The piping and routing database has the following columns
Part number (=utterly identical to Config name, so your guess is as good as mine what the use of this is)
Description (doesn't work as it should)
Material (doesn't work as it should see SPR 1018469)
Manufacturer (doesn't work as it should see SPR 1018469)
Additionally one can add two of the following but why would you bother:
Route Sub type
The ones in bold will get filled by data (designtable) gathered out of routing parts once you add them to the database.
Schedule only works if you add $PRP@Schedule Number (good luck in finding out about that parameter from the help file). By the way it doesn't seem to be needed at all for anything except populating the column in the database.
Class will be filled by data gathered out of routing parts once you add them to the database if it has the relevant data in the description of the configs.
Skey data which you can add when running a part through the Routing Wizard being a special case. Then again how many use Skey data in Solidworks?
Now this entire database is used according to the help file for:
"The Piping and Tubing Database contains piping and tubing part configurations. You can filter or modify configurations in the database to streamline component selection when you create Routing assemblies from incomplete P&ID data."
In short, if you actual use the tab as displayed in the above screenshot. Doesn't look familiar? I'm not surprised.
Is there truly a market out there for this? I can't say that in 10 years I have ever saw anyone have any questions about using the database to create P&ID's on the forum. Or even any question concerning Solidworks and P&ID's. Nor Solidworks and Skey data, which is needed in conjuction with P&ID's.
I can't even find any youtube's about how to use the database that way. I was able however to find this demo
In short you need a 3rd party software to interpret the data that you get from someone, or make yourself, so as to import it into Solidworks which, after you set everything up just so, will hopefully get some stuff done quicker unless it fails. When it fails you'll then have to search if the error is with you, the 3rd party, the provider of the original data or Solidworks or a combination of any or all of the above. Is it just me or does this truly not sound appealing?
So far the database only let you add but not remove entries. The bigger it is, the more chance that there's unwanted stuff there as well as that something goes wrong. This means that the only way to remove something is to rebuild the database by doing a synchronize after you deleting the offending part in the folder on Windows level. While you're doing the synchronize you shouldn't be using the parts that you're adding to the database not unless you want to babysit the entire process.
Now I do know that the data of pipes and elbows in the database also gets used in the Route Properties Template.
So when the database behaves this little tool, RPT (Route Properties Template), can be useful.
Indications are that 2019SP3 will let us that don't use the USA English Windows version and who don't use USA keyboard settings will finally be able to use it properly.
There for I have to ask why nobody at Solidworks or the VAR's ever mentions that the only parts that HAVE to be read into the database are the pipes and elbows and only if you want to use the RPT functionality, unless of course you are one of the very very very few that uses it for skey data importing P&ID data.
Now because nobody ever told anyone about that and the only way to add items to the database is by pointing it to 1 folder because there's no way to add items piece meal nor an easy way to add different sub folder locations means you have to use the buckshot approach. In other words, point to the main folder of your library and there for import every item that is in there even although hardly anything is actual worth the bother to have it added to the database.
Who ever thought that was a great idea clearly has issues.
If I'm mistaken in my analysis I'm all ears to hear what I'm doing wrong or what I misunderstood.
If someone has figured out a way to easily and quickly rebuild the database without lots of fiddling or waiting for it to read in the data from the hundreds of elements you don't want it to, then I'm looking forward to your insight.