Managing Non-Graphical Data
Typically private enterprise and government entities manage two significant data sets about their physical plant or products:
- Architectural or engineering design drawings
- Non-graphical data stored in organization-wide databases
One data set is typically of limited use without the other, yet many times the sets are kept separate. The non-graphical data is printed and added to drawings only after they are plotted. While this approach may be fine for a production shop, it may be inappropriate for a project manager who wants intelligent, useful drawings for the life of a project.
Several advanced design applications link non-graphical data to drawings — for example, products such as Facility Management Systems and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) do this very well. The one aspect most of these systems have in common is that the database interface is built into the application.