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I-model, the new Bentley bet

For a moment I had my doubts, if Bentley was talking about a new format to replace the dgnV8, then, I thought it was a kind of compressed format like the kmz with Google Earth kml. Many months ago I did a post, wanting to assume the meaning of the “i” in the V8i, after the presentation made at the Symposium and although I’m sure that this is more difficult (Spanish idiom: “egeomated”, in this case means more difficult to analyze), I think I’m understanding what does it mean (or “would” mean) the “i”.

clip_image001[4]This is the I-model, a bet that Bentley is willing for, which possibly may revolutionize the way of seeing its products and its dgn / dwg / dxf V8 format. Although what they showed us was only a brief, because on the V8i versions we have begun to experience what are these friends thinking and what does it mean I-model for Bentley.

I-model towards Bentley

For Bentley is very simple, just a merge on Project Wise and Microstation capacities, main products that until now had served one for managing documents, the other to operate spatial data.

With the I-model, Bentley is hoping to bring ProjectWise Navigator to a more civilized use, which until now has been considered a somewhat complicated accessory to implement in simple projects. It implies that the workflow would be charged to what Project Wise already does, but under a structured data management, following standards and integrating the geo-engineering various tools that Bentley has acquired and then reconstructed from XM.

While at Microstation level, dgn format now would integrate XML data from different specialties, similarly structured to what they did with the xfm. Bentley View would be replaced by ProjectWise Navigator; we do not know if it would still be free and if MicroStation would acquire the properties that ProjectWise lite had.

I-model towards the Bentley user

The user gain is great; because it would improve the ability to work together on the same data, forgetting the file’s concept. As an example, in an I-model type file, cadastre technicians could flush their data with pinpoint accuracy, while GIS users would create topological layers for making spatial analysis, highway engineers would make the outline of the sub slant for a new job and the public services will work on the network expansion.

Everything with topological standards adjusted according to the relevant specialty, seeming to operate a single file that weighs 20% of what would be individual files, with user rights and maintaining a history of changes stored. Thus, the topological rule would make that one line be the boundary of a property for Cadastre, a retaining wall for urban planning, a mitigation structure for public works and a curtain wall for the designers; the operation of simple rights check-in-out and flags accept – reject change management.

Then Geoweb Publisher lifts the file for publishing to the intranet or Internet, with an enhanced VPR that understands simple reading (WMS, WCS) criteria, evolved redline through controlled editing (WFS-T). Doing what has made, now respecting standards and associated with a transaction with rights, digital signing and historical control.

The smoke seems to be astral, but the BIM concept is applied to a workflow that happens every day in a real setting. Be aware that, all this can already be done with MicroStation and ProjectWise but the data is external, or there is little association at xml level, so there is a hyperlink similar to what were the mslinks of Geographics, hence that I associate this transformation so much to an implementation of the xfm concept proposed in 2005, as part of Bentley Map XM. If the V8 format is well conceptualized, and supports xml since that date, then we wouldn’t have a new format for V8i, simply, new versions of Bentley products would be able to read data structured according to their level of expertise. Versions prior to V8i would read dgn without seeing the xml attributes as it is now normal to see an operated file with Bentley Map using Microstation.

I-model towards other brands user

Here the challenge seems to be stronger, the pilot integration with Autodesk Revit, which allows operating data from Bentley Architecture, seems to be the pattern, and although it is my assumption, Bentley may be aiming to get beyond. Remember that something similar exists in Bentley Map to interact with ArcGIS mxd and lyr, with the difference that it requires an installed license from ESRI; the fact that this now works with Revit unlicensed makes us think that is the result of an agreement between Autodesk and Bentley, as AutoDesk was the first who promoted the BIM concept in Revit.

While V8i would be for Microstation users a working format, for outside users would be a rich exchange format that can read data under accepted standards, not what does a pdf or an exported file. Eventually, BIM more than Architecture is summarized to interpret geofumadas’ figures in a virtual space as real life objects that have always been represented as Txus says. It is also likely that Bentley is looking for giving a better use of their formats dxf / dwg which operates without change for several years, and that now, with plugins, would be read by AutoCAD with all its V8i attributes.

clip_image001If this were so, a Civil3D user would read in a dwg -i-model an area built with Inroads, while an AutoCAD user would see only the vector served as a primary source, such as mesh points. This is expected by general users of the different branches of human creativity called trademarks (including open source ones which are also commercial) and aspire that great companies consider the interoperability term as a global benefit and not a mutual embrace to close more the circle.


In conclusion, I-model is the BIM implementation, managed by ProjectWise, operated by MicroStation and in harmony with other brands.

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