At CodeBook we are always looking for ways to improve our documentation and the information we provide to make picking up Codebook as easy as possible. We have put together a number of training videos covering all key points in the CodeBook process, from installation, batch loading, importing, equipment creation though to reporting, c-sheet creation and exporting of data in to COBie So if you are a new user, or perhaps an old user coming back to a new process please check out the bellow link. CodeBook Tutorials
Mar 17 2016
May 11 2015
Today we talk about the “elephant in the room”, backing up of project data. We all make mistakes and then we are on the receiving end of this on a daily basis often picking up the pieces of a data entry mistake or even worse a server failure.
There is still a void between IT and BIM/ Architects where each party decides it’s the others responsibility to keep the project data safe, or worse assumes that the other party is taking care of it.
This is a dangerous place with 1000’s of man hours invested in this data with commercial value beyond the project that’s being worked on.
What can we do about this? – Your insurance policy
Opening the CodeBook Export dialog is a great place to start, they say talk is good, talk to your IT team, IT team, talk to your users. Find out who is working on what. Ask the question “is this being backed up” if so how often and how long are the backups kept for? This should be a critical element of your BIM Execution Plan (BEP).
Day to Day Project Activity
There are tasks that can be actioned for which there isn’t an undo. If about to carry out such a task, it can be useful to create a temporary backup, so that an instant restore can be achieved if something goes wrong. And being able to do this without having to resort to backup tapes or IT departments.
The Database tab on CodeBook has the option to allow users to manually create database backups, saving them locally, so they can easily be recalled.
This should not replace a proper backup procedure and disaster recovery plan, but it allows for greater flexibility should an issue arise due to a bulk data change.
You also might want to consider creating an occasional image database, either at project work stages, or monthly. An image database is a snapshot of your project and libraries. This can be compared with previous or subsequent image databases, so that a report of revisions between the two points in time can be created. Such as changes of room names, areas, ff+e items that have been added, removed or relocated.
Note: the image database can only be used for reporting, it cannot be reverse engineered, and so isn’t a backup technique.
Periodic Check of the Backup Process
Final thought of the post?, a backup and recovery plan is only as good as your last test. When was the last time a backup was last restored to test the procedure is working, that it is backing up the correct data files and that the data is readable? There are many documented cases of companies coming to restore data, only to find the tapes blank or incomplete.
Apr 27 2015
One of the questions we get asked almost daily is what if? What if Joe Blogs adds 50 power outlets to a range of rooms?
Well, Should Joe have the ability to do this in the first instance would be the first question that’s asked, the second question would be how can we tell if alterations have been made without manually checking?
When dealing with small projects the data can be held in an XLS file, changes can be made, and we can assume that this document will be taken as a single source of truth.
However, with a large project, or when multiple people need to access the files to make changes, files get duplicated and changes made in different files, and we no longer have the single source of truth. Furthermore, it is good, or even essential to know what changes are being made, by who, when, where and why. It is also useful to control just who can change what data.
Here we can create new constraints or edit the permissions of the existing constraints:
We can control exactly what information can be changed by this constraint even down to the grp/class of the items that can be edited.
Once a constraint has been setup, it’s possible to assign this to a user, to do this select the project properties and select ”Room Data Collector” then click on “List of Usernames and Constraints”
You can now setup a username, and specify the password as well as constraint to be used:
When the user logs on to the Room Data Collector they will be asked to enter there username and password before being allowed to continue.
Now we have Joe Blogs setup with a username and password we can limit the mistakes that are made, it’s also great however to still be able to easily keep track of the changes from a management perspective if nothing else but to sign off on actions actually taking place.
This can be done with in CodeBook using the settings section under “Room Data Collector” by selecting “Record of User Edits”
Here we can see that our user has edited our room data:
We can see what edits have been made, the old value and the new value, it’s even possible to view the changes between a specific date range. It’s also possible to create an excel report based on these changes:
So, in summary we can control exactly what gets edited, by whom and we can review and validate all changes and additions to the Room Data Sheets.
Apr 14 2015
Part 2 – Room Data Collector,
Now the premise has been explained I would like to talk about the practical side of the Room Data Collector. I will break this down into sections that explain setup, data capture design, and use.
Before any data is collected we need to decide what information needs to be collected, how we would like to name and describe the fields that will hold the data structure that data, and their data types, for instance text, number, yes/no. We also need to either define a list of rooms, to which data is to be assigned. Or preferably a list of standard rooms that can be used to form templates, and later assigned to the full project room list.
For this stage of the process CodeBook PRD is used.
Creating the database,
Room data collector runs on our SQL platform so open CodeBook in SQL mode and select the new project wizard:
Codebook will now run though creating a new database for use with Room Data Collector and CodeBook.
Importing the list of Rooms
The list of rooms to populate data against can come from a variety of sources, it could be an XLS import, directly from Revit or even created by hand inside CodeBook.
Setting up data collection
Again with CodeBook PRD we can setup exactly what data you wish to collect, and how the data is to be collected, format, layout and type.
Open CodeBook PRD and the newly created Room data collector database, select the “build” option and then the Lookups option:
The values you wish to have in the Room data collector can be controlled by hiding or un-hiding fields, setting the arrangement of the fields using the sequence value, and the method in which the data is collected. See the red boxed area above.
In the Activity noise level example we can see that this displays as a drop down in the RDC:
If we change the collection method to list we can capture data simply by selecting the item:
The location of each section can be controlled by changing the category of the lookup, or altering its lookup sequence to group with other similar values.
In the next blog, I will cover keeping track of the changes to the data as well as securing against unauthorised changes.
Apr 07 2015
Creating briefs and programmes is something we have all experienced. Typically those on healthcare get a slightly easier time of it due to the products that have been built up around the industry, but as we expand out of healthcare and in to schools, airports, labs, prisons etc. we see the same problems time and time again. Data collected in miscellaneous Excel files scattered around a network that everyone has the ability to change, and no one has the ability to track, secure or monitor the updates.
It gets worse, at the end of this process you end up with a melee of xls files formatted in many different ways, PDF’s and even hand written mark-ups. Yes, we have been asked if there is a way to automatically import these, and then share this information with BIM, and validate the results.
Well, there is an easier way, we call it RDC or Room data collector. It’s designed to be used before CodeBook is even looked at.
We have looked at the way people need, and want to collect data. The collaboration that needs to occur and the flexibility to change the data that needs to be captured. Going further we have also looked at the deployment options in terms of data hosting, and application hosting to make the process as painless as possible.
The concept: RDC can be installed locally, or in the cloud. It’s an application like CodeBook that links back to a database. The design team can use the RDC to easily assign room data and equipment to a Room. The layout can be easily manipulated to reflect your RDS layout so adding and updating/changing information remains intuitive.
Why is this beneficial? There are a number of reasons!
1) Collaboration: the RDC can be used by all members of the team. They can manipulate and edit data directly Passwords can be set by the p[roject manager, and which data is editable can be controlled by the project manager and all changes are live and instant
2) Tracking of information: any time a change is made, the username, time, PC, date and the change is collected. You know what happened, when and by who.
3) Workflow: once the data is in RDC it can be used to create many different style reports, it’s accessible in an open format and can be used with CodeBook for BIM design validation. No one should ever have to manually type out room data and ff+e lists again!
4) I could go on, but the main reason for use is usability and time saving which equals money saved and more effective use of everybody’s time. With RDC, brief building is as easy as drag and drop.
Part 2 of this will follow in a few days, discussing workflow and actual usability, as for now I leave you with pictures as this blog would not be complete without pictures.
Dec 16 2014
CodeBook on the road at Autodesk University 2014
AU Show Reflections
Like every year I write my post AU blog recovering from jet lag, a hectic and punishing show schedule and not forgetting the post show party!
This year was no different except I didn’t publish my blog straight away. My excuse, somebody got their first it stopped me in my tracks because it didn’t portray the reality I saw, heard or experienced. I decided to I needed to rethink my report and reflection on my original views and thoughts.
So here it is from the top!
It’s shocking and awful truth Autodesk had nothing really new to show or announce despite the glitzy Key note Speech. Sorry I forgot to mention A360 which made me a little excited about its potential user benefits and I had similar experience with BIM360.
Towards the end of the Keynote I had a “light bulb” moment the “apple fell from the tree” and hit me on my head bringing back to earth”!
Autodesk really doesn’t get data:
- How it’s needs to be store and managed
- Users information needs for collaboration and federated workflows
- Sheer volume and magnitude of data associated with rooms, equipment, doors, MEP and finishes
- The simple fact project data-sets growth are accelerating
- Data management needs across multiple Revit models
- How important non graphical data validation is for users to enable them to verify requirements (program and brief) against design
I took the opportunity to further investigate and it was a real shock when asking an Autodesk staffer about A360 when they stated it’s just a more sophisticated “Drop Box” and another on the BIM City couldn’t explain the “I” in BIM and really just kept going around in loop about 3D modelling.
So yes it’s now very very obvious Autodesk are focusing on sharing files i.e. discrete documents and files NOT data-sharing and it’s clear they don’t understand or see the value or benefit of non-graphical data and its associated Meta information across multiple Revit models being store and managed in centrally.
AU for CODEBOOK
CodeBook Room Data Collector (RDC)
Our major product announcement was the launch of Room Data Collector. A new product designed to revolutionize room and asset data collection making it easier and quicker during pre-design and post-construction. Eradicating the need for piles of Word, pdf and Excel documents which tend to have an accumulation of scribbled notations.
CodeBook Project Database Server (PDS)
CodeBook’s products don’t restrict clients to where their data is stored: whether it’s a client’s own on-premises server or 3rd party hosted server and now a further option our new hosting services.
CodeBook flexible new project data storage options allow client’s to decide the optimal storage location for their specific project (s):
- Hosting Service – for clients who want the performance enhancements SQL delivers without the hassle of investing in servers, software and technical support
- Managed Service – for clients who require all parties internal and external involved on the project to access data collaboratively in a federated workflow and who want to take advantage of CodeBook data management experience to support live projects.
CodeBook Hybrid Cloud Desktop Client Solution
For the first time a real alternative to SaaS Solutions. With none of the restrictions, limitations or disadvantages associated with a fully SaaS based data management solutions.
Our Cloud services allows CodeBook to offer the advantages of storing and accessing project data via the Cloud plus significant advantages associated with a suite of comprehensive desktop functionality with a user interface which is intuitive, highly flexible and user customisable.
We recognize all clients and their clients are different so we have designed our products to be user customizable enabling Clients to meet the specific data and reporting demands of different clients, projects, building types and project sizes.
CodeBook Room Information Manager (RIM) – 2015 Release Announcement
We didn’t announce the new name for CodeBook Pro at AU, from January 2015 it will renamed as Room Information Manager (RIM) and are moving away from version numbers to a year convention for future versions.
New Product Features
- Revit 2015
- Crystal Reports
- Finishes Validation Module
- Room Information Change Tracking
- Equipment List Tracking
- Much more …..
All it leaves me to say is Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and New Year from the CodeBook Team and we look forward to talking with you in 2015.
Dec 01 2014
December 1, 2014
CodeBook Releases Room Data Collection Solution
Helping architects, designers and engineers to streamline information workflow, increase productivity and reduce costs
December 1, 2014, London, UK: CodeBook expands product range with the addition of a new ground breaking product aimed at enhancing architects and designers ability to collect room program information at the earliest stages of pre design and will have a major impact on improving BIM data management and data integrity delivering a consistent data workflow from pre design to handover.
Room Data Collector (RDC) easily and quick captures room program data from designers and users clients during pre-
design. RDC data easily, quickly and smoothly transitioned into CodeBook Pro to handles program and design validation and the collection of more specific and detail room and asset information during post program design and construction stages.
Clients have been saying they really required a smarter, more efficient and productive method and approach to their current “tick box” workflow which requires users to rekey Word, Excel and pdf forms when the program is finalized. Plus the new solution must be intuitive for users use from day 1 requiring little or no training.
Our development team’s solution fully addressing these issues allowing users flexibility to fully customize and define layout, terminology and data aspects including room data and the fixtures, furniture and equipment (ff+e) requirements. It fully replicates existing word, pdf paper and spreadsheet workflows. Bringing together all various formats used to achieve room data collection which is collected into single location without any of the disadvantages of data inconsistencies, costly transposition mistakes and lost data
CodeBook Room program solution is a superior and revolutionary product which will have a major impact on design efficiency by increasing productivity and reducing costs which can be used on any size of project and every building type.
For more information, contact:
Andy Hamer, CEO CodeBook Solutions Inc – tel: +1 858 605 1522 / + 44 (0) 1276 537 282, mob: +44 (0) 7912 869 976, email: andy.hamer@codebookinternational .com
Codebook International (www.codebookinternational.com) developed its first software application in the early 1990s and has been providing software solutions to design teams, contractors and building owners worldwide ever since. CodeBook International combines software development expertise and the experience of construction industry professionals. The CodeBookPro database application manages information from project inception through to facility management after project completion. Interoperable with industry standard CAD and BIM tools, CodeBookPro links to models, shares data and gives detailed reports and validations throughout the design and construction phases of a project. On completion the building owner takes possession of a detailed room information database linked to the 3D building model.
CodeBook Solutions Inc is a US-based business set up to provide a single source of sales, consultancy and support for North American architecture, engineering and construction and operation (AECO) customers.
Nov 27 2014
CodeBook Tip of the day,
We are seeing more the move towards SQL server as a database platform, as such we are seeing a jump in the questions surrounding database management with in SQL server. Today’s blog is going to be about the management side of using CodeBook with in SQL.
Everyone can now breath-out because this is all CodeBook side, were not going to ask you to become proficient with SQL management studio!
Most of our work today will be surrounding the “Database” tab on CodeBook:
We’re going to run though exporting your data back to Access, copying, renaming and restoring data.
Copying a database,
Select the option to “Copy” from the Database tab
CodeBook will now ask which type of data you wish to copy, i.e the project, equipment library, ect and then which specific database of that type you want to copy. If then asks you to enter a new name for this database. To complete the task select “Copy” its as simple as that. If you copy a project this copy of the project will still have attached the same Room Data Library and Equipment Library as the original project.
Delete a Database,
So you have made a copy and the its no longer needed, or perhaps you are performing some housekeeping. To delete a database is equally as simple.
Select “Delete” and then Codebook will load the delete from.
Here you can select the database type, which then filters the drop down for the specific database. To delete, select your database and then click “Delete” note * you cannot delete the database you already have open or its library’s.
Rename a Database,
This is exactly the same as above, select the database you wish to rename, enter the new name and then select “rename”
Export a Database,
We understand that change is hard and people like to use the tools they are used to, there are also proprietary reporting tools that have been built in house over a period of time that plug directly in to the image database so the need to get at ones data in access is real.
CodeBook allows for export of an SQL CodeBook project
and library as well as image databases.
To export a database select “Export”
You will then be asked which database type you wish to export. If we use “Project mdb File” as an example.
We can now see the selection of project available for export. Select the database you require and then select “Select” CodeBook will now ask you where to save the new access database. This can then be opened up in CodeBook using access mode rather than SQL mode.
Importing an Access Database,
To import a CodeBook project that’s in access, or a library simply select the “Import Database” option:
CodeBook will now ask you where the database is you wish to import, and what you with to call it.
Nov 27 2014
Advanced Solutions Partners to Provide Lifecycle BIM
LOUISVILLE, KY, Nov 25, 2014 (Marketwired via COMTEX) — Advanced Solutions, an Autodesk Platinum Partner and Authorized Training Center (ATC), is helping firms streamline information flows and provide better data to building owners and operators through Lifecycle BIM.
Advanced Solutions Design Software has partnered with Codebook International, Brockwell IT Consulting, and Ecodomus, to provide each of the key components within the Lifecycle BIM solution. Each of these unique companies is a strong addition to the Lifecycle BIM solution, complementing the current Autodesk software solutions Advanced Solutions delivers to its customers.
For building owners seeking to improve facilities management, Lifecycle BIM is a comprehensive solution that incorporates industry leading building design, GIS, data management, and facility management software into best practice workflows to enhance communication, increase efficiency, and reduce costs. Advanced Solutions’ fully integrated solution enables owners to optimize their building operations from cradle to grave. Michael Golway, Advanced Solutions President and CEO, shared his enthusiasm for this new offering, stating, “Advanced Solutions prides itself on our innovative software solutions and high quality consulting services. Lifecycle BIM offers a key value proposition and service to owners, general contractors and all consultants in a project.”
Andy Hamer, CodeBook International CEO, said, “Through Advanced Solutions, CodeBook will now be expanding its professional collaboration on key projects across the United States.” The CodeBook Data Management application manages building information from project inception through to facility management after project completion. Working with industry standard CAD and BIM tools, CodeBook links to models, shares data, and gives rapid, detailed reports and validations throughout the design and construction phases of a project. On completion, the building owner takes possession of a detailed, room-by-room, information database linked to the 3D building model.
Brockwell IT Consulting specializes in geospatial asset management and design systems for utilities, providing solutions for infrastructure design, planning and management, as well as geospatial design. President and CTO of Brockwell IT Consulting, Stephen Brockwell stated, “Their (Advanced Solutions) Lifecycle BIM approach provides customers with seamless integration of all the necessary data inside the building and the critical infrastructure outside itâ?¦ Brockwell IT Consulting aims to improve the ability to serve our clients and theirs.”
Another valued partner in the Lifecycle BIM cache, Ecodomus software will provide a 3D view of facilities in an easy-to-use format for facility managers that links BIM with real-time facility operations data acquired via meters & sensors (Building Automation Systems, BAS) and facility management (FM) software.
Public and private sector clients call upon Advanced Solutions Design Software expertise to integrate various 3D, workflow and BIM technologies. The Lifecycle BIM solution is a welcome addition to the Advanced Solutions portfolio of products and brands. As a diversified technology company, providing integrated software solutions and services, enabling businesses to achieve more effective products, processes, technologies and ideas, Advanced Solutions is proud to offer Lifecycle BIM.
About Advanced Solutions Design Software
Advanced Solutions Design Software is an award winning Autodesk Platinum Partner with 2D and 3D design software expertise in architecture, engineering, construction, civil infrastructure and manufacturing. The company has earned Autodesk Specializations in Advanced MEP, Building, Civil Infrastructure, Process & Power, Product Design & Manufacturing, PLM and Simulation, representing its proven ability to consistently deliver advanced customer solutions, consulting, training and support in these areas. In addition to industry focused expertise, Advanced Solutions provides Autodesk authorized value added services such as consulting, product support, training, and certification to its diverse customer base. The company is a member of the Autodesk Developer Network (ADN), bringing further value to customers through certified software customization and business systems integration. Advanced Solutions Design Software helps customers gain a competitive advantage by recommending, implementing and customizing software solutions that lead to increased revenues, reduced operating costs, and improved efficiencies. For additional information about Advanced Solutions Design Software please visit our website at www.AdvancedSolutions.com/design.
About Codebook International
Codebook International (www.codebookinternational.com) developed its first software application in the early 1990s and has been providing software solutions to design teams, contractors and building owners worldwide ever since. CodeBook International combines software development expertise and the experience of construction industry professionals. The CodeBook database application manages information from project inception through to facility management after project completion. Interoperable with industry standard CAD and BIM tools, CodeBook links to models, shares data and gives detailed reports and validations throughout the design and construction phases of a project. On completion the building owner takes possession of a detailed room information database linked to the 3D building model. CodeBook Solutions, Inc. is a US-based business set up to provide a single source of sales, consultancy and support for north American architecture, engineering and construction and operation (AECO) customers.
Advanced Solutions is a registered trademark of Advanced Solutions, Inc. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Advanced Solutions reserves the right to alter product and services offerings, and specifications and pricing at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document.
Autodesk, ADN and ATC are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates, in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders.
Â© 2014 Advanced Solutions. All rights reserved.
Contact: April Perkins 502-638-4606Â E-mail:Â firstname.lastname@example.org Contact: Krisy Bucher 502-638-4600 E-mail: email@example.com
SOURCE: Advanced Solutions
(C) 2014 Marketwire L.P. All rights reserved
Nov 03 2014
As a project develops over time the required FF&E lists for the project will develop and undergo multiple reversions. Tracking what’s changed, why its changed has always been easy with the ability to add notes, reason for updates and date tracking from the required list.
But, what if you need to look at the original equipment brief, or reload the changes from the last reversion? Well now you can!
CodeBook allows for a Equipment list reversion to be created at any point, and then reloaded back in to the required equipment list with all the notes and tracking data that the list was stored with!
We have put together a short overview on the new function. If you have any questions please contact support@CodeBookInternational.com