Using Microsoft SQL-Server with PlantTools & AutoCAD Plant 3D

The auxalia PlantTools include a variety of tools to make planning processes with AutoCAD Plant 3D and AutoCAD P&ID more efficient. Both SQLite servers and SQL servers are supported by the PlantTools for your AutoCAD Plant 3D projects. In addition, the PlantTools also use their own databases:

  • PDMDataCache.dcf

    Contains changes made in PlantDataMager which haven’t been imported into the drawings yet.

  • ACPChangeLog.dcf
    Stores changes which are saved through of the Change Log function of PlantExpressTools.

  • ACPProcessPower.dcf

    Contains Not-Placed Objects which are created through PlantDataManager or PlantSpecDriven.

  • ACProject.db
    Contains the versions and recisions of reports (through PlantReporter) and the data the report versions and revisions are based on. Furthermore it contains also the versions and revisions of drawing which have been created through Plant PlantExpressTools‘ PlantProjectManager.

When a PlantTool database is created PlantTools will use the same database type as the Plant 3D project. If a PlantTools database already exists as an SQLite database and the project will be migrated to SQL-Server, the PlantTools databases stay in SQLite format, because the “Maintenance” tool of Plant 3D doesn’t know about the databases of PlantTools of course.

Start a new AutoCAD Plant 3D project on SQL-Server from the beginning

If you create a Plant 3D project as an SQL-Server project right away, the PlantTools databases will be automatically created as SQL-Server databases also. No need to do anything here in regards of migration. The following image shows all four PlantTools databases.

PlantTools SQL Server Datenbanken

The PlantTools databases won’t be created in one go, but on demand when needed. If you don’t use PlantDataManager, the PDMDataCache database won’t be created.

Migrate a AutoCAD Plant 3D project

If the project already exists and the PlantTools databases exist as well, you must migrate the Plant 3D project first before you can migrate the PlantTools databases. To migrate a Plant 3D project, Plant 3D provides a tool which can be found under:

C:\Program Files\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2022\PLNT3D\PnPProjectMaintenance.exe

After the start you select the first option. The other two options to move and copy project databases aren’t part of this Blog and won’t be described.

PlantTools SQL Server ProjectMaintenance

Next you select the project you want to migrate and select the SQL-Server name. The database prefix will be filled out automatically. Because it will show the name of the PC on which the tool is executed in front of the project name, it is wise to edit the database prefix. Typically, you select the project name or project number. In any case, the name must be unique and must not be in use. You can check the validity with the “Test Name“ button to ensure the name is correct and unique.

Most customers use Windows Authentication and not user name and password.

PlantTools SQL Server ProjectMaintenance Convert

After the click on „Convert“ you will see the following message that the databases have been converted successfully.

PlantTools SQL Server ProjectConversion

On SQL-Server you will see the five Plant 3D databases. The original SQLite databases are kept in the project as *.bak files. Die previous SQLite databases (*.dcf) do still exist but are now files with XML-format. Because of that, the files are only 1 KB in size. You can edit the files with a regular text editor.

PlantTools SQL Server Plant3D Datenbanken

Migration of PlantTools databases

As mentioned above it isn’t a requirement that the PlantTools databases are migrated as well, but it is common to everything in a central location.

The PlantTools‘ MigrationTool icon will be typically be created during the installation of PlantDataManager, Plant Reporter, PlantExpressTools, and PlantSpecDriven on your desktop.

PlantTools SQL Server MigrationTool

You can find the file also under the following path from which you can start diretly.

C:\Program Files\CADSTUDIO\PlantToolsUtilities\PT Database Migration\MigrationTool.exe

You select the project first. The upper table shows the existing databases which can be migrated. The lower table shows the result on SQL-Server you can expect.

If needed you can also migrate single PlantTools databases.

It is important to migrate the Plant 3D databases first, before you can use the MigrationTool, because the database prefix for the PlantTools databases will be retrieved from the Plant 3D databases.

At the bottom you see a remark with the minimum PlantTools versions, but those version numbers are relatively old.

PlantTools SQL Server MigrationTool 02

After clicking „Migrate“ you will see a dialog which let’s you know, that once the databases are migrated, you cannot go back.

PlantTools SQL Server MigrationTool 03

When you click on „OK“ the various PlantTools database will be converted.

PlantTools SQL Server MigrationTool 04

After the migration is done, both tables are empty. This is indicative, that all PlantTools databases have been migrated.

PlantTools SQL Server MigrationTool 05

On the SQL-Server you can see these results:

PlantTools SQL Server Datenbanken Ergebnis
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