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GC Update

Visualisation Event 2012 Presentations

Visualisation Event 2012

Windows 8 and MicroStation

Bentley Developer Conference 2012 Review

Current Updates

Visualisation Event 2011 - Presentations

The Ninja point!

Download Bentley View

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GC Update
by bentleyuser - 28 January 2013
Location: John McAslan and Partners, London
Date: 07 February 2013
Time: 18:00

This is a bit short notice, but Volker Mueller, now Product Manager for GC, is in London and offered to present the latest GC news.

The agenda is as follows:
- overview of the current state of GC
- current (tentative) development plans for GC.
- this year's GC cluster “Transformational Strategies” at SmartGeometry 2013 (Taking place at UCL April 15 to 20, 2013.)
- open Q&A/discussion

As this event is primarily a product update from Bentley it will be free of charge. Please sign up here.

Location details and map.

Visualisation Event 2012 Presentations
by bentleyuser - 07 January 2013

Luxology interiorDownloadable presentations from this event:

Jerry Flynn's presentation

Windows 8 and MicroStation
by Marc Thomas - 25 October 2012

Windows 8 logoThe current MicroStation V8i SELECTseries update 1,, is certified for use on Windows 8.

The current AECOsim Building Designer V8i SELECTseries update 1,, is not certified but will run on Windows 8 so may be worth trying out, but is definitely not ready for production use on Windows 8. A Windows 8 certified version is due in the New Year.

For more on Windows 8 see Building Design's feature. (Subscription required)

Bentley Developer Conference 2012 Review
by Jon Summers - 22 October 2012

Bentley Systems Europe hosted the 2012 Developer Conference at their headquarters in Hoofddorp, right next to Amsterdam's Schipol Airport. There are few venues more convenient for transportation.

About fifty attendees from companies all over Europe walked, cycled, drove or flew to Hoofddorp. We were a mixed bunch, speaking a Babylonic mixture of German, Spanish, Italian, Czech, French, Swedish and American English and probably some more I couldn't recognise. There were presenters from Bentley Systems, of course; several from the corporate HQ in Exton, Pennsylvania and some representing Bentley Systems Europe.

The agenda covered, as you would expect, the inner workings of several Bentley products. MicroStation was covered, of course, as were ProjectWise, i-Models, Bentley Map, Point Clouds, 3D Solids and Haested Water Objects.

We learned more about the Software Development Kits (SDKs) for

  • MicroStation SS3 Update 1
  • Point Clouds (now part of MicroStation)
  • i-Models (part of MicroStation and other applications)
  • Bentley Map
  • 3D Solids

An i-Model is a container for information exchange. i-Models provide a way to export graphics and data from DGN models and other sources. Other sources include most Bentley applications and third-party products including Revit. The purpose of an i-Model is to supply drawing data that is independent of the tool that produced it.

For example, you can't view a Bentley Building model in an application that does not include the TriForma 3D engine. If you export an i-Model from Bentley Building, however, the graphics components can be reused by other applications.

When an application creates an i-Model, it exports displayable graphic data and also application-specific non-graphic attribute data. Bentley term those EC schema data. The data are in XML format, which is widely used for information exchange.

Bentley Systems provide several data adapters to help extract information from an i-Model. For example the i-Model ODBC driver for Excel lets you extract BIM data from your Bentley Building DGN models and export the attribute data, via an i-Model, to an Excel workbook.

Point Clouds

Point Clouds were developed by UK company Pointools Ltd, which was acquired by Bentley Systems in November 2011. Faraz Ravi, CEO and co-founder of Pointools Ltd, is now Director of Product Management for Point Clouds at Bentley Systems.

Faraz provided a working example of the Point Clouds SDK. He was brave enough to respond to our questions by modifying his demonstration code and showing us the resulting application.

MicroStation: the Core of Bentley Applications

MicroStation continue to be the platform for many applications from Bentley Systems and others to which end, the MicroStation SDK continues to improve as MicroStation itself improves. For two decades the MicroStation Development Library (MDL) has given developers a C-language development tool. With MicroStation V8i, the SDK also provides the C++ MicroStationAPI which enables object-oriented software engineering. MicroStation also provides Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), but that is less suitable for commercial developers. Microsoft .NET is not forgotten: we can develop MicroStation AddIns and other utilities using the rich development tools from Microsoft.

Custom Software Development

If your organisation wants custom software, how would you go about getting it? You could …

Contact an independent software developer
Create an in-house development team
Independent software developers (ISDs) provide a service. They develop applications that meet your organisation's requirements. In the context of MicroStation and other products from Bentley Systems, a suitable ISD would be registered with the Bentley Developer Network .

Bentley Developer Network

The Bentley Developer Network is a partnership between Bentley Systems and independent software developers (ISDs). It is for those companies who plan to develop or already have applications complementing Bentley products available for commercial resale or are included as part of a professional services agreement.

BDN membership can also include the internal design teams of large companies. For example, a large architectural practice might have several people writing code for their own use but which is not licensed to other companies.

BDN membership extends world-wide. In the context of bentleyuser.org it includes developers in the UK, Ireland and most European countries.

About the Author

Jon Summers has worked with MicroStation and related technologies since 1990 and is a Be Communities Most Valued Professional (MVP). Jon founded LA Solutions in 1993 and develops off-the-shelf and custom software for customers around the world.

Current Updates
by bentleyuser - 15 October 2012

Headline applications in the current round of SELECTseries updates include:

• MicroStation V8i, Includes the Modo 6 render engine, RealDWG 2013 and support for Windows 8. A very useful tweak is the ability to adjust the clip boundary of synchronised saved Views, one more reason to use them!

• PowerDraft? Not yet.

• AECOsim Building Designer V8i, This includes updates made in the earlier .325 priority build and Modo 6. It is not yet certified for Windows 8 but certainly runs on it, there may be some subtle issues that

• Also, a swathe of ProjectWise SELECTseries 4 updates and i-model Plug-in for Adobe Reader,

• The current GC is still MicroStation GenerativeComponents Beta 4,, but Beta 5 is on the way soon.

Visualisation Event 2011 - Presentations
by bentleyuser - 10 September 2012

lanternsRobert Jones of JM Architects showed us his methods for using glow materials and photomatch:

Quick lighting for effect with Glow materials

Photomatching by hand for situations where auto match is impractical.

Effects Manager Preview 2
by bentleyuser - 13 July 2012

interior sceneBentley's Effects Manager Preview 2 is available for download from Be Communities.

"If you are tired of trying to balance source lighting, solar lighting and environment lighting we are about to make your life much easier. The Effects Manager lets you simply render out floating point images and make lighting adjustment and more instantaneously in a post process. We have automated the render process for you making it really simple to create a stack of images for use with the Effects Manager."

DGN Preview in Windows 7
by Marc Thomas - 26 May 2011

Demonstrated at BE Together 2011, the Bentley DGN Reader for Windows extends Windows DGN integration enabling Preview functions in Windows 7 applications, shown here in Outlook 2010. The rotate tool operates identically to MicroStation, drag the white cross and snap it to the point around which you want to rotate the view. This is one of several new downloads on the Bentley iWare site.

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