Author Topic: Linking a database to AutoCAD  (Read 4638 times)

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Big Al

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Linking a database to AutoCAD
« on: December 30, 2010, 11:04:53 AM »
Hello all,

I'm new to The Swamp, and I must say after reviewing several of the topics herein, I feel as if I don't know anything.  But, hoping to learn more.

I have a very generic question, and I'm not sure exactly where to post it, but I thought I'd try here.

I'm a land surveyor.  I'd like to set up a database to enter information from deeds, and then be able to automatically generate a graphical representation parcels in AutoCAD, using one or more methodologies for that representation.  As I perform research in my area, I'd like the database to grow, and potentially allow for others to add to the database, so that growth can happen faster over time.

First of all, because of a limited budget, I should mention that I am working with now outdated software (AutoCAD 2002 with Land Desktop 3 modules). Forgive me.  It seems there are perhaps many ways to accomplish this.  I have discovered the dbConnect function in AutoCAD, and it looks like it will work with a number of different database formats.  Because of my interest in potentially allowing others to access and add to the database, I'm thinking that a web based solution like SQL might be appropriate.

But, where I'm stumbling is trying to understand the most suitable way to connect the database to the DWG, i.e. which language to use.  The options that I've found include scripts, LISP, AutoLISP, VB, VBA, .NET, C++, etc.  As I understand them, these are all programming languages, and I'd like to teach myself one of these languages for implementation of this project (and, over time to be otherwise useful to me in the CAD environment).  AutoLISP is described in some circles as being a rather basic/crude language, and perhaps not capable of as much as other languages (C++ etc.).  But, it seems from this forum that it is indeed very popular, perhaps more popular than the rest.  I do not intend to become a full time programmer, so I'd like to use a tool that is as easy as possible, yet not too limiting, or outdated.  A language particularly developed for use with AutoCAD, as opposed to generic languages such as VBA and C++, would seem to be ideal, as the users of the same would be more understanding of the goals in the CAD environment.  Though it seems that Autodesk is not much developing the AutoLISP format, it still works with the latest versions of AutoCAD.

Would AutoLISP be a good choice for this application?  Can anyone suggest a textbook for learning more about this language?


  • Guest
Re: Linking a database to AutoCAD
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2010, 04:28:07 PM »
Yes, Autolisp is a good language for this (IMO).

Check this out:

As far as a book is concerned I'd recommend this book and, of course, this forum.

Good Luck!

Big Al

  • Guest
Re: Linking a database to AutoCAD
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2010, 04:46:37 PM »

Thanks for your reply.  Right now, I don't understand what SQLite is about - so, my first step will be to read about AutoLISP, and take it from there.



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  • Seagull
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Re: Linking a database to AutoCAD
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2010, 06:25:09 PM »
More links to check out:

and some programing links at the bottom of this one.

Oh, and welcome to the Swamp. 8-)
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Big Al

  • Guest
Re: Linking a database to AutoCAD
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2010, 08:29:33 PM »

Thanks for your post too, and for welcoming me to this forum. I have much to learn, as evidenced by the links you provided, but I'm looking forward to it!

Happy new year!