A Visio Solutions Addon for Alerton DDC Programming

ddcBar is a collection of utilities to aid in the production and maintenance of Alerton DDC programming. It runs as a Visio solutions add-on and works with all Alerton VisualLogic programming stencils.

ddcBar Workspace

The ddcBar tab of the ribbon is displayed along with (top to bottom) the Point-Editor, DDC Explorer and DDC Simulator docked on the left side of the Visio drawing.

Point Editor

Display and manage an Access based point-database while you program ddc. Docks to the side of the drawing window. Write points and descriptions to device and I/O-Tab shapes. Import and export point data.

DDC Simulator

The Simulator uses the drawings “live” data feature to show simulated values. On the left is the point grid where you can view and edit the values.

DDC Explorer

Using a treeview control DDC Explorer summarizes your ddc data. A section for warnings and errors can help you trouble shoot issue. Double-click a line to jump to that location in your drawing.

Subcaller Editor

Using the Subcaller-Editor you can quickly edit all the subcaller shapes on a drawing page. Commands to modify all data in a row or column allows quick updates. Paste data from external source in to the grid to create all subcallers in one easy step.

Compare DDC

Compares 2 DDC drawings to flag differences in sequence, points, values as well as configuration settings. Click any cell to jump to the device shape in either drawing.e easy step.

ddcBar supports Visio 2010 through 2019. Make sure to check the ddcBar download notes to make sure it supports your Visio version.
ddcBar provides the following Visio based user interface elements:

  • Visio anchor windows are used for the Point-Editor, DDC Explorer, DDC Simulator and Project-Reference tasks.
  • ddcBar commands can be called by 3rd party addins.
  • Drawing Setup dialog to configure ddcBar to current DDC and database modes of drawing.
  • One-click DDC stencil open.
  • One-click zoom all pages before save.
  • Configurable user menu for commands each user want handy on the ddcBar tab/toolbar.
  • ddcBar commands added to Visio context menu for cutting DDC as script, pasting DDC as script and for copying the point data from the currently selected tab to the point database.
  • Replicates most VisualLogic commands on the ddcBar ribbon or toolbar for quick access.
  • Uses old style accelerator commands which are easy to learn and use. Hold Ctrl+Shift and press letter of command.
  • Used for align, connect, propagate, junction and sequence commands.
    Connection line straighten up, down, left and right. Ctrl+ key override to align shapes.
  • Auto connect device shapes by selection series, pairs, fan-in and fan-out.
    Propagate points to connected devices. Automatically add tabs and connection lines.
  • Add junction to selected connection line. Dart mode allows you to select point on screen where junction is placed.
  • Device propagate points.
  • I/O-Tab support: lookup description from database, propagate points and fetch points, auto align to page border, descriptor word wrap, point/description visiblity for current selection or drawing, change tab color for documentation purposes.
  • Sequence devices by order of selection or by current sequence. Change starting number and increment.
  • Increase/decrease inputs for AND, OR and ADD devices.
  • PI device setup helper.
  • Subcaller editor. Grid editor allows editing a pages SUBCALL shapes at once.
  • Subcaller replicate utility.
  • SelectMode override function. Automatically sets the SelectMode of device shapes so they cannot be sub-selected.
  • Point Search and Replace function.
  • Device-Drop mode that auto-opens the device editing dialog when a device is dropped on drawing. Also can auto connect to previous shape and auto-sequence the device.
  • Automatically maintains a point database for each DDC drawing.
  • Internal database always saved with drawing in xml format even if you use external source.
  • Supports most Alerton BACtalk Builder and native pointdata.mdb Access database formats.
  • Supports Excel workbooks -both Alerton and user custom files.
  • Supports the following properties: description, obj-name, value, priority-array and rel-default.
  • Can import and export to Visio shapes, Windows clipboard, Excel files, Access database files, cvs and xml files.
  • Can import and export to a controller using Alertons bactalk.activex.interface.
  • Provides the user interface to the underlying point database.
  • Displayed in the Visio anchor (task) window. Can be used docked or floating. Can be placed on a separate monitor.
  • Displayed fields can be user selected.
  • Commands to import or export data to Windows clipboard, Visio shape, Excel or Access files, csv or xml files.
  • Commands to read or write data to field controller using Alertons bactalk.activex.interface.
  • Commands to scan drawing and retrieve point data.
  • Commands to write descriptions and points to currently selected device shape.
  • Database macros to fill in field data, reset obj-names, Microset descriptions, etc.
  • Commands to auto populate drawing shapes with point data for documentation purposes.
  • Summarizes DDC device and point data from the drawing.
  • Use explorer like tree for display.
  • Scan page or whole drawing.
  • Deep scan mode looks for subroutine multiple write errors.
  • Categories for DDC warnings, errors, I/O-Tab use, devices used, program flow, page sequencing, points used and a user point lookup section.
  • Double-click a tree node to zoom to the location in the drawing where that data was referenced.
  • Right-click a tree node to copy point and/or description to the selected device shape.
  • Warnings include bad connections, I/O-tabs not used, possible logic errors.
  • Errors include multiple point writes, out of sequence program flow, connected point differences, point syntax errors.

DDC Compare
Compare 2 drawings to view differences between DDC and device configuration. Works with both BACtalk based drawings as well as older legacy APD and TDS based drawings.
Point Search and Replace
Search and replace the shape data in the device shapes for matching points. Can work with a list of point data in single pass. Can replace just device-id’s.

DDC Simulator
Can simulate the execution of DDC as you code without the need for a live controller. Can work with a selection, a page or the complete drawings device shapes. Uses the “Live” data display of the shape to display current data. Point grid for entering point values. Can set breakpoints on point values.

Shape Update
Removes duplicate masters from drawing reducing drawing size and improving response time in larger drawings (Visio only removes unused masters). Can be used to replace DDC device shapes with newer improved versions when new stencils are released

Project Reference Tool
Project wide point database reference tool. Can be opened independently of any drawing to be used globally as a point reference lookup tool. Can be used to search for instances or a point transfer or to list all points with a matching obj-name.

DDC Scripts
Can save and load DDC code to a small xml “script” file. Usefull as a library of commonly used DDC code. Can save complete drawing including points and configuration. Useful when copying and pasting between drawings to keep from causing master shape bloat. Can also be used as a crude method of copying ADS/TDS code to BACtalk from older legacy drawings.

Ibex Support
ddcBar supports legacy DDC drawings using VisualLogic APDS/TDS and ddcToolbox dbShapes. Can run the acad2ddc programs under Windows 7 64bit.

ddcBar supports Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10.

ddcBar supports Visio 2007**, 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2019.

** No longer supported with versions 19.4.27 and later.