Data Links Settings
There are a number of areas on the Data Links Configuration that will help in setting up the link between the Navisworks model and the external data source.
Data Source Type:
The external data source type to connect with. This can be Excel, MS Access or an ODBC data source type.
The name that the Data Links template will be saved with and will be used in the command under the Data Links menu.
Apply to Object Types:
To determine whether the information will be applied to the Navisworks model’s Groups and/or Items.
The table from within the external data source that you wish to connect to draw the external data from into the defined Navisworks properties tab (example: Sheet1 in Excel spreadsheet).
The attribute that Data Links will append the linked data to.
Note: this tab doesn’t need to exist in the model – Data Links will automatically create a new tab in a similar fashion to Integrator. The Linking Attribute must already exist on a read-only tab though.
Tells the Data Links command whether to overwrite the data or not when it is run. There are three options that can be selected: Don’t Overwrite, Prompt for Overwrite and Always Overwrite.
The attribute Data Links will search within for the same value as in the external data source to create the link.
Database Link Field:
The field within the table from the external data source that you wish to use as part of the link to the Navisworks model.
NW Link Property:
The property within the model that you wish to use as part of the link to the external data source.
The name and option to select the external data source (Excel, MS Access or ODBC) in the link.
Allow you to apply rules to control what information that is brought in from the external data source with the Data Link tool. This is broken up by:
Link Fields are Primary Keys:
This is recommended if the link field or fields combined, is unique. It makes applying the data up to 60x faster in certain circumstances. The routine will warn if there are duplicates for the link field(s) and the primary key cannot be created.
Filter out duplicate rows:
This is recommended for smaller data sets where there is a possibility of duplicate records. It improves the performance of the Data Links by removing duplicates and thereby reducing the number of records needing to be searched.
After the data have been retrieved from the external data source, you can now begin to check which Fields to import to the model.
Link: is used to select which external properties you wish to bring into the Navisworks user created properties tab.
Database Field: identifies the external field that you are bringing in to the user created properties tab.
NW Attribute: the attribute (or user defined tab name) that the external information will be writing too.
NW Display Name: the display name of the property that will be created in the user defined data tab.
NW Internal Name: the internal name of the value, this internal name should match the project or company internal name for consistency of data throughout the model.
Excel Headers: look for headers in the Excel spreadsheet before reading the data.
Enable Multiple Properties: used if more than one record is returned from the Data Link. For example, when multiple records are returned for 'Drawing', the properties would be applied as 'Drawing:', 'Drawing2:', 'Drawing3:' etc.
Show NW Internal Name: will enable and display the Navisworks internal property names in the configuration grid. This will assist if the user decides to change the display name and needs to make sure they know the internal Navisworks properties that it represents.