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SIMSCounty.accdb - Instructions

The self-extracting archive files identified by Illinois county names contain the Microsoft Access® databases designated "Countyna.accdb" ("Countyna" = first eight characters of the County name) and "SIMSLink.accdb". Countyna.accdb contains the information, extracted from the Illinois Structure Information System (ISIS), for Local Agency structures located in each county. It is intended to operate as a read-only informational database. The data should only be revised through the established ISIS procedures as described in the IDOT Structure Information and Procedure Manual. Revisions to the ISIS data is loaded in the SIMSCounty database files on a weekly basis. SIMSLink.accdb, on the other hand, is a working database file in which custom queries, reports and forms based on the ISIS data from Countyna.accdb may be created.

Linking SIMSLINK.accdb To COUNTYNA.accdb:

After you have extracted the above named files and placed them in a folder, you should open SIMSLink.accdb in MS Access (2007 or greater). When the "SIMSLink: Database" window opens, select the Macros tab, then doubleclick the "AttachTables" macro.

Provide the requested information in the two dialogue boxes.

This procedure allows you to use SIMSLink.accdb as a working file in which to create custom queries, reports and forms based on the ISIS data that is available in the Countyna.accdb database. This has been done that when you bring in a new Countyna.accdb file (available weekly), your custom queries, reports and forms will be unaffected.

Included are some queries, a report and a substructure inventory table and form in SIMSLink that you may use, examine, revise, etc. as you wish.

There are several "Decode" queries that you can use to add to your queries to output the description for codes used in ISIS. For example, instead of just outputting a code "4" for the Main Span Material of a structure, by using the “Decode: Material – 43A & 44A” Query in your custom queries you can display "STEEL CONTINUOUS" which is the description for a "4" code. An example of the use of Decode Queries is in the query called "Decoding Example Query" included in SIMSLink.

A few things to keep in mind when doing queries on the ISIS data:

  • You should normally have a field called "KRLinkOn" with criteria set to "Y" in your queries. (This insures that all the information output in a query is for structures carrying a motor vehicle road. While structures carrying railroads, etc. over roads are included in the database, only those carrying a road require NBIS inspection or may be replaced using BRRP or TBP funds.)
  • When a query includes a table that may have more than one record per structure (i.e. - Const Reconstruction, Fracture Critical..., Inspection Appraisals, Key Route..., Microfilm History, Scour Critical Inspections, Underwater Inspections) a field called "SequenceNbr" may need to be used. “SequenceNbr” coded as "1" indicates the most recent occurrence, "2" just prior to most recent, and so on. For example: If you want information for a structure related only to the most recent NBIS inspection and not all of the previous inspections performed, the query will include "SequenceNbr" as one of the query fields and set its "Criteria" as "1". (Note: A variation on the usual 1-2-3-… sequencing is in the Construction / Reconstruction information. The original construction record always has SequenceNbr = "0" (zero) and the subsequent Reconstruction records are numbered from "1" (most recent). Minor maintenance (code "M") records are numbered from "51".)
  • Be careful of linked tables where some of the records of one are not matched in the other. Access reads the missing record as a "null" and, depending how you have the links configured, may not display any data. Sometimes you can get around this by setting the criteria for a field to "Is Null" or "Is Not Null".

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