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Dynamic Data Type

Dynamic Data Type

I would like to see a Dynamic Data Type (my proposed name) within Revit. This would be a calculated parameter with a data type that may change depending upon the input formula.


Particular example: in Electrical Equipment there is an existing parameter for "Neutral Bus" (yes/no data type) and another for "Neutral Rating" (Electrical Demand Factor data type). I do not want to report both of these values in separate fields in a panel schedule, especially since Neutral Rating has no relevance when Neutral Bus is No.


I'd like to be able to use the following formula in a calculated parameter: if(Neutral Bus = Yes, Neutral Rating, "None"). This isn't currently possible, however - you'll get an inconsistent units error.


As for how to do field units: I'd hope Revit to be smart enough to determine which data types are possible via the entered formula, and the Units dialog allow the user to select between the potential data types (probably via a drop-down) to format each. Or even easier: just provide the user with a full dialog similar to Project Units and let the user decide how each data type for that schedule field be formatted.


Would appreciate others to chime in with other potential use cases.


Another application. Lamp Quantity is typically reported in lighting fixture schedules. But lamp quantity is often irrelevant for LED fixtures. I'd like to have a calculated field with the formula if(Lamp Quantity = 0, "None", Lamp Quantity).


I'm sure I could keep coming up with examples as I work. But I think you get the gist. Would love to hear use cases from other disciplines.


Very well written Idea, @scbunker ! Here is another (somewhat) similar post...Allow text in formulas - Autodesk Community


@kimberly.fuhrman, thanks very much for your reply.


I think they are different ideas, however. I have also voted on the idea you shared.


There are at least three very similar text issues that users take issue with, all of which are probably addressed in that very long idea thread: text comparison, concatenation, and string conversion. And perhaps even string parsing.


Text comparison would be the ability to use text in the boolean expression of an if statement. E.g. Number = if(Parameter = "Text", 1,2). So if the value of Parameter (text data type) is equal to "Text" then the value of the parameter Number (number data type) would be equal to 1, else it'd be equal to 2. This is currently not possible within Revit.


Concatenation would be the ability to combine multiple text strings into one text string.


String conversion would be the ability to convert numerical data to a text string.


String parsing would be converting numerical data in a string to actual numbers.


String conversion may be used as a workaround for the use cases I presented, but without the ability to format units.


Hopefully that's clear and helpful.




Thank you, @scbunker . That is a great explanation and I'm sure it will be helpful for our product teams!

I'd be happy with the data type being text, if it could take multiple data types in and parse (automatic type casting) with formatting, including units. My most pressing use case is for luminaire size, where the size could be two lengths (1200 x 600mm), one diameter (150ø), or text ("other"), determined by examining yes/no parameters and various length parameters. Neither the half measure of concatenation currently available, nor the limited formulas can do this either for schedules or within families.

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