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AUTOCAD MAP: OBJECT DATA VS. LINKED DATA SOURCES

Posted on 2005-04-19
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Since there is a few acadmap users here I thought I would ask a question that I've had since I've started using map but have since put to the back of my mind, which is better object data or links to data sources, or should you use both?

another thread( http://www.experts-exchange.com/Applications/CAD/Q_21390226.html ) got me to thinking about it again, specifically omc2000's comment:

 "1. AutoCad and AutoCad Map already has built-in database access facilities, their usage would give you higher compatibility with its AutoCad. But in general it's not too important."

and the fact that I may be able to access the object data programitically now has brought it back to the for front, so I thought I'd see what you all think about it.
I'll split the points up with all that add some thought to this.
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Question by:norrin_radd
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Expert Comment

by:OMC2000
ID: 13815701
I was very surprised when learnt that you want to close question referenced here, where I answered your question.

Builtin AutoCad functionality for database access in VBA is availabe via CAO type library (cao15.dll), it give you access to DBConnectivity functionality where you may link database tables and their records to drawing objects. Make labels based on user defined templates and data from database linked to drawing object.

Sample is available at
\Sample\Database Connectivity\CAO\caotest.dvb
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by:norrin_radd
ID: 13816099
<I was very surprised when learnt that you want to close question referenced here, where I answered your question.>

that wasnt my question omc, thats why I started a new one,

so, you think that the database connectivity is better for mapping applications?
do you see any benefits to object data at all?
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OMC2000 earned 1000 total points
ID: 13816502
I'm sorry about that question.

Database connectivity gives you compatibility with correspondent AutoCad features, but its VBA API was restricted comparing to original implementation due to its complexity. As the result you may need more functions than it provides.
So, if you need this compatibility, it's better, otherwise you should decide which of APIs (CAO vis OD) lets you do what you want.

The idea of Ojbect data implementation was to produce unified power tool for non-graphical data storage in AutoCad drawing. Unfortunately, only few Autodesk and third party products use them.
It's main role in Autocad drawing is holding of such non-graphical properties for Autodesk MAP and for some internal data used in topology operations.
In fact it remains very power tool, but there is no public documentation on the available extended features. Also, they are accessible via ARX C++ API only.

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by:norrin_radd
ID: 13816649
<In fact it remains very power tool, but there is no public documentation on the available extended features. Also, they are accessible via ARX C++ API only. >

meaning you cant access the extended features of OD through VBA? just the basics.
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by:OMC2000
ID: 13817052
YES
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Assisted Solution

by:BillPowell
BillPowell earned 1000 total points
ID: 13821270
OCM
No hard feelings about the previous question.  This topic greatly interests me as well.  At my place of work, Geomedia Professional is our enterprise GIS tool along with a couple Web viewer applications.  All data (graphic and attribute) is stored in MS SQL Server.  We use AutoDesk Map mainly for cartographic purposes (after exporting data from SQL server), because as you well know, it blows away any GIS tool for precision drawing and editing.  Instead of bringing in the graphic entities plus a whole whack of OD into the drawing, I just bring in the PK field and us ADO to link back to SQL Server.  I’m finding the performance to be excellent, significantly faster than a drawing loaded down with OD.  In addition, you get all the native ability of SQL server to work with your attribute data.  I’ve often found it frustrating and clunky to use the native database connectivity tools (maybe you’ve had better luck).  I do think Map is a good product and OD has many benefits; however I wish they would try to hit the market with a middle tier GIS tool that was halfway between Map and Map Guide in terms of power and user friendliness.  I hope more people weigh in on this question as my knowledge on this subject is rather limited.
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by:norrin_radd
ID: 13833189
thanks for the input guys.
We have just started to try to get into the GIS mode here starting with Map 5. Our system is probably not as advanced as most but it is a work in progress. What little I've set up I've used the database connectivity that map has, it seems to be a little easier than OD, but I may start to look at ways to use it too.
 
On a side note, just got Map 3d 2006 yesterday. I gotta tell ya at first glance it looks pretty cool but its going to take some getting used to.

I'll wind this one up in a few days if no one else posts anything.
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Expert Comment

by:BillPowell
ID: 13850266
I have not used the native connectivity that much.  What exactly does the external data link to.  Is it the objects "handle".  How do you control how the objects gets linked to the data.

norrin radd
Just out of curiosity, where do you work.  Are you Canadian?
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by:norrin_radd
ID: 13857967
Canadian! no, why did you think I'm Canadian :) not that there's anything wrong with Canadians... some of my best friends are from Canada.... ;)
I work for a small co-op Electric company in the southern US, where do you work?

as for the native connectivity I  dont know much about it either. I've only really been trying to learn this database/GIS thing for about a year while time permits.

radd

I'll close this tommorrow..
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Expert Comment

by:BillPowell
ID: 13864028
Just had a hunch.  Im Canadian, I work for Local Govt in Alberta Canada.  In the next couple of months I expect to be doing a lot of work with both native connectivity and OD, so maybe Ill have more to contribute then.  Hopefully we can attract some other Map gurus to this forum in the coming months as well.

Regards,

Bill
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by:norrin_radd
ID: 13866782
bill,
see, like I said some of my best friends are from Canada ;)
I bet you have some impressive maps.
I think I'll be looking in to both of those aspects as well, I'll put out what ever I can also.
Looks like OMC's got some good knowledge
Since I recieved Map 2006 the other day I've also been looking into use the "Feature Classes" more too, since I got wind that we are supposed to be going to oracle in the future. Do you use feature classes? I may have to post some questions about those too.
-----
Thanks for posting your comments guys, like bill said maybe we can get some more map gurus coming in here.
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