Friday Training Follow Up: Types of Reports in ARCHIBUS

Robert Stephen Consulting, LLC provides free 30-minute Client Training session every Friday at 10:00AM PST!  RSC prides itself in providing learning opportunities for our clients.  We feel that if our clients know the system better, we will able to work better with them to discover and implement the solutions that they need.

Last week Bob Stephen, our CEO & Managing Director discussed Reporting in ARCHIBUS. Specifically, we covered the Four Types of Reports in ARCHIUBS.  These reports include:

  1. C & VP Level Reports
  2. Director and Manager Reports
  3. Individual Contributor Reports
  4. Reports for Staff at Large

If you’d like to know more about this particular training, email us at training@rsc2lc.com

We’d love to have you join us for this week’s training on Plain AutoCAD Basics this Friday 11/20.  Please register for the training here:
https://attendee.gototraining.com/r/6239139519237186817

Registering is required to receive a confirmation email and a link to the training.

Our weekly client trainings are held Fridays from 10:00 to 10:30am.  This is an opportunity to learn more about an area of ARCHIBUS that you may not be familiar with.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Tip of the Month: SpaceView Geography

Ever heard of SpaceView?  It is an amazing tool.

SpaceView is a web based employee locator nestled within the firewall of a corporation.  Its concept is simple: keep the information about employees simple and accessible.  Completely automated SpaceView requires minimal maintenance.  Automated AutoLisp routines create the Drawing Web Format (DWF) files each night.  The employee data information is retrieved through a lie query to the CAFM database.  This simple yet effective web-based tool provides such information as vacancies, upcoming moves, furniture layout, organization ownership, telecommunication assets, and conference room and lab location.

With the addition of redlining capabilities, planners can communicate moves, adds, and changes through the web.  Other components include an online work order system with email notification and web-based move requests.

This week we’re sharing a brief SpaceView Geography training video, brought to you by our CEO & Managing Director Bob Stephen.


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What’s wrong with my AutoCAD file?

AutoCAD used to have a reputation for crashing and corrupting files regularly.  Talk to any long time CAD user and you’ll hear plenty of horror stories.

The program has gotten much more reliable, but it is still very complex, and there are a lot of moving parts, so I am often consulted on drawing problems.

There are a lot of tools for investigating what’s in a drawing.  One of my favorites is the QSELECT command. QSELECT provides a console to create a selection based on various criteria.

Certain objects tend to be problematic:

  • Points
    • Since they don’t print, points can be placed anywhere.  They often throw off the drawing extents.
  • Blocks
    • Blocks are extremely useful, but blocks can also become corrupted.  It is worthwhile to keep track of your blocks and know what blocks are supposed to show up in your drawing.
  • Attributes
    • Attributes are ALWAYS supposed to be contained in a block.  If you have an attribute outside of a block, it should be deleted.
  • Proxy objects
    • Proxy objects are created by add-ons to AutoCAD.  They can become corrupted or they may not render properly in a version of AutoCAD that doesn’t have the add-on.
  • Splines
    • Splines are not always rendered properly.
  • 3D shapes
    • 3D shapes add a lot of extra data to the drawing.  It is an extra burden that can cause a drawing to render slowly.  I prefer to remove them when possible.
  • Empty text
    • Text and Mtext containers without text inside can increase the size of a drawing with no benefits.  Recently the PURGE command was adjusted to deal with empty text objects.

By using filtering abilities in QSELECT you can find, adjust, and potentially delete individual items that cause drawing issues.Like what you read?  Subscribe to the blog and follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest to keep up to date with the latest news from Robert Stephen Consulting, LLC.

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This phenomenal article was brought to you by our very own AutoCAD Wizard Matt R!  Matt is our go to guy for all things AutoCAD.  Matt is always willing to help out no matter what the task or assignment is.  His knowledge and expertise in AutoCAD is one of the many things that makes him an invaluable member here at RSC.


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ARCHIBUS Client Server & Excel Pivot Table Reporting

BAATUG is a wonderful training event because it is more than just information on ARCHIBUS.  Often times, head of Robert Stephen Consulting, LLC, Bob Stephen, demonstrates tips, techniques, and best practices that make your workflow significantly easier.

A while back, Bob Stephen shared some tricks at an amazing BAATUG event hosted by Stanford.  This little technique Bob taught was so good that we created a tutorial to share with all you who missed the event.

This tutorial is broken into two parts:

  1. Writing reports in Microsoft Excel
  2. Exporting ARCHIBUS data to Microsoft Excel and updating it regularly

Sometimes you need a report that just isn’t in ARCHIBUS, or that you don’t want to be in ARCHIBUS, because you’d rather use the flexibility and power of Excel to combine the data from ARCHIBUS with other sources, or to slice and dice it using Excel Pivot Tables.  All of these things are possible using the technique described below.

The reason this works is because ARCHIBUS Client Server uses ODBC connections to reach the database, and so can Excel.  From this point forward, we will assume you know the afm password to the database.

Below are the steps:

  • Open a new, blank workbook in Microsoft Excel.
  • On the “Data” tab, choose “From Other Sources” then “From Microsoft Query” from the drop down, demonstrated in the image below.
  • A box will appear that lets you choose from which database you want to pull data. 
    • These are all ODBC data sources.  If you don’t see the one you want,  go into Client Server and set up a Project to connect to that database.  Once you’ve set up the Project connection it will become available.  (ARCHIBUS Client Server creates ODBC Data Sources to make its own connection to the database; we are piggybacking off that.)
  • Choose your data source and click “OK”.
    • For now, we’ll leave the “Query Wizard” box checked.
  • A database login dialog box will appear.  The Login ID will likely default to “afm.”  In order to move forward, you will need to know the password for the database.  Enter the password and hit “OK.”
  • The Query Wizard will now appear.  You should be able to choose which database table you would like to use for the data.  In this example we will use the em and rm tables.
  • Pick the columns you want and hit the “Next” button.
    • NOTE:  If you pick data from different but related tables, the Query Wizard does the join for you.
  • From there you will be taken through some other forms;  it is safe to click the defaults to get the data into Excel.
  • You should see something that looks like a grid — a rich set of data about rooms and the people that occupy them:
  • With just a little more effort a more detailed analysis can be done with Count of seated employees by Division Department sliced by Region/Site.
  • If and when the data in ARCHIBUS changes, you just need to Refresh it using the steps below:
    • Return to the “Data” tab.
    • Right click on the data, and click “Refresh”.
    • Your data is now up to date.
    • If you are using Pivot Tables, you will need to refresh these as well after making the changes.
  • Want to Edit your Query?
    • Click on the data table.
    • Select the “Data” tab, then “Properties” from the drop down menu.
  • Push the button to the right of “Name” to get “Connection Properties” dialog box.
  • Click the “Definitions” Tab, then “Edit Query” tab.
  • And you’ll be right back to editing the Query.
  • A Quick Note of Caution:
    • Queries are not portable.  They want to be run from the machine on which they were created.  If you email the spreadsheet to a friend, they will be able to see and change the pivot table, but will not be able to refresh the data or access the query.

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