Configure a Database for Use with AutoCAD Drawings

Before you can access an external database from within the program, you must configure it using the Microsoft ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) and OLE DB programs. Using ODBC and OLE DB, the program can utilize data from other applications, regardless of the format that it's stored in or the database platform that it's created on. The configuration process involves creating a new data source that points to a collection of data and provides information about the drivers necessary to access it.

A data source may be either an individual database table or a collection of them stored in an environment, catalog, or schema. Environments, catalogs, and schemas are hierarchical database elements used by most database management systems that help you organize your data. They are in many ways analogous to a Windows-based directory structure: you can think of the environment as a folder that holds additional subdirectories of catalogs. Catalogs in turn contain additional subdirectories of schemas. Each schema is a collection of database tables.

The configuration process varies slightly for different database systems. For example, server-based databases such as Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server require that you enter a valid user name and password and specify the network location where the database is located. File-based systems such as Microsoft Access and dBASE III do not require this information. Because of these variations, it is not possible to provide a generic configuration procedure that works for all databases. Individual procedures for configuring all the databases that the program supports are provided in the Configure External Databases. You should also refer to the documentation for your particular database system and the Microsoft Help files for ODBC and OLE DB for additional information.

The connectivity feature supports the following external applications:

NoteThe 64-bit release of AutoCAD does not support the use of Microsoft Jet 4.0 OLE DB Provider (for .MDB connectivity) and Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers (for .XLS connectivity). For more information, see Substituting SQL Server for OLE DB.

The program includes a Microsoft Access sample database file and a preconfigured direct driver (jet_dbsamples.udl) that you can use to work with the database. You do not need to have Access installed. The file is located in the Sample folder, which is located in the installation directory. If you moved the Sample folder to a different location, you must update the path in the jet_dbsamples.udl configuration file before you can work with the database file.

The dbConnect Manager

The dbConnect Manager is a dockable, resizable window that contains a set of buttons and a tree view. In the dbConnect Manager, you can open the Data View window to view or edit a database table. You can also associate various database objects (such as link templates, label templates, and queries) with a drawing.

The tree view of the dbConnect Manager contains the following nodes:

All of the various nodes and database objects in the dbConnect Manager have shortcut menu options associated with them. For example, you can use shortcut menu options to configure a data source or edit a stored query.