About Database Links and Link Templates
Database links require a link template that identifies which table fields are associated
with which link using that template.
Database connectivity associates objects in a drawing with external data store in
database programs such as dBASE, Oracle, or Microsoft Access. For example, you can
associate information contained in a room database with a polyline object representing
a room boundary in a drawing. The association between the graphical object and the
database table is established by creating a link, which references one or more records in the database table.
Links and Link Templates
You cannot create links to nongraphical objects such as layers and linetypes.
Links are tightly connected with the graphical objects they are associated with. If
you move or copy a linked object, the link is moved or copied with it. If you delete
a linked object, the link is also deleted.
When you create a link, a dynamic relationship is established between the database
record and the object. If, for example, you change a room type in the database table
from a storage area to an office, the program updates the information stored in the
Links are based on link templates, which define what information is to be retrieved
from the database table when the links are created.
Link templates also function as shortcuts to the database tables that they’re based
on. Using the shortcuts you can open the database tables that they reference for viewing
or editing. This is particularly useful if you have a large number of data sources
configured on your system. Rather than scrolling through a list of data sources each
time you want to locate an individual database table, you can open it directly from
the drawing node of the drawing that it is associated with.
Automatic Selection of Linked Objects
You can set up the program to automatically select linked graphical objects in your
drawing as additional records are selected in the Data View window. Conversely, you
can set up the program to select linked database records as additional graphical objects
are selected in your drawing. Only one of these automatic viewing modes can be active
at a time.
Other Display Options
You can use the Data View and Query Options dialog box to set a number of viewing
options that affect how linked records and linked graphical objects are displayed
whenever a corresponding linked item is selected.
The Automatically Pan Drawing option automatically pans the drawing to display objects
that are associated with the current selection set of records in the Data View window.
If you have multiple records selected in the Data View window, AutoPan may not be
able to fit all of them in the drawing window with your drawing’s current zoom factor.
To control for this, you can set a zoom factor for the AutoPan mode that ensures that
all linked objects associated with the current record set are displayed.
The Automatically Zoom Drawing option automatically zooms the drawing so that all
objects associated with the current record set are displayed. You must specify a zoom
factor that sets the size of the extents of the indicated object set to a defined
percentage of the drawing area. The available range is 20 percent to 90 percent, and
the default value is 50 percent. A value of 50 percent means that either the height
of the extents is 50 percent of the height of the drawing area, or the width of the
extents is 50 percent of the drawing area, whichever is less.
You can also specify the following link viewing settings:
- Record Indication Settings. Specify whether all records or only the subset associated with the current selection
set of graphical objects are displayed in the Data View window. If the Show All Records,
Select Indicated Records option is selected, you can specify a marking color to apply
to the linked records.
- Accumulate Options. Specify whether the program accumulates selection sets of linked graphical objects
or Data View records, or creates new selection sets as additional objects or records
For a description of all the options available, see Data View and Query Options Dialog
Box under DBCONNECT in the Command Reference.
Find and Correct Link Errors
It is recommended that you periodically check the links in your drawings to update
or delete broken links. The program provides a Synchronize option to analyze the links
in a drawing that are based on a particular link template. After you run the Synchronize
option, a list of detected errors is provided in the Synchronize dialog box. Certain
errors (such as a resized column in the source database table) can be fixed directly
from the Synchronize dialog box. Other errors (such as links that point to non-existent
records) must be fixed in the source database table.
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