Feature Overview:
Write the user defined database attributes assigned in PowerCADD as an external XML? resource file for the current suite of database file options.

Feature Description:

XML is at the core of numerous aspects of Mac OS? X and various internet technologies. In it's simplest definition, an XML (Extensible Markup Language) file is a cross platform, smart , text file which formats data which can be more readily used by other applications. XML support would make the entire database process more seamless and set the stage for future interopability of the user defined PowerCADD database attributes. Two common examples of similar implementations include:

  • Apple iLife'04: XML allows the database for items such as playlists defined in iTunes to be read in iPhoto. Chapter marks in iMovie can be used/read by iDvd, etc.
  • Apple's Addressbook application publishes it's contents in XML allowing the data to be read and repurposed by various third party authors. There are several examples of third party applications which take advantage of the XML format of Addressbook including iWork and YouControl. There are other third party applications which read the Addressbook XML formated data for printing address labels and envelopes.

PowerCADD currently provides several methods for users to assign database attributes to objects (see our two related links here and here for additional information on the currently available methods).

In the current scheme, the database attributes are assigned to objects within PowerCADD and are saved with the core PowerCADD drawing. in order to extract the database attributes, users must perform a Save As... and select the appropriate report option which results in a text file saved to disk. The text file can then be manually integrated into various third party applications for additional value added analysis. However, changes made to the drawing require saving a new report and reimporting that file. The cycle can become cumbersome and tends to slow down the work flow.

Maintaining a proprietary drawing object database is important for the core PowerCADD drawing objects and that should not change with support for XML. However, opening up the user defined database attributes as defined using Object text, Symbol Tags, Set Data, Export Data would make the data more usable without compromising the proprietary drawing file database/format.

The basic methodology for this feature request is:

  1. A unique XML file is written to disk when a user assigns a database tag using any of the existing methods.
  2. The XML file is live linked to the drawing database: that is, if the user makes a change to the drawing (for example deleting a symbol), the appropriate XML file is updated when the PowerCADD drawing file is saved.
  3. The user could then link to the XML file saved to disk in their database application of choice which would reflect the last saved state of the XML File?

Support for XML should not compromise the internal, proprietary, PowerCADD drawing database. However, making the user defined database tags from Symbol Tags, Object Text, Export Data and Set Data accessible via XML would help stream line the work flow. Using an open, cross platform standard, also helps set the stage for future database development.

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Poll Choices are:

  • Very Important Feature: you think the feature is a big deal and has a big impact to your workflow
  • Important Feature: not critical to your workflow but something you'd find useful or would explore more deeply if it was there
  • Not an Important Feature: this feature wouldn't impact your workflow at all and you're not interested or don't see value in exploring it

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Didn't make it into PowerCADD 9.0.0

Looks like we'll be rolling this one forward to our PowerCADD 10 Wish List

Carried over to PowerCADD 9 wish list

Sadly this didn't make it into PowerCADD 8.0 released March 2008. We can always hope for a rolling update to PowerCADD v8, until then we've moved this to the PowerCADD v9 wish list section. The poll is still open so cast your vote or post a comment (must be registered and logged into vote and post comments)

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