Database Structure Overview
Instrument Manager Database / "Project Database"
Projects created by Instrument Manager are primarily stored in database files. Each project has its own database. The database is named after the project name. This will be referred to as the "Project Database". This database can be either a Microsoft Access database or Microsoft SQL Server database.
The project database is the central storage of all of the data. All other files associated with an Instrument Manager project can be re-created from the data in the project database.
The project database contains tables. The tables contain records for component tags, component data, diagram data and project configuration data. The database is relational. There are many links between the records in different tables for component tags, component ratings and diagrams.
Data for components is stored in two types of tables: "tags" tables and "ratings" tables.
Each component has one tag record in a tags table. The tag record contains the naming of the component. It also contains all of the relational links to other components and to ratings or diagram records. A database can contain one tags table or many tags tables.
The names of the tags tables begin with "Tags_". Each tags table has the same basic structure. You can add columns to tags tables, but you should not remove any of the columns that are present in the supplied database as these are used by Instrument Manager to make relational links. You can add and remove tags tables as required, but there should always be at least one.
Each component can have one ratings record in a ratings table, although this is not essential. The ratings record contains the specification of the component, which may be displayed on a datasheet or diagram.
The names of the ratings tables begin with a component category name, for example "Instrument_" or "Cable_". Each ratings table has data columns that are specific to a particular type of component, and generally different to other types of components. There will generally be many different ratings tables, especially for instruments.
You can add or remove columns from the ratings tables as required. You can add and remove ratings tables as required. If a component does not have a ratings record, then any specification for that component must be stored in its tag record.
Each ratings table appears as a folder under a component category, see Category Tree. You can move a component from one folder to another and the data will be shifted from one ratings table to another but, if the column structure of the two ratings tables is different, you may lose data from those mismatched columns.
Components are divided into categories, for example: Instruments, Enclosures, Devices, Cables, etc. The type of a component is defined by a value in the tag record for that component. The full list of component types is defined by the Instrument Manager program. The tags for different component types can be stored in the same tags table.
User Defined Component Categories
Instrument Manager supports user defined component types. To learn more about making your own component categories see Configuring User Defined Components.
Global Project Data Table
The database contains a global table, named "ProjectData", with a single record that contains the constant data for the entire project, for example: customer reference and project title. This data can be shown on any diagram or report with a special #PJ:...# formula.
The data in this table is edited on the Project Data page of the preferences dialog.
Instrument Manager can produce datasheets, hook-up diagrams, instrument loop diagrams, terminal strip and wiring diagrams. Each diagram has a record in an output diagram table. There are four diagram tables, one for each type of diagram. The record for each diagram contains data to be placed on the diagram that is not specific to any particular component on the diagram, for example the title block information.
The diagrams are produced as either Microsoft Excel spreadsheets or AutoCAD drawings, depending on the diagram type. These files are produced by populating diagram templates with data from the project database.
Modified data sheets can be imported back into the project database. Modified drawings cannot.
Existing Databases and Data Sheets
If you have existing data in either a Microsoft Access database, a DBF format database or in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, you can import this data into the project database. Importing existing data sources requires a certain amount of configuration that must be done prior to importing. The required configuration identifies the structure of your data to Instrument Manager.