MicroStation Geographics step to Bentley Map suppose an improvement on features the first one tool did, and naturally try to make an effort on gaining users from other solutions such as ArcView, MapInfo and now a whole list of programs low price and open source.
Just now that I am working with a regular-sized municipality which wants to implement a GIS solution, I was asked to propose a brand. I explained that this does not work in this way, that they are the ones who will decide, so we sat down sizing expectations between what they want to do, how much money they have and sustainable alternatives available to the inevitable routine of changing every four years people by political issues.
After seeing different solutions, we conclude that they don’t want little-known software or open source. As users coming from ArcView 3x and Microstation J, they were interested in knowing how easy it is to implement a spatial database, I showed them how the ESRI ArcCatalog worked, and they ask basic questions about why it was necessary ArcSDE and what the difference between ArcIMS and GIS Server was. When I started explaining the Bentley Map Geospatial Administrator they heard me by respect, but in the end, fall their eyelids until the half height of their eyes (Spanish Idiom: “trasrocar los ojos a media asta”) like Garfield and said in their hearts what others had said me before:
“Couldn’t it be more complicated?”
By now, Geographics users have problems to migrate to Bentley Map not only for what it implies in the change of data or in custom tools reconstruction, but also because the Readme is insufficient and there are no guided tutorials that explain the order it must be followed. For example:
Understand what must be done in the Geospatial Administrator, in which user, how to conform domains, how to create forms to feed dgn’s xml, is not so intuitive. Just understand the relationship between terms-Operation Criteria-Method-UI is half difficult at 3 am.
What not to tell about the runtime from the side of the map with Command Manager and Map Manager.
What happens is that Geographics user expects to find buttons as it was before –that certainly were not many -.
The Map Manager took what Display Manager was, Topological Analysis is now called Overlay, and for this same place the buffer and thematic mapping are gone. If this is not search very closely, anyone can think that Bentley Map has no such functions.
Then the Feature Manager stayed in the right side panel, known as Command Manager, where you can not turn off or on features but only create ones. There is no way to apply or remove attributes and nothing more … in conclusion, difficult even for the more experienced.
I must admit that this feeling of uncertainty has not changed in several years since it was showed to me for the first time before being named like this.
It was in the 2004 user conference, when it was released the Xml Feature Markup (XFM) potential, which already ran on Geographics 8.5. Later it was called Bentley Map, from XM 8.9, and they called legacy all the preceding. At this point, we were interested in its potential, but the impression it was still a crude tool, decided us to rebuild routines that were made in Geographics.
The videos shown below were produced in 2005 from a development on .NET that an eager boy did; while Bentley integrated this functionality into XM, topic of which I spoke a few days ago.
All of this was done with C #.NET with an installer that kept everything running, the project XFM and even Geo Web Publisher.
Why this don’t make me happy:
First, because there was no opportunity to systematize the process and just make the videos. With pleasure we would take it to the BE Awards 2007, sure we got a nomination because it was the first development on XFM.
Then, as far as my knowledge remembers, only a couple of counties implemented this because the government projects become sad after 4 years term.
Finally, because Bentley needs to improve its ease of Bentley Map operation, because even for being a GIS tool – in my opinion -, it is not ready for a person to buy the package, take the manual, look for help in the forums and finally implement a system.
In conclusion, these friends went by ESRI, despite its costs.