An Alternative to the Data Dictionary Editor for TerraSync Workflows

As most Pathfinder Office and TerraSync users know well, the Data Dictionary Editor is a critical piece of the TerraSync workflow. With the support for TerraSync workflows in Trimble Positions Desktop, we lessened quite a bit of the reliance on the Data Dictionary Editor as schema is picked up directly from the source geodatabase. However, there are still important use-cases for the Data Dictionary Editor and being able to make fine grain changes to the presentation of the schema (and symbology) for the field TerraSync user. Users of Trimble Positions Desktop can export a TerraSync project to a DDF and then open this DDF for editing. After editing, the DDF can be brought back into Trimble Positions Desktop to ensure that it is applied for future check-outs. However, as the Data Dictionary Editor is a separate program (regardless of whether it’s installed through Pathfinder Office or Trimble Positions Desktop) that knows nothing about Trimble Positions, or where the DDF originated, it is too easy to make changes to the DDF that break the check-in when data is brought back from the field.

To address this long-standing problem, we have built a new dictionary editor, called the Positions TerraSync Dictionary Editor, that can be used to edit the dictionary ‘in place’ (i.e., directly from the Trimble Positions office database) and prevent breaking changes. It provides a subset of functionality from the original Data Dictionary Editor but should cover the majority of use-cases. It is currently being provided as a stand-alone tool although it could very well become part of Trimble Positions Desktop proper in a future release. In order to use it, you must be using Trimble Positions Desktop add-in v10.5.0.1 or higher.

Highlights include:

  • More streamlined workflow as dictionaries are edited directly inside a Trimble Positions Desktop project: no need to save to a DDF file, edit it, and then update from the DDF file.
  • Protects against breaking dictionary compatibility with a geodatabase. The new editor is familiar with the geodatabase schema from which a dictionary is created and prevents changes that may violate it. For example, length of a text attribute cannot be larger than the length of the originating feature class field.
  • Supports advanced Trimble Positions functionality, like adding additional photo/file attributes if a layer has attachments enabled or hiding large numbers used as minimum and maximum values for numeric attributes.
  • Allows TerraSync to use symbology from ArcGIS map documents making dictionary creation much simpler.

The tool, along with basic documentation, can be requested from your Trimble distribution partner.

Positions TerraSync Dictionary EditorPositions TerraSync Dictionary Editor

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