Database Files Overview
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Database Files Overview

The database files for features and fasteners are stored in "Standard" subdirectories under the FEATDATA and FASTDATA directories. In other words, each subdirectory under the FEATDATA and FASTDATA directories is associated with a specific standard. These subdirectories contain the database files (e.g., the ANSI_M subdirectory, under FASTDATA, contains the database files for ANSI Metric fasteners).The feature and fastener functions will automatically add new information, including new database files, to the appropriate dialog box lists.

In order to modify the database files, you must be aware of the structure of the files. The following sections explain the structure and organization of the Feature database files and Fastener database files, respectively.

Customizing the database files is NOT done throughany functions included in the program. You must have a separate program that can both read and write to the ASCII Comma Separated Values file format (.CSV extension), which is a widely used format. With this separate program, you must be able to add additional records to a database file and add fields to a file.

NOTE: If you wish to add lengths to an existing size or sizes to an existing type in a database file, it is also important to choose a database editing program that can insert rows, not just append them. This is because the functions read the key fields and builds thier lists in "natural order."

  • The feature and fastener functions will recognize only CSV formatted files.

  • The database file names (i.e., DRILL, BOLTRND) and field title names (i.e., TYPE, UNIT) cannot be changed.

  • Field Names must be in CAPS.

  • No negative numbers should be entered in the database files.

NOTE: Werecommend that you do not attempt to modify the feature and fastener database files unless you arefamiliar with database structures and have experience with editing database files. If a file is edited incorrectly, you may damage the file to a point of being unusable and/or cause errors when the file is read. In addition, bad data may cause bad geometry to be drawn.

NOTE: When using Microsoft Excel to customize your fields, do not modify the widths of the columns. This can result in data being lost.

Backing up the database file you are going to modify is always a good idea (e.g., copying it to a *.BAK extension). If necessary, you can reinstall to restore the original database files.