Codebook and SQL

CodeBook has historically used a Microsoft Access .mdb database as a backend storage location for data. Over the years this has proved to be a very stable and very convenient way of storing data allowing for easy access, easy backup and most of all, portability of data.

As BIM has come in to its own we are finding the volume of information that now needs to be captured and interrogated has increased massively. When once an access database was more than sufficient larger projects are now creeping towards the edge of what’s technically possible.

CodeBook Pro now supports SQL server as a repository of data, where MS Access puts the batten down SQL server picks it up and is massively improved in terms of database size limitations, number of users and interoperability of data. SQL server allows for the data to become accessible, not just portable.

Using CodeBook Pro with SQL server is simpler than you probably think, firstly you need to install SQL server, Codebook Pro supports both the free express version as well as the full fat version. It’s probable your IT department already have an SQL server running and CodeBook Pro is happy to share the same server instance.
So, SQL server is installed and a user/or group of users has been given the correct privileges, what now you may ask?

When opening CodeBook Pro you should note the SQL option on the left, 3rd down. Pressing this switches CodeBook Pro in to SQL mode.
Step 1) Telling CodeBook Pro where the SQL server is, this will be the server name or IP followed by the SQL server instance name.
Step 2) Setting a local CodeBook Pro temp path
Step 3) Authentication, This is the SQL username and password you have been given.

sql 1a

Once the correct information has been entered click “Check Connection” this will check all the credentials entered are correct and give you a ok, or a error.

From this point we can list the databases already on the server by clicking “Refresh Project List”


Select project will now list the projects, clicking on the relevant project and clicking open will open CodeBook Pro.

If you are starting for the first time, CodeBook Pro has the option to import from an Access dataset, this could be an already existing project or perhaps even one of the sample projects we provide with CodeBook pro.

Importing the dataset is as easy as pointing towards the database you would like to import and clicking ok (and giving it a name)

Once in CodeBook day to day use remains exactly the same but with one key difference, Speed.
We have estimated that on larger projects moving to SQL server can cut processing times or Syncing Rooms or Updating Designed Equipment lists by up to 80%.


There are other benefits of moving to SQL server, security being a key one. Once in SQL it’s now also possible to connect your data to other services, even allowing other offices access to your CodeBook pro database over the internet.

As always, if you have any questions please contact us @

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