Title Block Attribute Exchange, What is it?

This article will provide a basic understanding of Title block Attribute Exchange and the location of where to find more information.

Title block integration is the process of exchanging information between design files (MicroStation or AutoCAD) and ProjectWise from a single source of information stored in the database. The primary purpose of Title Block Integration is to automate the placement of a document's attribute information into the design file. The attribute data in ProjectWise is linked to the tag data in the design file.

There are many benefits to using Title block Attribute Exchange.  For instance, it helps to increase data accuracy because the title blocks are reviewed and approved, where ProjectWise attributes typically are not.  It also reduces redundant data entry. The user only needs to fill in the data once, and it is then reflected in both the drawing and ProjectWise.  You can also make use of workflow or other status information from ProjectWise and included a ProjectWise file path to the location in the drawings title block.

Setting up Title block Attribute Exchange requires you to have access to the ProjectWise Administrator and have knowledge of how to setup a title block in MicroStation or AutoCAD.  There are two basic steps involved in setting up Title Block Integration.  The first step is to use MicroStation or AutoCAD, to configure your Tag Sets and tags.  Then (step two) using ProjectWise Administrator, create attributes in the environment to store the data, set up the Project Properties (is using this data in your tags), and create Attribute Exchange Classes and Attributes that are used to exchange data with the drawing title block.  Finally, set the Attribute Exchange rules that determine when the data is updated (opened, checked out, copied out, exported.)

An important item to keep in mind…once enabled, title block data is entirely controlled by the ProjectWise attributes. If the ProjectWise attributes are blank, or incorrect, opening that file from ProjectWise could overwrite the title block data in your files. To avoid this, when first configuring attribute exchange, make sure the Attribute Exchange rules in the PW administrator are turned off until you are sure your ProjectWise attributes are updated.

So now you have it all setup. How do you get the data from the drawings into ProjectWise and or the data in ProjectWise to the title block in the drawing?

Let’s say you just uploaded a bunch of files from your desktop to ProjectWise or you have a lot of files in ProjectWise and now want to update the ProjectWise Attributes with the title block information.   The best tool to use for this is the Attribute Bulk Update tool.  This tool can be used when a large amount of drawings are brought into the system at once, or when title block integration is first being configured.

Now I have all my attributes updated, but now some of the data needs to be changed in both the drawing and ProjectWise.  How can I make these changes without changing both the attribute and the title blocks manually for each document and file? 

As an example, say you have one attribute called ‘Area’ and you have some documents that you need to change the value from ‘1’ to ‘2’.  Simply highlight all the files, right mouse click and choose “Modify”.  In the dialog that comes up click on the environment tab.  Find your attribute called ‘Area’, change the data from 1 to 2 then click okay.  Now the next time these files are opened, checked out, copied out, or exported (assuming these are the rules you have turned on) the title block will get updated with the values from the ProjectWise attributes.

So now I have opened the drawing, but need to change the value in the title block.  How do I get the value I changed in the title block to update the attribute in ProjectWise. 

Assuming MicroStation and or AutoCAD are properly integrated with ProjectWise:  There are a few key-in commands you can use to update ProjectWise.  For MicroStation key-in TITLEBLOCK UPDATEDMS.  For AutoCAD type TBUPDATEDMS.

For more information check out the ProjectWise Attribute Exchange (Title Blocks) Best Practices document