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Thread: Data Embedding in Revit

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    I could stop if I wanted to cek's Avatar
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    Question Data Embedding in Revit

    Beyond assigning parameters to the various families and components of the Revit Model or placing a link to a web site, what is the prescribe methodology for embedding data into the Revit Model for downstream use by FM software.

    For instance I have a cut sheet on a piece of equipment in a pdf format that is being used on the project how do I attach it to the Revit model and force a link within a parameter of the equipment to look internally at the model data files?

    Is this possible or am I looking at this all wrong? This doesn't seem to be possible within Revit and I'm hearing so much chatter about the 3D B.I.M. being a data repository. Seems like Revit should have a data folder into which I can put such information.

    Thanks in advance for any enlightenment on this issue.
    Carl Kilgore
    Architect / Senior Project Manager
    Breckenridge Architects
    Tucson, Arizona USA

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    I could stop if I wanted to arqt49's Avatar
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    Default Re: Data Embedding in Revit

    Carl, I believe that type of data should be in a database.
    Revit is just a part of the BIM concept, and has limited data capabilities.
    Databases are a great to complement the revit model data without compromising the revit file size/speed. And there you can include attachments (PDFs, etc), as well as more complex text fields (memo with RTF in ms access).
    My way of linking the Revit model to that external database is by the Keynote parameter, but you can use the assembly code or any other parameter. I find Keynotes great for this because it provides the same classification for the drawings, the specifications and the QTO.

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    Certifiable AUGI Addict cliff collins's Avatar
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    Wink Re: Data Embedding in Revit

    This is what we refer to as "metadata". In a family, go to Identity Data and this is where
    you "input" the metadata. This information is stored in Revit's database and can be used
    downstream via ODBC with other database apps like MS Access, cost est. software, etc.

    see attached " fake" example of a door family.

    cheers
    Cliff B. Collins, Registered Architect / BIM Specialist
    St. Louis, MO

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    I could stop if I wanted to cek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Data Embedding in Revit

    Cliff, your recommendations would require me to input a lot of data into the Revit family to come close to what is available on a product cut sheet (pdf). But what you seem to be saying is that the Identity Data group is where information should be located that is intended to flow out of Revit via the ODBC to other database apps. Is there a white paper that talks about the Identity Data group as being the only portal out to the dbase apps? I thought all parameter values would flow out through the ODBC.

    Goncalo, I’m not sure if you are referring to the keynote parameter as holding an identifier to enable a manual lookup in the separate database or if you are referring to an active link that opens the database and drives to the specific pdf if you will.

    Ultimately I think understanding the FM application and how it extracts and utilizes the data as well as what forms of data the FMA will be able to work with are critical to understanding how the data should be organized, relative to the B.I.M., and what form that data can take. I’m still unsure as to what the protocol and procedure is for achieving downstream compatibility.

    Maybe if we understood specifically what the FM application was looking for then we could target the parameters in the model and provide that info as a minimum. Then we could just pass on the submittal documentation to the Owner for final integration into the FM application database for more detailed info. on the project.
    Carl Kilgore
    Architect / Senior Project Manager
    Breckenridge Architects
    Tucson, Arizona USA

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    Certifiable AUGI Addict cliff collins's Avatar
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    Wink Re: Data Embedding in Revit

    You might also do a bit of searching on an add-in / extension from Autodesk called Revit DB Link. I think it's available for download on the Subscription site.

    This opens up possibilities for using Revit with other database apps.

    I have not used it, but I know there is some potential there.

    cheers
    Cliff B. Collins, Registered Architect / BIM Specialist
    St. Louis, MO

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    I could stop if I wanted to arqt49's Avatar
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    Default Re: Data Embedding in Revit

    Carl, I was talking about the plain keynote parameter.
    And yes, RDBLINK has a lot of potencial.
    Unlike the regular odbc revit export, rdblink also allows import. And the output is cleaner.

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    Certifiable AUGI Addict twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Data Embedding in Revit

    Carl-

    The framework is there already, its just not in as automated fashion as you would expect. All of the elements in Revit have several classifications, from the specific instance (Element ID), the types (Keynotes, if you input a specific enough keynote, Asembly Clodes, same deal), and there are now enough advanced tools that cna launch other applications with this data as a prompt for a query elsewhere.

    What does that do for us? Well... Youre right: not only is it a boatload of inputting data in Revit which may not return its investment, but its also not practical for those downstream that want to leverage the advantages of the model, without having to USE the model.
    Well, one quick example of what you can do: Export Revit to a Database format, through one of several avenues. On the dbase end, add in the additional data youre after... Your cut sheets, leasing data, maintenance dates and information, additional notes, whatever. Then, everyone can access THAT data in an interesting fashion: Those of us in Revit just need an API function or External Commands that activates the keynote/assemblycode/ElementID as a Query in to the external Database. Those on the outside, access everything from their database, since- at that point- its a database, and not the model.

    There are even some Collaboration tools that let you do this while walking through the model and clicking on the items, since they know their Element ID's. The most time consuming part is having someone put the database together.

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    Default Re: Data Embedding in Revit

    Quote Originally Posted by twiceroadsfool View Post
    Carl-

    There are even some Collaboration tools that let you do this while walking through the model and clicking on the items, since they know their Element ID's. The most time consuming part is having someone put the database together.
    What Collaboration tools are you referring to?

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    Revit Forum Manager Steve_Stafford's Avatar
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    Default Re: Data Embedding in Revit

    In Carl's original post he wrote:
    For instance I have a cut sheet on a piece of equipment in a pdf format that is being used on the project how do I attach it to the Revit model and force a link within a parameter of the equipment to look internally at the model data files?
    The germ of what he wrote would be cool, that an external file could somehow be tied to data in the family itself. That is essentially a Type Catalog except that we have to create them and fill in the data. There is no mechanism to automagically (my friend Bill's term) extract values from a manufacturer's document.

    Something I imagined when I first started to use Revit way baaack was manufacturer's providing content and type catalogs. When the product's data changed they just issued updated Type Catalogs. Looking beyond if everyone could agree on common language for parameters a family could just point to a web based repository for the information. Although...imagine waiting for a family to update if it relies on a manufacturer's server to retrieve the information just as it goes down for maintenance, your ISP cuts you off or a car takes out the wiring closet for your service area.

    Getting to the question though, Codebook (and others like Archibus and Artra) attempt to work as middlemen between the Revit model data and external data that doesn't really need to be inside the Revit model.

    The difficulty with FM (facilities management) is nobody (vendors are, I mean arch/eng professionals) is really asking the people that do this work what they really want from a BIM. An owner may insist on a BIM but for the most part they are really interested in a better coordinated construction project that gets done on time with as few cost issues as possible. They want to get open so they can start generating income. The long term issues of design tend to lose out to immediacy. I've heard of more projects that start out really "LEED" only to end up "wishing they were LEED" than actually get there. Whether LEED is part of the problem itself is another subject perhaps.

    It isn't really practical to expect that a building manager will hire a BIM expert to manage their model. More likely they'll revert to old school measures like walking or riding over to that other building to go count chairs. Managing inventory isn't really something Revit is cut out for unless you are going to move chairs around in the model to match where they really are in the building. I'm imagining; "Oh, the science professor borrowed ten chairs yesterday? Why didn't he get permission from the BIM manager first??"

    One other item in Carl's post had to do with providing a link. We can create our own Catalog Cut URL parameter and store the web address for the catalog cut. This allows anyone who touches the model later to review the data that inspired the family they are seeing. A printed schedule can include the parameter too so it can be used downstream. The Revit database will store a lot of information. The question is does it really need to be there? Will the person who really needs it be likely to rely on a Revit model or something else for it?

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    Default Re: Data Embedding in Revit

    One approach mentioned by one of our seasoned Revit users, in our local user group, was the creation of a wiki site, which he has apparently done, where this data is uploaded to. Then the families are assigned a link to this web site data. The nice thing about this approach is no matter where the Revit project is globally the link is usable. The question we are currently discussing is whether the link will migrate to a pdf or dwf and maintain this connectivity.

    Another advantage is that the data is a snap shot in time of the installed products. When you use a manufacturer's link there is no guarantee that they will retain a specific product data page or even retain data on older products that have been superseded by new models. So capturing that data and preserving it during the project development can be critical 10-15 years down the road.

    Also you can use the link and remote data to service multiple projects and potentially an FM application could extract the link for it's own use. Of course this whole process relies on a "link" which can be broken. Attaching the data directly to the model and /or the PDF / DWF would seem to be a more reliable method but would in some cases lead to very large files.
    Carl Kilgore
    Architect / Senior Project Manager
    Breckenridge Architects
    Tucson, Arizona USA

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