Friday, December 27, 2013

Return of the Slingshot!

Slingshot! for Dynamo... oh no you didn't!
This past April, I released the source code of this project through GitHub.  Since then, I have been intermittently updating the source code and testing new approaches.  In fact, I am currently re-structuring much of the plug-in under the hood and also introducing different UI elements.  Hopefully, this amounts to a more streamlined and flexible tool.  In addition, I have been porting some of my Slingshot! code over to Dynamo which should add a new dimension to sharing information using database connections.

You can always try this stuff out by building the Visual Studio project on GitHub.  I also plan on regularly posting builds to my repo.

Here are some of the more notable changes...

Grasshopper Component UI

Major components now contain context menus for changing settings related to connecting, querying, and commands.  I believe this allows many workflows to be simplified.  This has allowed me to consolidate the total number of nodes without losing functionality.
Connection string creation form.  The string will be formatted based on the selected RDBMS connector.
Component settings for file-based databases (Excel, SQLite, Access)

Grasshopper Data Trees

Some Grasshopper nodes would have benefited greatly from data tree implementation.  For example, query outputs were a little clunky with the user having to either parse comma separated values or indicate a column.  Now, query outputs come out as nice data trees for easier parsing.  Rhino Pack and Unpack are also supportive of data trees.

Rhino Pack/Unpack components now support Data Trees to preserver structure.

Slingshot! for Dynamo

It is still early days, but the port of Slingshot! for Dynamo has begun.  Slingshot! for Dynamo is a Python-based implementation of the database connectors available in the Grasshopper plug-in.  As of this post, I am supporting MySQL and SQLite connections but more will be added in the near future.  You can get it now from the Dynamo Package Manager.

Slingshot! for Dynamo lets you access databases for use with Revit/Vasari
Slingshot! for Dynamo is now available in the Dynamo Package manager.