System vs. Project Databases

Often when starting an InfoMaster project and even when opening a project you have consistently worked with, the difference between the “System” and “Project” databases can be confusing. Let’s try to shed some light on this possible confusion.

When creating a new InfoMaster project from scratch as show in the picture above, users will be asked to select or create a new system database and create a new project database.  The top option is for the system database.  The system database is there to serve just three specific functions.

  1. The system database stores the usernames and password for those who can login to the InfoMaster model.  Once logged into an InfoMaster model, users can adjust all the different usernames and passwords for all users in the model.  All users have full permissions over everything in the model.  The one area where different users might see different items in an InfoMaster model is in the Work Manager.  In the Work Manager, inspections and work orders can be dispatched to different usernames within the associated system database.

2. The second function of the system database is to set the default location for pulling CCTV videos and pictures.  This function is only applicable in InfoMaster Sewer.  The system database can store the root location in which the InfoMaster model will look for this media information.  This default location be edited within the InfoMaster model by going to InfoMaster > Settings… and clicking the Add-On Note tab.

3. The last function is similar to the second function.  The system database sets the default report library location for custom PDF report templates.  All custom templates and information such as .json and .repx files should be within this location.  Again, users can edit this location from within InfoMaster by clicking InfoMaster > Settings… and clicking the Report Library tab.

These are the only three functions the system database provides.  Because no project specific information is within the system database, users can associate the same system database with many different InfoMaster projects.  This can help to universalize the usernames, passwords, and default folder locations between multiple projects.  It is recommended for most users to only have one, maybe two, system databases per machine.

The project database is where all your true project information is stored.  The project database contains all your facility type data, your CCTV and Work Manager data, and all your risk, rehab, failure analysis, LCCA, or any other output data.  This database may contain empty tables to serve as placeholder for future data and can be edited through all the normal ArcCatalog or ArcMap tools.

The only true difference between an InfoMaster project database and a standard geodatabase are the IMIC tables created whenever a geodatabase is opened as an InfoMaster database.  These IMIC tables are where specific InfoMaster data is stored in an InfoMaster project. The cool thing here is that InfoMaster is completely transparent!  If you ever wonder where certain data items are coming from or want to dig into the backend of an InfoMaster project, simply take a look through these IMIC tables.  This is where InfoMaster is storing all input and output information (unless you have references external files).  These IMIC tables can also easily be exported to share with unlicensed users.

If you ever need assistance with your InfoMaster project, Innovyze Support may ask for your project database.  Because it contains all the data, this should be the only part we need to assist you!



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