OD/DB technology makes use of native basic AutoCAD capabilities, which allows not only to draw faster and better than with regular AutoCAD tools, but also allows creating analytical models convenient for full-fledged software analysis. It means that OD/DB technology gives AutoCAD users additional drawing capabilities, new degrees of freedom when working with drawings/models and helps to create a new type of product in basic AutoCAD.
OD/DB is primarily a technology, i.e. certain use of existing basic AutoCAD capabilities and tools. The software tools added do not create new entities, but provide necessary links and the solution of the tasks given.
OD/DB elements are well known for a long time. Many of the significant fragments or even almost all of the technology is widely used in basic AutoCAD and its vertical applications for a long time. For example, Tool Palettes – as objects menu, or Feature classes and Object Data in AutoCAD Map/Civil 3D – as almost complete implementation of the technology, but limited to cartography. However, there is no complete, consistent, universal implementation of OD/DB in basic AutoCAD.
OD/DB technology is:
- Drawing organization method, making it faster, easier and convenient,
- Means of automated achievement of 100% formal quality, drawings/models standardization,
- Means of convenient and full-fledged object characteristics determination, a way of analytical models creation.
OD/DB technology is universal, that means it is indifferent to the object of the current drawing/model. In basic AutoCAD, one can create analytical models graphically represented by the native AutoCAD primitives for any drawing/modeling object. OD/DB allows you to describe the desired characteristics of any object non-graphically, with no limit for their composition and quantity.
OD/DB technology is custom – a set of tools that allows ordinary AutoCAD users, with no specialized/vertical applications, independently create analytical models instead of graphical ones without involving programmers. This technology does not require users to have a thorough AutoCAD knowledge, it is suitable for beginners and users with little experience.
OD/DB is a non-binding technology, it does not interfere with any other custom solution or tool. It is not necessary to apply it completely – it can be used, for example, mainly to speed up and improve drawing quality, or to describe object characteristics, etc. OD/DB does not exclude the simultaneous drawing with regular AutoCAD tools. Analytical OD/DB models operation with regular AutoCAD tools has no difference with conventional graphical models operation.
OD/DB does not create problems and limitations when working with its analytical models in basic AutoCAD or vertical applications, does not add custom (proxy, etc.) objects, uses only native AutoCAD primitives. Even with very large volume of object characteristics, AutoCAD does not slow down. All the data from analytical models (including characteristics) is kept while regular graphics edit, models/sheets copy & paste, while DWG/DXF export.
OD/DB restrictions are similar to those of regular AutoCAD drawings/models. It is not advisable to create analytical OD/DB models with a volume larger than that of similar drawings/models, in which AutoCAD has strong slowdown.
OD/DB gives the greatest effect when working regularly or permanently in the same drawing standards, when working in large groups, when third-party contractors engaged or when working with large models divided into many parts in different files. OD/DB makes it easier to work with unfamiliar drawing standards or when switching to another ones.
The most difficult and time-consuming process for OD/DB users – creation of objects definition files, the description of all necessary object types of drawings/models created, the description of its graphical properties and characteristics. One way or another the similar work is almost always done – drawing templates, text descriptions of drawings/models composition and its objects’ properties, etc. Users remember the distribution of object types by layers, determine the necessary line types, blocks, etc. Once created, the object definition file can be used an unlimited number of times.
User-defined OD/DB object definition files are the description of their drawing/modeling standards. These object definition files (standards) can be passed to any number of AutoCAD users in the same way as passing tool palettes, block libraries, line types, hatches and other resource files. Object definition files (standards) can be created and centrally distributed to enterprises, organizations and departments for the implementation and maintenance of proper drawing/modeling standards.
The possibilities of OD/DB technology are outlined in next three articles with video illustrations:
- OD/DB technology – draw faster, easier and more convenient.
- OD/DB technology – 100% formal quality, standardization of drawings/models.
- OD/DB technology – the definition of object characteristics, analytical models creation.
Translation: Sergey Sheviakov