Step 1: Designer Express Configuration Wizard

To simplify the design process and increase performance, Designer Express uses design feature classes (DFC) instead of Compatible Units. DFCs are non-networked, simple feature classes based on existing features. The Designer Express Configuration Wizard walks you through selecting the feature classes on which your DFCs are based. The configuration wizard then creates the DFCs in a separate dataset that may be added to the map and accessed by Designer Express users.

TIP: When converting a feature that has an associated feature-linked annotation class, the configuration wizard converts the feature itself but does not automatically generate an associated feature-linked annotation class for the new DFC. However, you may create a feature-linked annotation after the DFC has been created. Running the configuration wizard on an existing feature-linked annotation class results in the creation of a new DFC annotation class, but this annotation class will not be linked to any feature class.

The Designer Express Configuration Wizard button is not visible on the ArcFM Solution toolbar in ArcCatalog by default. You need to add the Designer Express Configuration Wizard using the Customize menu and update the database to the current version before using the configuration wizard.

TIP: Add DFCs: If you've already created your Express dataset and wish to create additional DFCs, you can use the Designer Express Configuration Wizard as described below. When prompted to select an Express dataset, type the name of your existing Express dataset exactly as the name appears in the geodatabase (it is case-sensitive) and without the owner. For example: ExpressElectricDataset.

Design feature classes can only be added with the wizard. DFCs created in any other manner will not work properly with Designer Express.

  1. Log into the geodatabase. The DFCs to be created, and the features on which they are created, must reside in the same geodatabase. The login user depends on whether the Designer Express system tables exist or not:
    • Designer Express system tables do not exist: Log in as the default version owner (such as SDE). The configuration wizard creates these tables, and they must be owned by the default version owner.

    • Designer Express system tables exist: Log in as the user who will own the DFC classes.

  2. On the Welcome page, click Next to continue or Cancel to exit.
  3. The Configure System Tables page appears. The tables listed in the page are system tables required by Designer Express.

    IMPORTANT: You cannot roll back updates made to tables.
  4. Optional. Beneath the list of tables are the Table Owner and Password fields. You can use these to change the owner of the tables when the tables are created. Type the username (such as SDE) and the password. Click Change Login.
  5. If the tables have a status of Does Not Exist or Needs Updating, click the Update Tables button. After the status of the tables changes to Created or Updated click Next to continue, Back to return to the Welcome page, or Cancel to exit the wizard.
  6. On the Upgrade Existing Designer Express Feature Classes page, click Upgrade to update your geodatabase with modifications required by the latest release. If no upgrade is necessary, this button is disabled.
    IMPORTANT: If you do not upgrade, you may not be able to open express designs or use the Cost Item Library Manager. If you are only upgrading, click Cancel. You have finished the process. If you want to create a new design feature class dataset, continue through the rest of the steps.

  7. On the Select Existing Dataset page, select the feature dataset that holds the feature classes on which you want to base the DFCs. Note on this screen the dataset owner (ARCFM in the example below). You may be prompted to log in as the owner of the dataset. Click Next to continue, Back to return to the previous page, or Cancel to exit the configuration wizard.

  8. On the Choose Design Feature Class Dataset page, type a name for the new dataset that will contain the DFCs in the Dataset name field. Click Next to continue.
    IMPORTANT: If you are adding DFCs to an existing dataset, remember that dataset names are case-sensitive and must be typed exactly as the datasets are named in the geodatabase.
  9. On the Login as Dataset Owner screen, you are prompted to choose which user should be used to create the dataset. If you select an existing dataset, you must log in as its owner. The text above the Dataset Owner field indicates which user will be used as the dataset owner. If you want to change this user, type the username and password for the owner and click Log in. Click Next.

  10. On the Select Design Feature Classes screen, select all features for which you want to create corresponding DFCs. Double-click a feature on the left to move it to the right, or select one or more features (by holding the Ctrl or Shift key) and click the arrow button. 
    TIP: DFC Naming: You can change the names of the DFCs in the column on the right, just click in the field to edit the name. If a DFC name is too long for the database instance, the DFC name is given a red exclamation point indicator, as shown in the image below. You need to change this name before continuing. If you try to change the DFC name in ArcCatalog after exiting the configuration wizard, the DFC will not work properly unless you also modify the DFC's entry in the MM_EXPRESS_OBJECTS table.

  11. After making sure the DFC names are correct, click Next.
  12. On the Select Fields page, select a feature from the drop-down menu and choose the fields you want displayed on the corresponding DFC. Double-click a field to add it to the field on the right. You may also select one or more fields (using the Ctrl or Shift key) and click the arrow button to move those fields into the group on the right. Do this for each feature in the list. Click Next.
    • Don't forget to select fields for every feature in the drop-down list. If you do not select fields for a feature, then none of those feature's fields are included in the DFC.

    • Don't click Next until you have finished selecting fields for each feature.

  13. The Confirm Database Changes page displays the database changes to be made. If you need to modify anything, use the Back button to move backward through the configuration wizard. After confirming the changes, click Next. To exit the wizard, click Cancel.
    • The configuration wizard transfers only the fields you selected in the Select Fields page, the values in those fields, and class and field model names. It does not transfer relationships, autoupdaters, or QA/QC data.

    • Check each DFC and ensure that you've added all the fields you want. If necessary, scroll through the whole window to review all the DFCs.

  14. The “Setting up your database" dialog shows a log of the configuration wizard's activity.

    IMPORTANT: If the wizard created the MM_Express system tables, you need to assign the proper permissions to these tables in the geodatabase. For administrators and super users, full read/write/delete permissions are needed for all tables. For users who don't need to create palettes or cost items, only read permissions are needed for the MM_Express_Cost_Item_Library, MM_Express_Objects, and MM_Express_Palettes tables. All other tables require full permissions.
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