Skip to main content

Project Drawing and Database Management

Design Master Photometrics allows you to create intelligent entities in your drawings. These intelligent entities are stored in both your project drawings and in a project database. This database is a new concept for many of our users and thus may require you to adjust how you think about, organize, and handle your projects and drawing files.

When you create a new project, a database file will be created in the same folder as the current drawing. The file name will be dm_elec<Name>.dm, where <Name> is the name of the project. This is the database file where all of the information about your project is stored. Your project drawings are now connected to this database file, and the information contained in the drawings and the database must match.

You must consider how changes to your drawings will affect the database. Recommendations for common scenarios when working on a Design Master Photometrics project are listed below. You can also visit the Project and Database Management Training Video in the knowledge base.

Project Folders

Each project needs to be in a separate folder that contains one dm_elec.dm database file. All of the drawing files for the project need to be in the same folder as the database. You should not copy drawings from one project to another.

Saving Your Changes

Always save your changes to a drawing with Design Master Photometrics devices in it. Never close a drawing without saving your changes.

Any changes you make to the drawing are saved to the database immediately. If you close the drawing without saving, the database and drawing will no longer match. This can result in missing or extra devices, incorrect calculations, and other problems.

If you close a drawing without saving, or your CAD program crashes, use the Coordinate Drawings and Database command to make the drawing and database match again.

Creating a Backup

To back up your project, you must copy both the drawings and the database file. Copying just the drawings is not enough.

The two simplest methods are copying the entire folder to a new location, or using the Copy or Back Up Project command.

Alternative Designs

To try an alternative design in your project, do not copy drawings inside the same project folder. This will result in duplicate devices and inaccurate calculations. Instead, make a copy of the project in its own folder. Treat the alternative design as a separate project.

Copy the entire folder to a new location, or use the Copy or Back Up Project command.

Copying a Drawing

To copy a drawing that contains Design Master devices, use the Copy Drawing command. This will create an exact copy of the drawing in the project folder. Copies of all of the devices on the drawing will be created in the database.

(You can use Windows Explorer or the standard CAD SAVEAS command to copy a drawing, but these methods add some complications so we do not recommend them.)

Renaming a Drawing

To rename a drawing that contains Design Master devices, use the Rename Drawing command. This will rename the drawing. The original drawing will no longer exist.

(You can use Windows Explorer or the standard CAD SAVEAS command to rename a drawing, but these methods add some complications so we do not recommend them.)

CAD Program Crashes

CAD program crashes can leave your drawing and your database in an inconsistent state. This is a special situation that needs to be handled carefully to prevent your database from being corrupted.

Your CAD Program Created a Recover Drawing

If your CAD program created a recovery drawing, try to open that file. If it opens, compare it with the original drawing file. Decide which you want to use. If you want to use the recovery drawing, rename the original drawing something different using Windows Explorer, then rename the recovery drawing to the original drawing name using Windows Explorer. Run the Coordinate Drawings and Database command on the drawing to make the drawing and database match, then continue working.

If you choose to work in the original drawing, delete any recovery drawings that were created. Run the Coordinate Drawings and Database command on the original drawing to make the drawing and database match, then continue working.

Your CAD Program Did Not Create a Recover Drawing

If your CAD program did not create a recover drawing, then you must open your original drawing. Run the Coordinate Drawings and Database command on the drawing to make the drawing and database match, then continue working.