Add the ability to merge two DM projects together
This is completed for DM HVAC 7.2, DM Electrical 8.2, and DM Plumbing 4.0.
Here's what we are implementing for the first version of this feature:
You can merge a drawing from another project to the current project. It will be copied to the folder as a new drawing and everything on it will be copied to the project. If the drawing name already exists, the name will have "(Copy)" added to it so that it still exists as a separate drawing.
For electrical, any panels that devices are circuited to on the copied drawings will also be copied. You also have the option to copy additional panels, that are not associated with the drawing, to the new project.
These panels will be new panels in the project. They will not be merged. If there is already a panel with the same name, "(Copy)" will be appended to the panel name.
If you want to merge panels, you will have to go back and use the "Swap Circuit" command to move the circuits from the copied panels to where they should be.
Currently, i'm excited about this project because i feel like it would help us work on the same project(database) in two remote locations and merge them. Our team is pretty good about splitting workload(lighting, power, etc.) sometimes due to bad internet service accessing the same database through VPN is taxing.
eric deering commented
I'm working on a project that the power distribution design was just about complete. As we got closer to finishing the design we realized that the two 5000 amp services we had designed for this project would not support the load increase. So we had to propose another service to the owner, in order to do this I made a copy of the drawings and database into another directory. This allow me to add a third service and rearrange the power distribution, however I did not want to do this in the original database because this was just a proposal to the owner.
We had multiple individuals working on the lighting in the original database at the same time we needed to put this proposal together and if we decide to go with the new service I will have to copy the new database back over the original. Once I do this we will lose all of lighting design.
My suggestion would be to be able to merge two projects together with the options to be able to select which system (lighting, recepts,switches, equip, etc.) and drawings you would like to be the merged database.
Joshua Massey commented
I don't expect a merge to try and integrate components like duct systems. I would expect the merge to simply copy the database information and components into another drawing. The feature for me does not need to integrate just copy.
Monte DePouw commented
Since we don't use Designmaster in the drawings, we don't care if they translate to drawings at all. We would like to see a database import similar to import lighting fixture schedule from another project. When fixtures of the same type are imported, you tag one with (copy). This same thing could apply to duplicate panels.
We have cases with large project where we create separate directories for each phase and each phase has a separate database. At the end of the project we would like to move all drawings to a common directory and merge the databases into a single database.
We have another situation with a large airport where we have multiple ongoing project each in a separate project directories with separate clients. We are constantly copying the database from one project to the next in an attempt to keep it current. When we change something in one project, we have to remember to copy the database to all other projects. It would be nice if we had the ability to change the default directory to some alternate directory for the database and let each project work from that database.
Given the popularity of this feature, I thought I should get some more information on what people are looking for. How do you see this feature working?
For electrical, do you want us to try to do any merging of panels? For example, if panel P exists in both projects, make a single panel P in the merged project with everything connected to it? Or create separate panels, one for each project?
What do you want to see happen with drawings? Is there any expectation that two drawings from the two projects merge into one drawing in the new project? Or would each drawing stay a separate drawing in the new project?
Implementing this will be a little bit of work, so I want to make sure what we do matches what you all are expecting.