Announcing Px Compiler

A standalone program that adds enhanced graphic editing features to Alerton’s Compass software. The following features will allow users to build their graphics faster and with fewer mistakes along the way:

  • Nest a display (or template) within another display.
  • Directly link text fields to data in the Bactalk Device Database.
  • Automatically rebuild graphics when device properties change in the database.


Px Compiler is easy to learn and use because it runs in the background and requires little user interaction.

Announcing Px Compiler

Variable Injection Feature:

You no longer have to type VAV box names or locations on quick views or floorplans. Variable Injection allows you to link a plain text item to a device property, the text will be filled in automatically.

Variable Injection allows device properties from the Bactalk Device Database (e.g. Device Manager Table) to be linked to text fields in the graphics. Optionally, the track database feature can be enabled which will detect when a linked property has changed in the database. At this point, Px Compiler will automatically rebuild the graphic so your text is always up to date.

Welcome to the ddcToolbox

A site dedicated to tools and utilities that support the creation and maintenance of programs and graphics for Alerton DDC systems.
Supporting EBT, ABS and Compass development environments.

Update to ddcBar Virtual Machine License Extender

ddcBar version 20.8.25 is available with support for using the Virtual Machine license extender with the latest Softworkz activation updates. This release also includes updates to the Shape Update utility to fix an issue where duplicate master shapes would be skipped during the update process as well as an updated Compare utility that fixes an issue where the report listing would not show SUB-0.

Available on the downloads page.

Important Release of ddcbar and ddcToolset

Both ddcbar and ddcToolset have been updated with  a new activation library which will fix the issue where Windows 10 updates were invalidating the license file. Applying these new releases should recognize your existing license. If after installing this new release your license becomes deactivated please try the activation process again using your activation code and current password.

Post Updated  Aug 11, 2020
This release is no longer available for download. Use 20.8.11 instead.

Updated ddcBar 20.6.2 Release

The original release of ddcBar 20.6.2 included 2 VIP Access database which were for testing purposes only. These files can cause issues with the initial database open process where all point tables are disabled. This 20.6.2-r2 release includes the correct database files. You should upgrade if you are using VIP support in ddcbar.

ddcBar and ddcToolset Updates Available

The official ddcBar release for the VIP-363-VAV and VIP-363-HOA controllers is available on the downloads page along with a incremental release of the ddcToolset.

ddcBar New Features and Resolved Issues

  • Fixed issue where “Device I/O Settings” command on the VLogic Group of the ddcBar ribbon would hand when running under Visio 2016 and 2019.
  • Made slight changes to how data is written to Excel cells in order to correct some issues with the cell data type (general, numeric, text).
  • During testing when running Visio 2016 and 2019 having the Visio AutoRestore enabled with multiple drawings open was causing Visio to crash. This not a ddcBar issue. If you remove both ddcBar and VisualLogic and run the test again the crashing still occurs.
  • Changed how ddcBar responds to a Visio SaveAs command. ddcBar no longer runs a 2nd Save command after the users SaveAs in order to save the new database location. The user is now responsible to save the drawing at some point. This addresses an issue in Visio 2016 and 2019.
  • Fixed issue where the Open-Stencils command did not open the VisLogic3.vss or VisLogic3.vssx stencils.
  • The Drawing Setup dialog has been modified to reduce the number of selections required and has grouped BACtalk drawing based on ddc version (BD3, BD4, BD6 and dBD9).
  • Fixed issue where the VIP point ranges were not saved in a number of cases.
  • Fixed issue where errors could occur when running ddcBar commands when a non-drawing window had focus. This would typically occur when you used the non-docked stencil windows.
  • Added support for BD9 global based drawing to open and use correct default database (it was using the AXM/VLX database by mistake).
  • Fixed issue where form scaling (high DPI) was not functioning correctly in some dialog boxes. DDC Simulator was the most effected utility.
  • Fixed issue where initial save of new drawing would prompt again for a save if you closed drawing file.
  • Fixed issue where a Visio Save-As command might reset the database filename.
  • Fixed issue where Rebuild-Database command did not fully populate Point-Range list.
  • Fixed issue when Rebuild-Database would disable any table whose start and end instances were not properly formatted.
  • Fixed errors in the Excel-Interface-File (EID) for the VIP-363-VAV controller.
  • Fixed issues where Mini-bar would not repaint buttons on some computers and where MiniBar images failed to scale on DPI change.
  • Fixed issue where loading multiple drawings might show incorrect error message about anchor windows already being loaded.
  • Reading & writing to Excel workbooks has been optimized to provide faster response.
  • Fixed issue where Subcaller-Viewer and Project-Point-Reference windows could not be opened again if they were closed until drawing was closed and opened again.
  • Fixed issue where Project-Point-Reference window would not allow creation of new project database in some cases.
  • Added additional tweak to the Compare utility in support of the Data Writer.
  • Fixed issue where some sizable dialog boxes were opening in their maximum size on Windows 10.
  • Fixed issue in DDC Explorer where orphan R/W errors pointed to the previous device shape in group list. Added point name to error message.


ddcToolset New Features and Resolved Issues

  • Fixed issue where search for device-id would not be run if the “Find all references” search scope on the “Find image or display reference” tab was set to anything but “Search only for the above file”. Update ignores all settings on the “Find image or display reference” tab.
  • Added ability to use a Style File when running a script in Tabular mode. Clarified usage of a style file in the user’s manual.

Software Release Dates and Version Numbers

Each ddcToolbox single-user license has a 2-year support and upgrade period starting on the day you activate your license for the first time. For multi-user licenses this coverage begins on the date the first seat is activated. A multi-user license may also have be covered by a support extension. The activation dialog in each software product will display the end-of-support date for your license.

All ddcToolbox products use a version number that correspond to the release date of the software. This makes for simple calculations of which versions are supported under your current technical support and updates coverage. The version number is the date of the release in the YY.MM.DD format.

A release date of ddcBar on January 12, 2020 would have a version number of 20.1.12. A release of the ddcToolset on November 6, 2019 would have a version number of 19.11.6. In some cases a new download will use the same version number but further identified with a suffix number such as r1, r2, r3, etc. These are updates to the installer package for that product version and should be downloaded and installed if available.

To find what releases are covered by your current support/upgrade period just convert the last day of your coverage to a version number. Any release matching that version as well as earlier (lower version numbers) can be installed and will be recognized by your software license.

New ddcToolset Release 20.4.29

A minor upgrade to ddcToolset has been posted on the downloads page. This release includes the following updates.

  • dNumber.exe. Added ability to cut filenames to Excel for renumbering and then paste them
    back to the dNumber grid.
  • QDE.exe. Fixed issue on Static objects page where scrolling to certain rows would cause a
    memory access exception.
  • MDPC.exe. Reworked SQL access to databases. Fixed issue where MDPC was using mixed mode
    login instead of SQL login. Removed support for user and password in the connection string
    (MDPC will instead use the User-Name and Password fields from Configuration Page)

Updated Excel Mapping file for the ACM-AXM

For ddcBar versions earlier then 20.4.22
The link below downloads an updated Excel Interface Definition file for use in reading and writing data to the Alerton workbook ACM_VLX-AXM-EXP_PointBuilder.xlsm. The file needs installed in the following folder overwriting any existing file.

c:\ddctoolbox\ddcbar\templates\excel interface
-or for older versions-
c:\alerton\ddctools\ddcbar\templates\excel interface


ddcBar beta with VIP-363-HOA Support is Available

For those users who are testing or working with the VIP-363-HOA drawings there is a beta version of ddcBar available on the downloads page. You must have the beta version of the VIP-363-HOA_Builder.XLSM workbook installed in your alerton\standard\documentation folder of Compass to use these new features. Details on the VIP-363 support can be found in the ddcBar VIP-363 Support.pdf which is located in the ddcBar docs folder.

ddcBar 20.1.12 Available

ddcBar version 20.1.12 is available. This version has the support for the VIP-363-VAV controller. It also changes how ddcBar creates Excel workbook files by returning to using the files found in the Compass installation. This release also fixes an issue where the Ibex ddc propagate function did not fill in the description in connected I/O-Tabs.

ddcBar beta with Support for VIP-363-VAV Controller Available

A beta version of ddcBar that supports the new VIP-363-VAV controller is available on the downloads page. It also includes enhancements to the Point Editor, Point Database and the Point-Range-Specification dialog. The Rebuild Database utility can be used to match the ddcBar point database to any unique instance numbering for VLC-E, ACM and VIP controllers. This version marks a return to using the Compass installed ACM Builder workbooks as the master source when ddcBar creates new Excel files. If the Compass installation cannot be located or if the ACM Builder workbooks cannot be found then ddcBar falls back to using a local -possibly older- version of these files. The end user will need to make sure that these workbooks are kept up to date. A couple of minor bug fixes were also addressed.

ddcToolset Version 19.12.15 Released

A new release of the ddcToolset is available on the downloads page. This release combines maintenance updates as well as new features.

  • An issue with how the Display Utilities handled a unique form of the button object has been resolved. Previously, if a user created a Button-SameDevice object on a template file and then copy-and-pasted that object on to a display file the Display Utilities would not recognize the object. This fix will increase the reliability of both dSearch.exe and DispX.exe reporting as well as similar issues in the other programs.
  • The dSearch.exe user interface has been changed to make the program configuration more understandable. A few bug issues have been resolved (see previous bullet item). A new feature has been added that allows you to search for one of more device-id references in display files. The files found can be cut-and-pasted to the AdMod Source-Files list. The ddcToolset Version History.pdf has more details on these changes.
  • The Display File Compiler (beta) has added support for the direct reading/writing of the script data to an Excel worksheet. This will help fix text conversion issue and make the process faster. A couple of issue with the reading/writing of the omnigraphic units-type and units-text properties has also been fixed.

The Display-File-Compiler is open to any and all recommendations for ideas on improvements and features before it gets set in stone for official release. Drop an email with your thoughts to

ddcBar I/O-Tab Scan Suddenly Stops Working

Recently a number of user reported a condition where the Point Editor I/O-Tab Scan utility stops working. Although I have not been able to replicate this condition it has been discovered that a Visio Repair or in some cases a full reinstall of Visio will fix the issue. The problem looks to be caused by updates to Office products that may unintentionally changing some Windows registry entries that effect Visio. If you have this issue please run the Visio Repair in the Programs and Features. If that does not fix the issue try a full reinstall. These steps should restore the needed Visio settings.