This might be a wild question but here goes anyway.
I have created a model and the model has different dimensions to indicate the size. A label was used to display these sizes. The question is instead of hardcoding these values could the values be populated from a datasource.
Thank you if you can clarify this.
Can't follow what you're trying to do from your description.
You have a text field that you want to act like a popup menu, so as to select from a preset number of values?
You have different objects in a drawing that you want to automatically label with their dimensions, as drawn?
Yes they have to be made into variables and you need a script to add the new values unless you do it m,manully.
You can do it once then export the variable as library open the file even in Illustrator and copy the variable text change variable one to variable tow for instance and then change the values of the niumbers then save it with the same extension as it was orginal had when saving as a variable library then open the ai file when you go to the variable panel you will hav in the drop down variable one and variable two and so on if you know how to do this with excell for instance ou can create such a library that can then be loaded into ai so all you have to do is list a varaible set and with the numbers you need and they will be a available or if you have InDesign I believe it can accept a data dase based on tab delineated data and I think that works as well.
But I am not sure why one would need i to use a data base for such a drawing as you have unless you have many different dimensions I see the shed is a square cube essentially and that might make sense. It sseems odd.
If you wish to do as james is suggesting the images can also be variables and can simply be replace one at time and save as a variable and the text just rmains the same and when ever you need one of the images to change you just select the variable for it in the variable panel.
I am not sure if I clearly explained what exactly I want to do. I am using visual studio to create a website. It will be a data driven website. Data including images will be stored in the database. I have a whole bunch of images of garden sheds. If the images had placeholders for each dimension of the shed the question I would like answered "Can the dimensions placeholders be populated seperately via the database"
There's nothing in Illustrator that is going to help you with that.
Variables won't be of any practical help because the whole design of that feature assumes that the bound text objects will remain in the same place as their values change.
Even a scripted workaround for Illustrator's sub-standard lack of dimension tools won't help because your drawing is not of a type that you can take true-measure from.
I'm not so sure the previous statement is 10% accurate.
What would have to hhappen to make variables work is that each placeholder would have to be a variable then each library would have to be exported you would then have to run a script to replace the place holder for each library and when you loaded the library that corresponded the art it would be updated with that text.
But unless the issue is that you have the drawings and do not know the dimensions at the moment or they will be changed in the future you might just as well do this manually.
There is a way to repopulate the variaable libraries.
But again each art would be a new document and the script can run for each document taking the info from the database. But I admit I do not know how to write such a script.
I suggest the scripting forum to see if what i say is really feasible I think it is.
But you will have to define what each dimensionb is like width height etc and you do that when you name the variable in the variable panel buit if you mmake a mistake that might mess things up but I am pretty certaain this is done al the time.