What Is the Database Interface?
The database interface is a set of tools and settings that lets you associate (or link) a row in a relational database to an element in the design. This is done by storing information about the linkage on the element in the DGN file. In order to link a table to a graphical element, the table must have a numeric MSLINK column. This column acts as a unique row identifier (essentially a row ID) for MicroStation. The second requirement is that the database contains a table called MSCATALOG, which MicroStation creates upon connecting to a database if one has not already been created. The attribute table name is entered and assigned a unique entity number.
There are two pieces of information that are used to retrieve the correct row from the correct table. The first is the entity number, a unique value assigned to the table in the MSCATALOG. The second is the MSLINK number, a unique value assigned to the row of data in the table. When a database row is linked to a graphical element, attribute data, in the form of a USER DATA Linkage containing the MSLINK and entity number, is written to the element.
Once this linkage is established you can manipulate and review the database information from inside MicroStation.
MicroStation supports a direct connection to Oracle databases. In addition, MicroStation supports database connectivity through industry standards ODBC and OLE DB. Another database connectivity option is BUDBC, a new MicroStation-specific connection that provides additional benefits.