FDO in AutoCAD Map needs to Cowboy Up!

FDO, Feature Data Objects, have been around for almost 7 years.  It enables products such as MapGuide, AutoCAD Map, Maestro, Autodesk Infrastructure Map Server, etc connect seamlessly to many standard GIS formats including SQL Server, ArcSDE, and Oracle.

Before there was FDO, AutoCAD Map had a system that was called OSE (Oracle Spatial Extension).  This OSE enabled the AutoCAD Map user to seamlessly store Blocks, Lines, Polylines, Points with Object Data, Block Attributes, and Link Templates directly into an Oracle Database and read/write back and forth back into AutoCAD with a click of a button.  Seriously.

It was truly seamless CAD/GIS integration.

It still is.

OSE still works in AutoCAD Map 2012 (for now but only on 32bit – blah!).

What FDO/AutoCAD Map needs is to cowboy up.  The AutoCAD community needs this to happen to be integrated with Geospatial.

What did OSE do so well?  You can map the features in AutoCAD directly to columns in the database.  For example, if you drew a Block in AutoCAD and scaled and rotated it, it would dynamicly store those properties in the Oracle database so that when you asked for those BLOCKS again, you got them back in AutoCAD, as BLOCKS (shocker!).

This is true CAD-Geospatial integration. If you have to use Bulk Copy or Safe Software FME, it’s not INTEGRATION.

How would this occur?  The FDO datastore (such as SDF, Oracle, SQL Server, ArcSDE, SHP, etc) would have to have some CAD/FDO mapping information for AutoCAD.  So when the AutoCAD draftsperson draws a polyline with attached Object Data, it can be stored seamlessly into the SQL Server database and retrieved exactly as is back into AutoCAD.


Just read/write.

If I spent my days drafting, I would not want to have to learn a new software after years of working with AutoCAD.  Read/Write is simple enough.

6 Responses to “FDO in AutoCAD Map needs to Cowboy Up!”

  1. June 16, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    >> (for now but only on 64bit – blah!)

    OSE is only on 32-bit version of Map 3D 2012

  2. June 16, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    oops, yes only on 32bit…

  3. July 28, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Ahh the good ol’ days.. all this talk of OSE brings back memories of the months you and I spent in Regina living out of the various Travel Lodges and beating up Map 2.0 🙂 What kind of drum beating would be required to bring this kind of change about?

  4. July 29, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Yes, this kind of link between the AutoCAD features (including Block Attributes, Object Data and Link Templates) and Oracle was seamless. If only FDO had this kind of permanent mapping between the DWG and FDO for easy round-tripping without dumping to SDF or SHP first.

    Miss those heady days too!

  5. 5 Recep Alakus
    July 2, 2013 at 6:33 am

    OSE also had OSEADMIN which allowed us to select layers, create indexes and load object data. It seems none is possible under new 64-bit versions. This is unbearable and unworkable. Is there any smart developer that have magaged to force OSE like feature on to 64-bit?

  6. July 2, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Not yet, perhaps some pressure on Autodesk is required? A lot of organizations still use OSE and have managed to install 32bit Map 3D 2014 on a 64bit machine to keep it running.

    No software that mapped DWG to Oracle as easy as OSE in AutoCAD Map has ever existing or exits today. Safe Software’s FME is good for advanced users, but for day to day AutoCAD people, OSE is the best.

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Gordon Luckett

Arrow Geomatics Inc's Gordon Luckett


gordon dot luckett at arrowgeo dot com 1-519-837-9500 (Arrow Geomatics Inc.)

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