Monday, June 14, 2010

Update on DB Link - using 64bit ODBC drivers

Below is a step-by-step of using the ODBC option on Revit 2011 64bit & MS Office 2010 64bit. This is so much better than having to deal with the "SQL Server" option because of using MS Office 32bit with Revit 64bit . The only draw back I found is that since my office is using "Newforma", which is not 64bit compatible, we are held down to only using 32bit. So my current workaround is to set up a "Remote PC" using MS Office 2010 64bit to do the Export/Import process. I havn't got around to testing if we can Import from a PC that has a 32bit version of MS Office, but soon enough when my busy schedule subsides back to normal.

Step #1: Go to your Add-In Panel in Revit & click on External Tool & select the DB Link Tool

Step #2: Click on the ODBC Tab & select the "Select a new connection" & click Export

Step #3: In this Dial. Box select "New" (Creating the Data Source Name, its use could be like Per Project)

Step #4: Then select what I have highlighted "MS Access Driver" & click "Next"

Step #5: Click on "Browse"

Step #6: Then select its Location, give it a Name & Click "Save"

Step #7: Click on "Next" Then click on "Finish"
Step #8: Click on "Create" in the Database Column

Step #10: Creating the DB & giving it a Name; (the DSN could be to the Project as the DB is to a file; each file will have its own DB if you did understand that already) & click "OK"

Step #11: Click "OK", click "OK" again, click "OK" one more time & select the DSN that was started in Step #3 & finished on Step #7 & Click "OK"

Step #12: Click "OK" one last time & let the Exporting process run its course.

So when needing to Import the DB back in after Editing it from Access or a linked Excel file; from Step #2 you would select a recently used connection (representing that files DB) and select the "Edit & Import" button then an Editable Dial. Box showing the Database pops up then select "OK" & the Process will run after that & this would be the perfect place to verify changes or if by chance Access is not installed then can be Edited from there.

Monday, June 7, 2010


The past year has been a complete metamorphosis for BIM (just using a refernce from one of Gregory Arkin's posts). It all started with Architectural discipline as far as 10 yrs ago. Then 3 yrs ago there was a Blip on the radar for MEP disciplines getting really started into it. Now we have come full circle. These past 18 months has been the defining moments where Contractors/FM/Owners have really stepped up to the plate (at least the smart ones). So the ones’ now looking from the outside in have their days numbered. Consider yourselves “Dinosaurs” or going by the way of the Dodo Bird, LOL, to be replaced.

More times than not too many Architects are wasting their times with “little bim” rather than seeing the “Big BIM” side of things. It seems the only groups I really see jumping on the “Big BIM” bandwagon are the Contractors who really have their business hat on firmly on their heads. Architects are a little too preoccupied thinking about Design a higher percentage of the time at the beginning than the “Bottom Line”, which is Money, Money, Money, Money….Money (Lyrics from The O-Jay’s, LOL), and only afterward does it become more apparent when starting the DD phase. I really feel that most Architects are missing the boat because of their Designers that are more detached from the BIM Process by being stubborn by not wanting to learn to use BIM tools like Revit (FYI…BIM is a Process & Revit is a tool for that Process) & leaving it to the Production Team to translate it from Sketch-up or "CAD:" or from some other BIM-abomination.

The only thing AIA has done to lift a finger or to lift a pin on BIM was to create the E202 document. Now the AGC created something even better for BIM contracts like the “ConsensusDOCS" & is out in full force providing it’s industry with a leg up on all sorts of things from BIM to Lean Construction to Green Construction. All the Architects really have is AU, the endless tangled web of the USGBC, and a few meaningful Blogs, which none really pertain to AIA; and all these resources take time to navigate through. Take for instance the AGC; they have their act more together the way they have their “AGC BIM Forum” structured along with their main site of the AGC and other Blog Forums. Just last night I navigated through all the resources I would need to go on my way of being a successfully BIM GC. As for the AIA’s resource like the AIArchitect and of the sorts it took me a good week of sifting through all the content that would make an Architectural Firm a little successful at best with BIM.

What it boils down to for me is that the majority of Architects are far away from being the Master Builders from Egyptian times to the beginning of the Modern Era. It used to be that all Architects had the influence of selecting/recommending a GC's, and now days the roles are beginning to shift the opposite way where the GC has the upper hand in influencing the Owner to select an Architect. Why you might ask; simply said their Industry is Embracing BIM at a higher rate than Architects. Designers need to start thinking like GC’s where they are very conscious of where the money is going. Something like how can I design something to Impress & save the Owner $$$ . The answer is to embrace the BIM process from the moment a concept is put into action. Maybe you should be taken back to school by “The Revit KID” (Jeff) & taught a lesson from “Revit3D” (Gregory Arkin) and then consult with the “Revit OpEd” (Steve Stafford), LOL. Just giving props to the one’s that helped me get on top; and this is another Rant brought to you by my experiences with BIM and speaking to more and more GC's adopting BIM/IPD. It's by "Intelligent Design" that the fitest survive and the ones that adapt prevail.