One of the things that Emile Kfoury, the Sr. Product Manager for the AEC platform mentioned at the DevCamp last week was a new SDK Sample which would be available in the Revit 2008 Service Pack 2 download, called RDBLink.
A wide variety of customers continue to seem interested in the ODBC Export capabilities of Revit. This sample is an example of how you can use the API to take it even further.
This tool picks up AFTER you have already exported a database to ODBC (make sure that you have a clean export from the current Revit version).
The tool creates a number of additional tables within the existing Revit database:
- ElementLevel (relationships between elements and levels)
- ElementPhase (relationships between elements and their created/demolished phases)
- DoorWall (relationships between Doors and their host wall)
- WindowWall (relationships between Windows and their host wall)
- RoomTags (relationships between Tags, their Rooms what view they're shown)
- Categories (full descriptions of categories, including their default material info)
In addition, I believe more parameters are pushed into existing tables (such as shared parameters).
All in all, this puts more information into the database - which can only be a good thing for people who are trying to leverage the information from the outside.
An important distinction is that this version is also capable of pushing information BACK to Revit. While I haven't tested it extensively, it appears to push a variety of property changes which are made in the database back to their corresponding elements in Revit.
In addition, it appears that this application can create new Family Types based on added rows in the database. The code hints that even more "creation-oriented" capability could be implemented as well.
It will be interesting to see how different firms might use this - it represents another way of exposing BIM data to leverage it in other downstream processes... And the import capabilities will get people thinking about workflows that line up well with the real world (where the design iterates many, many times) - and the BIM data needs to flow in a variety of directions to be ultimately helpful.
NOTE: The Revit RDBLink is part of the 2008 SP2 SDK - so it should be available to everyone (not just ADN members, is my understanding).