting on Item Types as well as DGN Elements for quantity reports.

As a CAD Administrator, it may be beneficial to quickly check a file, a directory, WorkSet, all WorkSets, or a particular WorkSpace, etc. The resulting report could be used to ensure designs are opened by the correct pair of WorkSpace and WorkSet. It also can be used to create a file list for use with the batch process tools to correct file branding.

This Blog is about creating that report. A simple report showing the file, it’s location, and which WorkSpace/WorkSet the file is branded to.

The best place to create this report is not in the active file but rather a configured .dgnlib within your WorkSet, WorkSpace or Organizational standards. This allows everyone with that configured .dgnlib to have access to this report definition and other helpful CAD Management reports. . That is not to say that it must be placed at one of these configuration levels, it can be placed anywhere within your configuration from the Personal.dgnlib to standards.cfg and anywhere in between.

We will start in a .DGNLib, that has been placed into …\Configuration\Organization\Dgnlib. By placing the file in this location, MicroStation will make any reports it contains available for use by anyone using this WorkSpace/WorkSet. The file can also be “locked” using file permissions to be read-only for all but certain users. A copy of the .DGNLib with the report has been provided for your use.

To create the report:

  • From the Drawing Workflow, pick the Analyze Ribbon Tab and Reports.
  • Next create a New Category, calling it whatever you desire, ill stick with CAD Mgt Reports.
  • Create a New report definition called File Branding Report.
  • Then, pick the File Branding Report, and set the Properties>Search Location>Location Type to Path.
  • Substitute your Location or desired Variable for your desired directory. Here I will use $(_USTN_WORKSETROOT).

Note: There are several Location Types that can be used. A simple Location Type of File or Model will run the report on the active file and model. This by itself doesn’t gain much as we can tell from the Status Bar what the active WorkSpace/WorkSet is set to.

Setting this to Path expands our possibilities, here are just a few.

$(_DGNDIR) will allow you to check only on the files in our active directory. In a scenario where you have a /DGN directory with several disciplines underneath, for examples /DGN/Roadway and /DGN/Signals, this would allow you to run the report only on the Signals by opening a design from that particular directory.

$(_USTN_WORKSPACEROOT) will allow you to check all of the files within a particular WorkSpace. This, in essence, will run the File Branding Report on all Projects or WorkSets within the WorkSpace Root Directory.

$(_USTN_WORKSETROOT) will allow you to check all the files within a particular WorkSet. It will run the File Branding Report on the particular WorkSet you have selected.   

  • From Included Items, pick Item Types, there will be a drop down that appears.
  • Then from Include these Item Types, pick Select an Item Type, Dgn Files, followed by Files selecting OK when complete. This will allow you to include the file name information in your report.
  • From the right side of the dialog, pick Add these related item, Design File belongs to a WorkSet>WorkSet Properties. Click OK.
  • Then pick Columns under File Branding Report and pick Add columns.
  • Expand Files>General>File Name. Check File Name and pick OK.
  • Under File Branding Report pick File Name, then right click on File Name, and select Rename. Name the definition File Name and Path, the column name can differ from the actual field being reported on.
  • Selecting Columns again, pick Add columns, pick WorkSet Properties, expand Workset Properties again, and pick WorkSpace, (at the bottom of the list) and click OK. Rename the column from WorkSpace to Branded WorkSpace.
  • Selecting Columns again, pick Add columns, pick WorkSet Properties, followed by WorkSet Properties and Name and click OK. Rename the column from Name to Branded WorkSet.
  • Next, you can preview your new File Branding Report. From Reports, pick Preview results.

Note: The report definition, created in the .dgnlib is configured at the Organizational level. Alternatively, you can import the report from the .dgnlib to the active file if desired. This is found under Utilities on the Reports dialog.

Filtering and Grouping of Reports

You will take note that the report is based on all files as defined by the _USTN_WORKSETROOT variable. This includes .dgn files as well as, .cel and .dgnlib files. To limit the results you can apply a filter to only view the design files (.dgn) and their corresponding WorkSpace and WorkSet branding. Select the Filter icon on the File Name and Path column. Then setting Show rows with value that to Ends with, and type dgn into the field. Pick Filter and note the report filtering only .dgn files.

Next, look at a count of files used by each WorkSet. On smaller reports it is easy to view that all WorkSpaces/WorkSets are branded correctly. However, when dealing with hundreds or thousands of files, it can be beneficial to drag the column heading Branded WorkSet to the area marked Drag a column header and drop it here to group by that column. The results are grouped by each WorkSet. For my example this shows that one file is incorrectly branded. Your results will differ.

Once created the report can be exported out to an Excel Workbook or .CSV. Select Export results from the Reports dialog.

Everyone learns a bit differently, so the text of this blog may help some, the images, others and there is also a matching video as well. I have also included the .dgnlib for your use.

I hope you found this Blog informative, it will be the first in a series on CAD Administration Reporting. If you have suggestions for needed reports from a CAD Administration basis, please comment on the Blog, you may just see your suggestion featured in the series.