When it comes to BOM (Bill of Material) Inventor play a good role, but unfortunately database are still use for keeping track of order, vender part number etc., plus the communication between the software are very minimal. Today I’ve decided that I would write a post or 2 a month on a great Add-on product for Inventor. This Add-on is a product offered by Netstream called iCenter. Quick description of iCenter, provide live control on iProperties for Inventor and more control on the BOM management. The subject that I am offering today is how to create a link of your vendor to a drop down menu captured from your database. For this example will use Microsoft Access database with a table of our entire vendor list.
As you can see iCenter offers multiple connections to different database. For this Tip ‘n Trick of iCenter I will show you how to connect a vendor list from Microsoft Access.
To begin you must log in to your iCenter, at the client or inventor level. Once log in, for inventor, go to the drop down menu of “iCenter” and select Administrative Setting, if you’re using the client version of iCenter go to the drop down menu “Tools” and select Administrative Setting.
In the iCenter administrative setting Select the Data Sources icon on the left hand side of the screen. Once there you will create a new connection. By default it will name it “Connection 1”, double click on “Connection 1” and rename it to Vendor.
On the right tab you will create a database connection type. At the connection string select the “…” icon. You will need to select the type of provider for you database, for Microsoft Access you would select “Microsoft Jet 4.0 OLE DB Provider”, select next. Under the connection tab, select the “…” icon and browse to your database. Once the database selected you will create a new data source. By default the data source will be named “DataSource 1” but again double click on the name and rename it to “List of Vendor”. You will need to select the table in your database that contains your vendor list, followed by the valued field and the display field. Once all those selected you should see a preview of your list at the bottom right corner.
After the data source is created you will move on to the properties Icon on the left, look under Property name, and select “Vendor”. Under Data Format, Type, you will select “Data Source”, and for the definition you will take your data source name that you created call “List of Vendor”. From now on your iProperties of Inventor will be containing a drop down list at the vendor property name.
This Tip ‘n Trick is just a small example of iCenter possibility toward linking to a database, I’ve used vendor as an example but we could be looking at Part number, Cost, Designer list and more… See the following video on the Netstream website "How to create Database connectivity"