Database Management Utilities (Reference)

Database Management Utilities (Reference)

NOTICE: The Database Management Utility is a powerful tool that modifies large sections of data in the current configuration.  ALWAYS back up your data before performing a data import.
The Library Import functionality of Database Management is designed to import into configurations already containing the same type of library.  For example, it is OK to import a Component Cabinet Library into a configuration already containing a Component Cabinet Library.  However, this tool should NOT be used to import a Foundation Library into a configuration containing a Component Cabinet Library or vice versa.   Depending on the source library and destination database, additional development may be required after import to successfully set up the new library. For more information, please visit the  Microvellum Knowledge Network.
See  Database Management Utilities (Overview)  in the Microvellum Help Center for an overview article explaining what is new about the Import Export interface.

Import Export Utility

As of Microvellum build 15.6.2404 or greater, we have enhanced the user experience by creating a new interface for interacting with the databases. The article that follows provides a reference for using this tool, also known as the Import-Export Utility.

Database Records Tab

The  left section of the screen lists the various data categories that the new tools support.

Fig. 1 – Data Categories Available for Export Displayed in the Left Section of the Interface

The  center section is a tree view displaying the various items of each data category. For example, select Projects from the categories on the left, and the center view displays all the objects in that category. 

The items displayed in the center section depend on your objective in using the database management utilities. For example, if you select the radio button for “EXPORT from Current Configuration to Selected Target” at the bottom left of the screen, the center section of the screen displays all the categories in your current configuration. If you select the radio button for “IMPORT from Selected Source to Current Configuration,” the items are displayed for the projects in an external file that was previously exported. You then select from the list of items to include in your export or import operation. 

In the figure below, multiple projects have been selected to export.

Fig. 2 – Data Items Available for Export Displayed in the Center Section of the Interface

You may select items from multiple categories and include them in a single export. For example, you may export both projects, processing stations, and reports into a single export file.
The  right section  is a tree view or summary of all items selected in the center section and makes it simple to quickly verify the items that will be either exported or imported. These are the items that are in the queue ready to be exported, waiting for you to click the Transfer button.

If you need to delete items from this right-side summary list before exporting, you have three options. 

  1. Uncheck the corresponding item or component in the center section. That item will then disappear from the right section.
  2. Right-click on each item or component in the right section and click Remove Selected Item.
  3. Select multiple non-sequential items from the list by clicking each item while holding down the Crtl key, or select a range of sequential items by clicking an item at one end of the range, press the Shift key, and click an item at the other end of the range. When all the intended items are highlighted, right-click, and click Remove Selected Item.

Fig. 3 – Export Summary in the Right Section of the Interface

Click the Transfer button once the list of objects or items in the right section is correct. A database file named MicrovellumFactory.sdf is created at the location, and with the contents that you specified. 

If a database file already exists at the selected location, you will be asked whether you want to append all the exported records to that database. You may use this feature to build an archival database with the intent of keeping your configuration free of outdated data – repeatedly adding data to the archive as necessary. 

The contents of the center and right sections of the interface vary according to the Database Option selected. Up until now, we have mostly focused on the screen’s appearance when exporting. Now we will change our focus to an example of the screen when importing

Once the option for importing data is selected, the center section displays the items available for import within that selected database. Select the items from the center section to import, and they are displayed in the right summary section of the screen. This eliminates the need to guess what that database contains. 

If you are working from an archival database, you don’t need to import everything, but only the items you need. 


Fig. 4 – Import Item Selection & Summary

Click the Transfer button once the list of objects or items in the right section is correct. Those items will be added to the current configuration. 

Database Options

The two radio buttons at the bottom left of the Database Records screen modify the basic behavior of the database management tools. Click the button “EXPORT from Current Configuration to Selected Target” to specify that you intend to export data. Click the ellipsis button to the right of the Target box to set the path for the location of the export file you intend to create.

Fig. 5 – Export Option and Export Destination Path

Click the button “IMPORT from Selected Source to Current Configuration” to specify that you intend to import data. Click the ellipsis button to the right of the Source box to set the path to the location of your source import file. This is the data that will be imported into the factory database in your current configuration. 

Fig. 6 – Import Option and Import Destination Path  

Additional Options

Other options are available to modify the export output and the input results. They are located to the right of the Database Options section – next to the Transfer button. They are not always visible, but each one becomes active and available only when that option is relevant to one of the items or objects included in the Selected Items tree. 

They become active and available for use only when one or more items have been selected from a category or categories and are present in the summary section. Additionally, the items selected must originate from a category that supports automatic support file transfer, as noted in the list above (i.e., Libraries, Projects). 
If you are archiving projects and check the box for Delete Projects After Export or Delete Work Orders After Export, the program will automatically delete the appropriate files and folders from the Windows folder structure in that configuration.
For example, when importing a project and a project is selected in the center section and displayed in the right section of the screen, the option for Transfer All Hardware Drawings becomes active. This allows you to refine the scope of your import operation.

Fig. 7 – Transfer All Hardware Drawings Import Option

The example below contains at least one item for export from each category on the left of the screen, thus activating each additional option. Each option is explained in the next section. 

Fig. 8 – Various Export Options  
Zip Exported Items
Check this box to create a compressed zip file named the same as the folder you select for the export files. The zip file contains the same files as the subfolders created in the folder you select for the export files and is located at the same level as the folder selected.

Fig. 9 – Compressed Export File Structure

Transfer All Hardware Drawings
Check or uncheck this box to control the automatic transfer of all hardware drawings associated with a library or project. If the materials are not transferred, errors may be generated after the items have been imported, when working with the data on another system.
Delete Projects After Export
Check this box to delete all selected project records and their dependent children after export. This also deletes the folder structure on disc.
Delete Work Orders After Export
Check this box to delete all selected project records and their dependent children after export. This also deletes the folder structure on disc.

'Support Files' Automatic Transfer

The area below the Tree View contains help text relating to the support files that are exported along with the items selected from the categories. The data management tool determines what supporting files are required and automatically includes them in the export file. See the list below for details about items that are automatically included by default.
Libraries
Exporting a library will export all associated library data. That means that all records associated with the selected Library(s) will be transferred by default (Products, Subassemblies, Product Groups, Materials, Primary Processing Station, Primary Toolfile, Categories).
Projects
Select Projects to transfer, and all records associated with the selected Project(s) will be transferred by default (Rooms, Locations, Drawings, Products, Subassemblies, Specification Groups, Project Level Materials, Primary Processing Station, Primary Toolfile).
Products
Select the Products to transfer, but be aware that all records associated with the selected Product(s) will NOT be transferred by default. Only the Products selected will be transferred – records such as Subassemblies and Materials must be selected separately.
Subassemblies
Select Subassemblies to transfer but be aware that all records associated with the selected Subassembly(s) will NOT be transferred by default. Records such as Nested Subassemblies and Materials must be selected separately.
Materials
Select Materials to transfer, and all records associated with the selected Material(s) will be transferred by default (Sheet Sizes, Categories). If hardware materials are transferred, any associated drawing file will try to be collected and transferred. You may be asked to select the template hardware spreadsheet.
Reports
Select Reports to transfer, and all records associated with the selected Report(s) will be transferred by default (Data References).
Toolfies
Select Toolfiles to transfer, and all records associated with the selected Toolfile(s) will be transferred by default (Horizontal Drills, Vertical Drills, Routers, Saws, Zones, Custom Variables).
Processing Stations
Select Processing Stations to transfer, and all records associated with the selected Processing Station(s) will be transferred by default (Saw Settings, Nest Settings, Scrap Settings, Single Part Settings). The associated Toolfile will automatically be added to the export for compatibility.
Work Orders
Select Work Orders to transfer, and all records associated with the selected Work Order(s) will be transferred by default.
Graphics
Select the files existing in the configuration Graphics folder to transfer. This does not display any graphics files kept in databases in previous versions of Microvellum. It is also possible to copy/paste these files using Windows File Explorer, but using this interface delivers a consistent experience for various types of data.
Misc Items
You may select various database items for the transfer here. These are items that don’t fit into any other categories.
  1. Rendering Layers are included as an item to export and will transfer all associated data to the Layers table. These layers originate from the Change Materials user interface.
  2. Report Groups are included as an item to export and will transfer all associated data, including selected report groups, their associated report templates, and associated report dataset definitions.
  3. Activity Stations are included as an item to export and will transfer all associated data, including selected activity stations and their categories.

Tools Tab

The Tools tab contains a variety of utilities that will help you when maintaining your databases. See below for a short description of each tool.

Create New Materials from Import File
Create new materials or overwrite existing material properties from an imported XLS file.
Import Legacy Materials From Spreadsheet
Use this tool to select a specification group and find materials in the spreadsheet that do not exist in the database. Materials will only be found if they contain a unique name and a unique LinkID.
Fix Project Material Categories
Use this tool if project-level materials in the material file don't appear to be located in the correct category. For example, project materials are showing up when the template material file is displayed. After using this tool, if the project materials are still displayed, it means the corresponding project could not be found for the material.
Clean Up Materials in Spreadsheet
Use this tool to mark orphan materials in the spreadsheet as deleted.
Clean Up Orphan Records
Use this tool to manage any orphaned records found related to missing projects. After the databases have been used for some time, it is possible that there may be orphaned records resulting from project creation and deletion. This may occur when there are read/write issues with SQL Server type databases. This tool manages these orphaned records related to missing parent projects.
Clean Up Orphan Categories
Use this tool to find Category records that are not being used and delete them from the Categories table of the Factory Database. After the databases have been used for some time, it is possible that there may be orphaned records resulting from category creation and deletion. This may occur when there are read/write issues with SQL Server type databases. This tool manages these orphaned records related to missing parent categories.
Clear File Names
Use this tool to remove all file names stored in column B and file names in column N of the product spreadsheet from all library products. When you process a work order, the program stores information in certain spreadsheet columns. When you process the work order again, you'll get the same G-Code filenames using this saved information. If you were to save the product(s) back to the library, this information is saved to the template product. This tool searches thru all library template products and removes the data from the spreadsheet columns of those products. The databases are not directly affected.
Audit Unified Work Order Database
Use this tool to find orphaned records in the Unified Work Order database. A new work order will be created for any records that cannot find a parent work order. You may then review the work orders, including those created from this tool, and remove any that are no longer needed. Applies only to Unified Work Order Database configurations.
Work Order Properties
Use this tool to access the properties of your work orders.
Export Work Order Data as XML
Use this tool to write work order data to an XML file. 
Export Database Schema
Use this tool to write the schema of a work order or factory database to an XML file.
Import 67 Library
Use this tool to import a version 67 library into your current Microvellum Factory database. You will be asked to select an INI file containing the information required to migrate the version 67 library.

Exporting Items from Multiple Categories

As stated earlier in this article and the overview article, one of the strengths of this data management tool is the ability to export or archive from multiple data categories into a single file. 

To do this, click a category from the left side of the screen, click the checkboxes for the items from that category to include in the transfer. This action adds those items to the summary in the right section. Click another category from the left side of the screen, click the checkboxes for the items from that category to include in the transfer. Those items are added to the existing items already in the summary. Repeat these steps until all the necessary items are added to the summary. The summary holds the items from multiple categories until they are removed using one of the methods in the description of the section explaining the  right section of the interface above.  

Once the summary contains the necessary items, select the additional options as desired, and click the Transfer button to start the export or import operation. 

Export Folder Structure

When you export from a factory database, you must first select a destination folder in which to create the export files. Not all category types create the same structure. See examples of the different data structures in use below. 
Export Libraries
A MicrovellumFactory.sdf database file is created containing the libraries exported. Also, a Graphics subfolder is created containing all the hardware graphics files that are used in the source projects.
Export Projects
A MicrovellumFactory.sdf database file is created containing the projects exported and various other tables of data. A folder is also created for each project being exported within the folder selected containing the AutoCAD drawing files. Along with those two things, a Graphics subfolder is created containing all the hardware graphics files that are used in the source projects.
Export Products
A MicrovellumFactory.sdf database file is created containing the products exported and various other tables of data.
Export Subassemblies
A MicrovellumFactory.sdf database file is created containing the subassemblies exported.
Export Materials
A MicrovellumFactory.sdf database file is created containing the materials exported.
Export Reports
A MicrovellumFactory.sdf database file is created containing the reports exported and various other tables of data.
Export Tool Files
A MicrovellumFactory.sdf database file is created containing the toolfiles exported.
Export Processing Stations
A MicrovellumFactory.sdf database file is created containing the processing stations exported and various other tables of data.
Export Work Orders
A MicrovellumFactory.sdf database file is created containing the work orders exported and various other tables of data. A folder is also created for each work order being exported within the folder selected containing the batches, nest drawings, G-Code files, DXF files, and individual work order databases.
Export Graphics
A MicrovellumFactory.sdf database file is created. A Graphics subfolder is also created containing all the AutoCAD drawing files that were exported.
Export Misc Item(s)
A MicrovellumFactory.sdf database file is created containing the layers, report groups, and report exported.

Syncing Materials Between the Database and Spreadsheet

After importing materials into the database, the spreadsheet must be updated with those new materials. This process of synchronizing the database and the spreadsheet takes place in both directions (database to spreadsheet, and spreadsheet to database) and occurs anytime the spec group is initialized. That means when the Data Management screen is closed and when it is opened. 

As a result, when closing the Database Management interface, the program performs certain housekeeping functions. That means that you may see several messages pop up momentarily, such as “Reloading Library Data,” or similar. These are normal and indicate that the program is doing its job as designed. 

Imported Material Structure

After importing a project containing materials, the structure of the material file appears, as shown in the figure below. Notice that the program creates a subfolder named to match the exported data. 

Fig. 10 – Material File Interface Showing Imported Materials

Resolving Naming Conflicts

When importing items, the names of some of those items may be the same as items already existing in the target database. When this occurs, we offer you the opportunity to resolve this conflict.

The software checks for items that already exist in the database either by LinkID or by Name. If they already exist, the user must then decides how they want to handle the duplicate item conflict. For each item listed in the grid, select whether to Skip the transfer, Replace the existing item in the target database, or Keep Both items. 

When exporting, if a MicrovellumFactory.sdf does not exist at the export location, one will be created containing the selected items. If a MicrovellumFactory.sdf exists at that location; you will be asked whether you wish to: Skip the item, Replace the existing item, or create a new record and Keep Both the new and existing items. 


Fig. 11 – Resolve Duplicate Names Interface for a Project

When  importing, if the item does not already exist in the table specified by the location you selected, the new item will be populated to that table.  If an item with that LinkID or exact Name already exists in that database, you will be asked whether you wish to:  Skip the item,  Replace the existing item, or create a new record and  Keep Both the new and existing items. 

Fig. 12 – Resolve Duplicate Names Interface for a Report

Skip  will not change the existing item, and an additional item will not be added. If you decide to  Keep Both  items, you must then give the item a new name to identify it as separate from the original. If you forget to do this in the Resolve Duplicate Names grid, you will be reminded with a message and be taken back to the grid to enter a new name.

Fig. 13 – Enter a New Name Reminder Message

If you later import that database, the second, appended item will be displayed in the list as separate from the original item. 

Fig. 14 – Import List Showing Duplicate Report Separate from the Original

See  Database Management Utilities (Overview) in the Microvellum Help Center for an overview article explaining what is new about the Import-Export Utility interface.
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