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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Newforma releases new edition of Project Center

July 18th, 2014 by Susan Smith

In a conversation with Marge Hart, Director of Product Management, Newforma, AECCafe Voice learned about the newest release of Newforma Project Center.

According to the press release, Newforma announced the commercial release of the eleventh edition of Newforma Project Center. New functionality provides support for popular cloud storage providers, enables sharing of documents via Box and Dropbox, integrates with established EDMS solutions, and scales to the needs of large global AECO organizations. New features will allow customers to collaborate more easily and manage workflows for building information management (BIM) more efficiently. Newforma Project Center now integrates with Bentley ProjectWise, Microsoft SharePoint, and IBM FileNet, reinforcing its role as the “single pane of glass” for access to all project information.

AECCafe Voice:  What features do you feel are outstanding in this release of Newforma Project Center?

Marge Hart:  Newforma Project Center 11th edition offers benefits that span all phases of the AECO process including:

  • Integration with new project data stores including Electronic Document Management System providers such as Bentley ProjectWise, Microsoft SharePoint and IBM FileNet and cloud-enabled storage providers such as Nasuni, Panzura and Microsoft StorSimple. Newforma Project Center displays project data through one interface no matter where the project data resides in an organization.
  • Newforma Project Center supports regional servers, significantly reducing the hardware and management expense for multi-office customers.
  • Expanded Revit integration to simplify and automate PDF sheet generation and synchronization with Newforma Project Center, allowing customers to get more out of their Revit investment.
  • Updated Shared Folder feature provides a “set it and forget it” experience for internal users and a simplified, one click download, and drag and drop upload, for external collaborators.
  • Project management features make it easier to create projects, either new or historical.

AECCafe Voice: Are many users using private clouds to implement the cloud features of your products? I see that they are using Dropbox and other popular providers of cloud storage.

Marge Hart: We are seeing a big move to the cloud as companies leverage cloud-enabled storage such as Nasuni and Panzura. These technologies allow them to seamlessly move their critical business data to either a public or private cloud.

We also have many users that need access to files on the go. By setting up a personal cloud provider, such as Box, Dropbox or Google Drive, to receive file transfers, our users have access to files on their mobile devices, automatically organized by project.

AECCafe Voice: Can you explain how this happens? “Newforma solution manages project data stored in the cloud via these popular providers.”?

Marge Hart: Cloud-enabled storage providers store the authoritative copy of corporate files in the cloud on hosts such as Amazon S3 or Microsoft Azure. They deploy a hardware filer which replaces the file server at each office location. The filer caches recently used files and keeps changes coordinated with the authoritative copy stored in the cloud.

Newforma projects require no change when pointing to cloud enabled storage. Customers get the benefits of the global file storage solution, and for some vendors, global file locking, from the cloud providers. Add the power of indexing and search from Newforma Project Center across all of their project files and customers can have quick access to project files no matter where the data is stored.

AECCafe Voice:  Is the integration process the same for all the cloud providers?

Marge Hart: Yes, this is a seamless integration for our customers. The integration process is the same whether a customer is creating a project connecting to a local file store or any of the supported cloud storage solution providers.

AECCafe Voice:  Is this integration included in the upgrade path for Newforma Project Center users?

Marge Hart: Any customers that have invested in the cloud-enabled storage are supported by Newforma Project Center 11th Edition. They will get the benefits of the cloud storage integration in addition to many other exciting enhancements we have added for the release.

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Categories: AEC, AIA Convention 2014, BIM, building information modeling, Cloud, construction, integrated project delivery, Newforma, project management, site planning

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