Hi Autodesk and Topobase Users,
With Topobase 2011, a tool called Structure Editor was introduced for creating, updating and deploying a data model.
Is this the RECOMMENDED best practice for creating a new data model/document going forward? Or should one still use the DocumentStructureUpdatePlugIn through actual C#/VB coding and compilation to DLL and running in TB Admin for creating the data structure for a new document? We have a need to create a new Topobase document, and we are wondering what AUTODESK would recommend as the best practice.
For the modules that are included with Topobase (i.e. Gas, Electric, Water and Waste Water), were DLLs for creating these documents/structures using the .GENX file (as resource file included in the compilation of the DLL) from the Structure Editor?
Would appreicate any recommendation or suggestion other users may have on this topic.
We have moved all our structure updates from the code based structure update to the xml based structure update where ever possible. Not all updates can be handled by the xml file, for those use cases we still have the code based updates running as a pre- or postupdated.
The benefit of the xml based update is that you have a better overview of the history of changes through the versions and also a visual representation of the structure. The genx can be embedded in an assembly or shiped as a separate .genx file. To finally create the structure from the .genx, we use the same code like for the code based updates. There are some improvements to aviod unnecessary changes to the structure, like adding a table and deleting it again in a second version. Therefore you can have only benefits when you use the xml based approach.
I hope this answer helps.
Thanks for your quick reply Martyn.
We have been using code based structure updates in the past for TB 2009. From your reply and info we garnered from Autodesk, it looks like there's more flexibility with the XML/genx approach. We also had feature rule related client code that was implemented in the same module for TB 2009. With TB 2011, I guess we'll separate the Client feature rule code from the genx data model/structure update as there doesn't seem to be a way of attaching the Clieint side feature rule meta data with the genx file.
BTW, do you know if Autodesk has sample code or other internal documents related to using the genx/resource file? I couldn't find any sample like that from the list of sample projects that are shipped with TB 2001. It should be easy to do... and a nice code sample to reference to.