Electrical Design Software | Elecdes Design Suite by Scada Systems Ltd

How to Extract Drawing Data to Databases


This function extracts all of the Elecdes blocks and places them in database IMAGE files according to their block type. The user can then alter the attribute/catalog data of multiple blocks, which can exist on different drawings in the project, with one operation.

Note that this function is only available if you have ticked manual image update on the Setup Preferences page.

For information about the structure of the image files, see Editable Image Files (Global Editor).

Data editing can be done with:

  • Global-Editor

  • Database Editor

  • Any DBMS system capable of editing DBASE files e.g. MS Excel, MS Access, Dbase, Oracle 7 etc. Care should be taken when using these DBMS packages as they can save the files with incorrect formats when using IMPORT/ EXPORT functions.

Alterations available in the Global Editor are:

  • Retyping or incrementing of the manually entered (naming) attributes e.g. TAGNAME, PNLNO, TBLOCK etc.

  • Reselecting component specifications from the Catalog.

After Editing

Once attribute data alterations have been made to the IMAGE files it is important to update the drawing files by selecting DBF -> DWGs.

Master Data?

We recommend that you always use the DWG files as your master database and use the Ebase database link facilities as tools for editing. Adopting this recommendation allows you to discard image files after an editing session.


  1. Save and close any drawings that are open in the CAD package, as changes cannot be written back to drawings that are open.

  2. Ensure your current EBASE project contains the drawing files relevant to the data editing you wish to do.

  3. Press the "DWGs -> DBF" button.

  4. As each drawing file in the project is processed a message will appear showing the drawing name and the size of the drawing file. Ebase caches unmodified drawings for speed. If drawings do not appear to be scanned, on successive report generations, it is because they are cached.

    During cache scans there is a possibility that the database engine will be busy. You will be displayed a message indicating this and given options to wait or cancel.

The database image files will be created in the current project directory.

Examples of use:

  1. A relay can be renamed across the entire project including its coil and all of its contacts, regardless of the drawing on which each subcomponent (coil or contact) is located.

  2. A relay and all of its subcomponents, and any other relays of the same type, can be re-specified, using the catalog interface.

  3. All instruments with a tag number 501, can be renamed to 213, by typing the new tag number once.

  4. You can copy a circuit, with the "copy" command of your CAD package, then increment the tagnames, of all devices, with one operation (to reflect the names required for the second circuit).

The filenames of the Elecdes IMAGE files are as follows:

  • <ProjectName>$BLOCK.dbf - Elecdes miscellaneous blocks

  • <ProjectName>$CABLE.dbf - Elecdes cable core (conductor) marker blocks

  • <ProjectName>$CONX.dbf - Elecdes termination blocks

  • <ProjectName>$DEVIC.dbf - Elecdes device blocks

  • <ProjectName>$ETABLE.dbf - Extra parts table blocks

  • <ProjectName>$INSTR.dbf - Elecdes instrument blocks

  • <ProjectName>$TERM.dbf - Elecdes terminal blocks

  • <ProjectName>$TITLE.dbf - Drawing title blocks

  • <ProjectName>$WIRE.dbf - Elecdes wire marker blocks

  • <ProjectName>$WIREDEV.dbf - Wiring diagram blocks

  • <ProjectName>$WIRETERM.dbf - Terminal Strip diagram blocks

  • <ProjectName>$XREF.dbf - Cross-reference blocks

  • <ProjectName>$ZONE.dbf - all Elecdes zone blocks

IMAGE files from multiple projects can reside in the same directory, as each file is uniquely linked to its project name by the first part of the filename.

Each IMAGE file contains only one type of block. All blocks of that type have a standard set of attributes.

Elecdes offers a description of the attributes of each block type.

For information about the structure of the image files, see Editable Image Files (Global Editor).


  • Drawing file format: Cannot load/write Drawing File abc.dwg. This error can occur if a drawing is incompatible with Ebase.

    The drawing must be a supported DWG format.

  • Drawing file saving: Cannot save/write Drawing File abc.dwg. This error can occur if a drawing has the operating system locked by your CAD package. This message occurs when you attempt to modify a drawing with Ebase / Global Editor and the drawing is currently open for editing within a CAD session. You must close all drawings, that are included in your Ebase project, that are open in the CAD session before writing global editor changes to the drawings with Ebase. If your CAD session has recently crashed, drawing locks may be residual on your drawing files. Try opening the offending drawings, with your CAD package, and re-saving.