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February 07, 2010


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Are there any thoughts as to using the database to expand the filter tool? For example, maybe there's an "advanced" option in the filter that allows you to use other paramaters to narrow down your search for items. This would allow you to filter/search for not only walls, but walls that are existing and 4' tall. There is a lot of power in the database and it could be used to really beef up the filter capabilities and allow the user to find very specific sets of items. A good example of this in use might be iTunes Smart Playlists, or take a look at any photography databasing program (such as Photoshop Lightroom's Catalog feature).

Any news on Access support for 64 bit?

Daniel, by Access support for 64 bit, I am assuming you mean for ODBC drivers? Yes, the lack of drivers from Microsoft is extremely frustrating. I have read that you can install the 32 bit drivers, have you tried that with RDB Link? I have not had the chance.

We were looking into the RDB Link Tool as a way to import some client information into a Revit model (Such data as occupant name, phone number, etc. provided by our client in a spreadsheet). It looked like a promising labor saver. We were able to export and import in a test model.

Unfortunately, running RDB Link in the actual model we wanted to modify we got some error messages.

Object reference not set to an instance of an object. at Autodesk.Revit.Element.get_ParametersMap() at Revit.SDK.Samples.RDBLink.CS.ElementList.GetParameterByDefinitionName(Element element, String name) at Revit.SDK.Samples.RDBLink.CS.SymbolList.PopulateDbRow(Element element, DataRow row) at Revit.SDK.Samples.RDBLink.CS.ElementList.InsertDbRow(Element element, Boolean isElementCreated) at Revit.SDK.Samples.RDBLink.CS.ElementList.Export(DataTable dataTable) at Revit.SDK.Samples.RDBLink.CS.Command.Export(DataSet dbSet) at Revit.SDK.Samples.RDBLink.CS.Command.TransferData(OdbcCommand dbCommand, Boolean export) at Revit.SDK.Samples.RDBLink.CS.Command.Execute(ExternalCommandData commandData, String& message, ElementSet elements)

We tried to clean up any issues in the model. We ran the audit, purged, and tried to clean up all Warnings.

Have any thoughts on likely causes and fixes.

Please sent this vidio. Also sent the detail proccess of this function. Please give the idia about revit API. How i can devlope my API knowage? Please tall me, what is the more banefitable program for API ----1. or 2.C sharp. And also give me some support in this API fild.

We tried out RDBlink. The issues with 64 bit (Microsoft's problem, not ADSK) were annoying. There are also some bugs with RDBlink (lack of Space Association table from MEP). So we wrote our own tool to do something similar. Also made it less complicated as spitting out the whole Revit database can be very overwhelming. Out tool allows user to specify what they need to get out, and put back in.

I haven't tested this out yet but may have a use for it in that we have a client that want to drive the information in the electrical switchboards from an excel spreadsheet. When I get a chance I will test it out and let you know the results.

On another issue, in the video you mention the rounding behaviour is strange, I believe this is purely a Revit issue and nothing to do with the RDBLink program or any ODBC program. We have had this same issue in the past, with Levels. If you change the units to custom and 10 decimal places then you will see the same rounding issue. Unfortunately, when you are trying to find the problem, this does not happen all the time. I have started with a level at 0.00000000000 and then copied it up 3000 (constrained) and yet I still got a rounding error. Wierd!!


Thanks Paul. I am interested to hear how you make out with the switchboard data. We are always looking for real user scenarios to improve our data management tools. Another one I hear about commonly from architects is the ability to drive room data based on early programming data from clients.

Tom, this tool is exactly what we need for our healthcare and government projects. We use Access intensively for room data sheets and area reports. Unfortunately we could not make the RDB tool work because we use Vista and Revit 64 bit. For what I am reading it may work installing Revit 32 bit, my question is can you install Revit 2010 64 bit and 32 bit side by side? I have not seen an option for this when installing. All help on this would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

Damian, Yes, this 64 bit limitation is frustrating, and out of our control (up to Microsoft.) You cannot run 32 bit Revit along side 64 bit version (as far as I know.) Has anyone tried SQL Server Express as an alternative to Access?

This add-in will be suitable for my research. I am trying to link data from RFID tags to Revit such that if i can track installations from the field in Revit and conversely, if i make changes to the Revit model, i want to be able to track it in my tag. Although i have started developing my application in C-Sharp but i think it will save me time to apply your add-in.
But i have a question/suggestion:
Can't you have the changes from the database reflect in Revit in realtime without calling it in yourself (this is important because it will give the arch/designer realtime information about installations for progress monitoring). Pls reply.

Abby, this sounds like fascinating research. Unfortunately, at this time, RDB Link requires a manual load process. However, this was the first request I had when I started experimenting with it in-house. No promises, but I will add this to future requests for the tool.

I work for an Autodesk reseller and we have been touting RDB Link for some time. It has very compelling potential for anyone in the facilities management division. I mean just think about it. An HVAC model is exported to a database. The technician in the field marks a piece of equipment as being serviced and the database is then updated. That database is then reloaded in Revit and the record drawings update with the new information. This is the essence of BIM carried out.

Nick, that sounds great. One of the big complaints re. facilities, is that the owners do not want/need all of the cost/power of Revit just to view a model. Have you actually built FM solutions using RDB Link - or is this still exploratory?

Tom, thanks for the reply but i still feel that there should be a way to import the database back into Revit without clicking on the RDB Link. This will really make your application go far. I was able to interact changes to AutoCaD directly but the limitation is that it has less BIM features. What do you think?

I also noted that Shared parameters do not export using the RDB Link while they do using the old Export to ODBC. This is a bit of a deal breaker for us because we use so many shared parameters and those values are what we are really looking for

just to say that you'll find a usefull post for Vista 64 user to connect Revit to Database using SQLEXPRESS here (in French) :
Best regards.

I posted about RDBlink and how to set it up on August 10, 2009 -


Yes all the SQL Sever drivers work in 64b as well as MySQl if you are looking for a free solution. Access is the only one that appears to have issues in 64b.

Regarding Revit to FM connection: RDBLink inspired us to build our own API-based integration between Revit, Navisworks, Tokmo (our tool) and FM systems that support COBie.

If I'm understanding correctly, you don't have to use Access as your database app... any ODBC compliant database will work? SQL, MySQL, Open Office Base, Filemaker, etc. Is this correct?

I *believe* that is the case, but I have not tried it on anything besides Access. I would like to hear back about experiences with using RDB Link with non-MS database products.

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