Tracer Documentation

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FAQ

Licensing

Q: How long is a commercial license valid for? Is there a renewal or subscription fee?

  • A: There is no renewal or recurring subscription. The cost is the cost. When you purchase a license of Tracer 1.0, it will not expire for the version you purchased it for. There are no renewal or recurring subscription fees to maintain a license of Tracer. Furthermore, existing users will be eligible for discounts on future software versions.

Q: Is there an educational version available?

  • A: We provide educational licensing at a heavily discounted rate for students and professors. Please visit our Education page to learn more about this opportunity.

Q: Will I need administrative rights to install Tracer?

  • A: Most likely. The Tracer install includes an installation of SQLite which does require administrative privileges?

Q: Do you provide floating licenses?

  • A: You can presently download a license that includes multiple device activations. If you have the need for more flexible shared licensing, you can contact us to explain your IT needs and discuss a deployment that will work for your practice.

Q: How many reports can I create and share with a single license of Tracer?

  • A: You are free to use the Tracer visual to create, publish, and share an unlimited number of Power BI reports. However, you can only install the Revit Tracer export addin and visual on the number of devices specified by your license.

Q: Is there a Mac version of Tracer available?

  • A: Tracer tools are Windows-based applications for Autodesk Revit and Microsoft Power BI. Currently, Revit and Power BI (Desktop) are a Windows-only CAD application. However, your published Power BI dashboards will render in browsers including browsers on a Mac.

Revit Tracer Export

Q: What kind of file does the Revit Tracer exporter addin create?

  • A: The Revit Tracer exporter harvests the data from your open Revit document and produces a standalone SQLite database file. The file is structured as a relational database with views for accessing Revit element properties and location geometry.

Q: What data does the exported SQLite file contain?

  • A: The data contained in the SQLite file contains a complete Revit set of document properties, element records, and all element parameter values. These values are captured in a relational structure allowing for custom querying and analysis.

Q: What 2D geometry does the exported SQLite file contain?

  • A: The geometry contained in this file is primarily Revit element “location data” stored in a 2D spatial geometry format. For room objects, this means the polygon boundary of a room. For family instances, this means the location point. This geometry is used in conjunction with the Tracer Power BI visual which will render these objects. To get an idea of how this information is rendered, visit the sample dashboard.

Q: Is 3D geometry included in the export?

  • A: YES! If you purchase the 3D version of Tracer, you will gain access to our new 3D Tracer visual for Power BI and mesh data will be included in the Revit harvest. Visit these sample dashboards to try the 3D capability.

Q: How is numeric data exported? What units are used?

  • A: Revit’s underlying data is set up as “decimal imperial” units. Whenever a linear length or area is reported by the Revit API, a decimal imperial value (feet or square feet) is the reported outcome. Setting a Revit document to metric does not override Revit’s underlying data reporting. It is possible to perform requisite transformations and conversion to your data within Power BI relatively easily using custom columns and measures.

Power BI Tracer 2D Visual

Q: How is the Tracer visual different than other shape mapping visuals available?

  • A: The primary advantage of the Tracer Power BI visual is its ability to render geometry directly from data source fields. The geometry displayed will respond to filter selections and highlighting like any other standard visual.

Q: Will the visuals work if they are published to the cloud and shared?

  • A: Yes – the visual works in published reports and in the browser versions of Power BI. See an example here.

Q: What data source do I need to specify to access the exported SQLite file?

Power BI Tracer 3D Visual

Q: How is 3D geometry displayed with the Tracer 3D visual?

  • A: The Tracer 3D visual renders mesh data contained within data source fields in Power BI. The Tracer addin for Revit will prepare mesh information for each Revit object in the database. The visual is able to read this data and display it.

Q: Can textures and materials be visualized?

  • A: The Tracer 3D visual does not render textures as it is meant for diagrammatic display of information. The visual uses a defined “category field” to show colors or heat map effects with the associated geometry.

Q: Is there a limit to object complexity or number of elements?

Q: Can the 3D Power BI visual be used on a mobile tablet?

  • A: 3D geometry and visualization support will depend on having a WebGL 2.0 compatible browser on your mobile device. At this time, Apple devices do not support WebGL 2.0. Some customers have demonstrated success with Android and Windows tablets and phones.

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