Electrical Design Software | Elecdes Design Suite by Scada Systems Ltd

Understanding the Protogen Database


Protogen uses dBase 3 compatible databases to store the text data that varies between sets of drawings. When making clone drawings the graphical and fixed text parts of the clone drawings are copied from the prototype drawing and the variable text parts are copied from the database.

Each record of the Protogen database will contain the data required to create or update one clone drawing.

Multiple Databases

Protogen can use more than one database, each with a different field structure to suit the variable text requirements of different sets of clone drawings. The required database must be opened in Protogen to create or update clone drawings from the data in that database. The data for each clone drawing should be specified in one database only.

Database Directory

Protogen databases will be created and must reside in the working directory for Protogen, where the clone drawings will be created.

Special database fields

A Protogen database contains the data for multiple clone drawings. Each record of the database contains all of the data required to create one clone drawing. The drawing field specifies the filename of the cloned drawing for each record. If the drawing field of a record is blank then a clone drawing can not be produced from that record.

Each database can be used for clones of different prototype drawings. The prototype field specifies the prototype drawing that will be copied to make the clone drawing for each record. If the prototype field of a record is blank then a clone drawing can not be produced from that record.

For Protogen to function correctly, both of the special fields must be present in the database and be loaded with valid drawing file names.

Other database fields

The remaining fields in the database correspond to the variable text entities of the clone drawing[s]. For every unique field definition in the prototype drawing[s] there should be one field in the database. There may be more fields in the database than are required for a single prototype drawing if the database is to be used for clones of more than one prototype OR if the database has been created by methods other than the automated Protogen method (see below).

Multiple Prototype Database

Each database can be associated with one or more prototype drawings. If creating a database by methods other than the automated Protogen method, (see below) you must ensure that:

  • Your common field definitions in prototypes are identical.

  • Your database structure encompasses all fields in all chosen prototypes.

Access MDB or SQL Server databases

Protogen offers limited support for Access MDB or SQL Sever databases. The tools that automatically create a Protogen database will create only a DBF format database. However, if you manually define a suitable table in an Access MDB or SQL Server database then it can be used with Protogen essentially the same as a DBF format database.

Creating Protogen Databases

To create a database you can:

Protogen Relational System

If you wish to use sub prototypes in your system (e.g. modular graphics / separate title blocks) you should read the section on Protogen relational databases.