Databases and MicroStation V8 FAQ

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Subject: Databases
Product: MicroStation V8
Operating System: Windows® 2000, Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Home Edition, Windows Me, Windows NT® 4 (SP6 recommended), Windows 98 (Second Edition recommended)
Document Number: 6203
Last Updated: 11/05/07 - added  MS ODBC SQL Server 2005 (MicroStation V8 2004 Edition 08.05.xx.xx and higher)

Index:

  1. Which databases are supported with MicroStation V8?
  2. How can I connect to an Oracle database?
  3. Can I connect to an Oracle 8.0.4 database?
  4. How do I connect to an SQL Server, Access database in MicroStation?
  5. Why do I get an "unsuccessful connect" message in MicroStation when trying to connect to my database?
  6. Are there any requirements when connecting and using databases within MicroStation?
  7. How do I create an Mscatalog table?
  8. I have a column in my database that contains a date. Through the database interface, MicroStation displays it as mm/dd/yyyy. Can I display the date in a different format?

Question 1: Which databases are supported with MicroStation V8?

Answer: The following is a list of supported connections:

  • Oracle 10 (MicroStation V8 2004 Edition version 08.05.01.25)
  • Oracle 9i (see FAQ 6228)
  • Oracle Server 8.1.x
  • Oracle Server 8.0.4
  • MS ODBC Access 97
  • MS ODBC Access 2000
  • MS ODBC Access 2002 (MicroStation 08.01.xx.xx and higher)
  • MS ODBC Access 2003 (MicroStation 08.05.xx.xx and higher
  • MS ODBC SQL Server 7
  • MS ODBC SQL Server 2000
  • MS ODBC SQL Server 2005 (MicroStation V8 2004 Edtion 08.05.xx.xx and higher)
  • Oracle ODBC 8.1.x to Oracle Server 8.1.x
  • Microsoft Jet 4.0 OLE DB Provider
  • Microsoft OLE DB Provider for SQL Server
  • Oracle Provider for OLE DB

Note: MS ODBC version 4.00.4202 and higher, we recommend using version MS ODBC 4.00.4202. There have been problems reported with some versions of the ODBC drivers, namely version MS ODBC 4.00.5303. We do not recommend the use of these drivers. (ODBC drivers may be obtained from the Microsoft web site.)

Question 2: How can I connect to an Oracle database?

Answer: There are two ways you can connect to an Oracle database. The first way is to go through ODBC (see TechNote 8167 for details on how to create a datasource). The second way is a direct connection to Oracle. Connections to Oracle 8.0.4 and Oracle 8.1.6 (or 7) are supported. Oracle 9i is supported with the updated MicroStation Oracle server files available from Web Downloads. See FAQ 6228 for more information.

For a direct connection you must have the appropriate Oracle client installed for the version of Oracle that your server is running. The connect string is your username/password@alias_name, where alias_name is the alias set up through the Oracle Network configuration utilities. Contact your DBA if you are unsure of any of these parameters.

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Question 3: Can I connect to an Oracle 8.0.4 database?

Answer: Yes. Unzip the files into the directory specified below. The zip files are contained in the following directory ...\Program\MicroStation\database\oracle\redist. These files should be unzipped and overwrite the existing files located in ...\Program\MicroStation\mdlsys\asneeded directory. Once these files are unzipped into this directory, you will be able to connect to your Oracle 8.0.4 database.

Question 4: How do I connect to an SQL Server, Access database in MicroStation?

Answer: To connect to these databases in MicroStation, the supported connection is through ODBC. See TechNote 8167 for details on how to create a datasource.

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Question 5: Why do I get an "unsuccessful connect" message in MicroStation when trying to connect to my database?

Answer: There are several possibilities for this error. One is that the database option was not chosen when MicroStation was installed. To check whether a database option has been installed: open Windows Explorer and navigate to the directory where MicroStation is installed. Go to your ... Program \ MicroStation directory. Under this directory, check to see if you have a database folder. If the database folder is not there, databases were not installed with the original installation. When using the typical install option from the MicroStation installer, databases are not installed, you must click the option for databases. When you select the Complete Install option, database files are automatically installed.

Question 6: Are there any requirements when connecting and using databases within MicroStation?

Answer: Yes. If database records are to be linked to elements in the design file, the database must contain an Mscatalog table listing all of the tables in the tablename column and assigned a number in the entitynum column. You must also have an mslink column within each of your tables, containing a unique number much like a record number.

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Question 7: How do I create an Mscatalog table?

Answer: When you first connect to your database in MicroStation, you will receive a message that no MsCatalog exits. Click OK in the dialog box and then under the following: Settings > Database > Setup. An Alert Dialog box will ask you if you wish to create an MsCatalog table. If you click OK, it will create the Mscatalog table for you.

Question 8: I have a column in my database that contains a date. Through the database interface, MicroStation displays it as mm/dd/yyyy. I would like to display the date in a different format. Is there a way to change the default date display?

Answer: Yes. The configuration variable MS_DBODBCDATEFORMAT, which is defined in the ..Program\MicroStation\config\database\odbc.cfg file, controls the format of the date. The values allowed in this string are all of the values supported by the ANSI function strftime. For example, if you require the date displayed as October 1, 2002, set MS_DBODBCDATEFORMAT= %B %d, %Y. Valid settings for the MS_DBODBCDATEFORMAT variable are as follows:

                        
%a      Abbreviated weekday name
%A      Full weekday name
%b      Abbreviated month name
%B      Full month name
%c      Date and time representation appropriate for locale
%d      Day of month as decimal number (01 - 31)
%H      Hour in 24-hour format (00 - 23)
%I      Hour in 12-hour format (01 - 12)
%j      Day of year as decimal number (001 - 366)
%m      Month as decimal number (01 - 12)
%M      Minute as decimal number (00 - 59)
%p      Current locale's A.M./P.M. indicator for 12-hour clock
%S      Second as decimal number (00 - 59)
%U      Week of year as decimal number, with Sunday as first day of week (00-51)
%w      Weekday as decimal number (0 - 6; Sunday is 0)
%W      Week of year as decimal number, with Monday as first day of week (00-51)
%x      Date representation for current locale
%X      Time representation for current locale
%y      Year without century, as decimal number (00 - 99)
%Y      Year with century, as decimal number
%z, %Z  Time-zone name or abbreviation; no characters if time zone is unknown
%%      Percent sign

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