If you try to build a connector to get some Revit data to a database like MySQL, you may hit an issue where some strings that are allowed in Revit will do funny things to your SQL instructions, like this:

What to do? We need to ‘escape’ these characters during our data export or INSERT to create something that the database engine can consume. There are some exotic ways to get around this (like encode your text in base-64), but in my case I just wanted to replace the problem character with the escaped version. Ideally, we would use characters that we know will never be found in Revit Type or Family Names.

Revit does not allow these characters in most type and family names:

Looks like a backslash could work, as this is an escape character in MySQL, and it is not allowed by Revit as above.

You can do this a lot of ways in various coding languages, but an easy way is with a String Replace in Dynamo, like:

This workaround doesn’t handle every situation – like if you are pulling parameters out of Revit that contain all kind of characters, you may have to look at a more reliable text cleanup or encoding solution. But this helps with the Type and Family names at least 🙂

The incompatibility between 32 bit Microsoft Office database systems and 64 bit Revit program architecture have been causing headaches for a while, but this technical solution may provide the answer you have been looking for: how to get 64 bit database drivers running alongside 32 bit Office installation.

Support page:
How to install 64-bit Microsoft Database Drivers alongside 32-bit Microsoft Office | AutoCAD Civil 3D | Autodesk Knowledge Network

The Problem:
“You cannot install the 64-bit version of Microsoft Access Database Engine 2010 because you currently have 32-bit products installed…”

User-added image

Quote and heads-up from LinkedIn:
… a way to get Revit 64 bit systems to export an Access 2010 DB link on a 32 bit version. Here is the link with step by step instructions: http://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/autocad-civil-3d/troubleshooting/caas/sfdcarticles/sfdcarticles/How-to-install-64-bit-Microsoft-Database-Drivers-alongside-32-bit-Microsoft-Office.html 

How to install 64-bit Microsoft Database Drivers alongside 32-bit Microsoft Office knowledge.autodesk.com

Finally a solution for DB Link and Access compatibility for 64 bit vs 32 bit systems | LinkedIn

What does Revit eStorage do?
Stores and Restores the data of an external file into Revit extensible storage on a selected element.

Download Revit e-Storage link

How to install (from the readme):
Copy the following files to the appropriate Revit Addins folder,
either “%AppData%AutodeskREVITAddins2013”
or “%AppData%AutodeskREVITAddins2012”:

– ADNPlugin-eStorage.addin: add-in manifest
– ADNPlugin-eStorage.bundle: bundle folder which contains all
other supporting materials

In this 30 second video example, I take a PDF file and save it in the extensible storage of a Raster Image in Revit, then I Restore the contents back out of the image into a PDF file again!

Using the ‘List’ button shows all of the file data stored in extensible storage in the current RVT project.

This actually reminds me a little bit of VEO Archive (a model linked document library) … the concept of attaching documents and file data to elements in a Building Information Model is actually VERY powerful!


Guess what – you can also store this file data in family RFA files!  Yay.  For example, I opened a Door family and then attached a PDF to a Text Note.  I then loaded this into a project, closed the source family, and opened it again FROM the project – and the extensible data stays with the Family. 



Jeremy Tammik actually describes how this works on page 8 of this PDF:


How about this for an idea – set up a File Browser drafting view with Text Notes.  Then, attach project related documents to these notes using eStorage.

  • This could be very handy in a Worksharing scenario as a way to push out Meeting Minutes / Agendas / Deadline documents inside the Revit model
  • You could even scale this idea up to Revit Server as a way to track, update and distribute project related documents throughout the globe!

What about embedding your Project Standards as a RVT file in eStorage?  Whenever you want to Transfer Project Standards, just save the file out, open it and go for it.

A few other links:
ADN Plugin of the Month main page

Autodesk Labs Utilities Plugin of the Month Updates

Heads up about eStorage from Revit Add-ons

These are the latest Revit 2012 Files available for download. They are ready for use but the documentation is very out-of-date:
Note: These are compiled with 64-bit Revit and Windows 7, and .NET 4.0. I’m not sure of the effect if you don’t have these.
2012-03-21 WhiteFeetMenuSetR2012.zip
2011-06-31 WhiteFeetMenuDocumentation R2012.zip

You’ll need an addin file. Note that you need to edit the path in it to the location where you put the other files.
(See installation instructions below.)


In response to my post about Using RDB Link to Tag Wall Volume, Julien Benoit has posted a few helpful comments.  He also referred to his post on RFO.

I previously posted about WhiteFeet tools here.  Basically, the Revit Parameter Tools allow you to drive Shared Parameters with object information that is normally concealed from tags, such as Volume.  There is a lot more to the WhiteFeet package than this, but certainly this is easier than having to go out to RDBLink / Access and back again every time…

Check out screencast embedded below.  Thanks Julien!

I have previously posted about accessing and modifying the Revit Database in a number of posts over the past couple of years, including:
Database and Excel Linking tools for Revit 2012
Exposing the Revit Database (RDB Link method)
Link Excel spreadsheet data into Revit

Now, from revit-pl.typepad.com we get a review of how to use DB Link to get a Revit model into access, then modify and update the database using Excel.

… the task of directing the attitude of these parameters that all poles have become a consistent shape, eg by one by one appropriately “shrunk” towards the top, according to a chart linear function.

First Saving the model into a format read by MS Access ®.
Second Modifying the parameters using the formulas family excelowskich and update the model.

There are a few videos at the original post.

Google Translate
Morze nowych możliwości. Revit MS Access MS Excel = BIM – My Blog

PHPP—the energy modeling software for the Passive House energy-efficiency standard—requires users to input wall areas calculated to the exterior of the thermal boundary. By default Revit does not calculate wall areas this way. Gregory Duncan Architect created a workaround to create a wall schedule that can export meaningful information to PHPP.

Read on at:
Revit and PHPP: Getting BIM and Energy Modeling Software to Work Together

Image from www.gduncan.us

Check out the following link:
WhiteFeet public downloads

Among other things, you will find documentation that covers the following tools:
Revit Element Tools
Revit Family Tools
Revit Parameter Tools
Revit Database Link
Revit Sheet Manager

The License Agreement can be found at:

Here are some summaries of the individual tools (taken from the documentation):
Sheet Manager
Links to an Excel file or (less commonly) an Access database.  Based on this
data, it creates or updates sheets in Revit as a bulk editing process.  The tool
can also be used to export data, renumber sheets, and place views on sheets. 

Revit-Database Link
A relatively complex and highly developed program that can be the basis of a wide range of workflows.  It can connect to either an Access or a SQL Server database and synchronize data in both directions. 

Element Tools
This collection of smaller tools has been grouped together for convenience, but they serve different kinds of purposes.  These include:
Placing unplaced areas and rooms.
Creating views, adding tags, and exporting images.
Managing links.

Family Tools
These tools support working with families and working with Excel:
Exporting detailed information about families to Excel.
Importing parameter values from Excel to control families in support of a computational design

Some cool ideas from the June 2011 issue of AUGIWorld, article entitled ‘Revit, in a Database’ by Paul Crickard:

Once a Revit model has been exported to a database, the things
that can now be done with it are limited only by your imagination.
Build web-based or stand-alone front ends to access and modify
your model—without knowledge of the Revit API. Bring existing
data into a database and join it with the Revit model.

In this article he discusses some of the potential connections between MS Access and MS Excel, and the benefits of such interoperability.

I have posted numerous times about how to view the Revit database using various methods.  To start with, perhaps you would be interested in this post:
What Revit Wants: HOW-TO View the Revit Database (2011 Secret #14)

And, yeah, I twisted the title of this post a little bit 🙂