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 »
Bentley’s CONNECT Edition explained
November 13th, 2014 by Susan Smith
Bentley’s newly announced CONNECT Edition provides a very complex and deep common environment to extend across work groups and enterprises, without changing the basic file format of the products that users have an investment in already.
Bhupinder Singh, senior vice president at Bentley Systems, gave a keynote Thursday, November 7th at the Bentley Year in Infrastructure 2014 event in which CONNECT Edition was explained to the audience.
Singh began by saying that Bentley’s platform approach is to extend it to include your desktops, servers and handheld devices.
“When you have suites, there is still a disconnect,” said Singh. “A goal was to improve information mobility with CONNECT Edition. When you begin you connect to a project, everyone connects to a project profile, then there is a project playbook, and personal playlist – an individual set of apps for the user.” This is similar to the playlist you get with your Apple iTunes music list.
The benefits are: reducing time it takes to get project started, to get supply chains on board, and the data you have becomes increasingly more valuable.
Common modeling environment From surfaces and solids to point cloud, the Vortex point cloud engine was licensed to Siemens. Intelligent objects are becoming functional components, and work across all design apps. You can manage all functional components and you can manage them all in the Catalog services. You can take design models and make them fit for construction – construction modeling.
Common deliverables environment Connect with ProjectWise to deliver to every participant. So many people are using i-models as the exchange of choice, because they retain the links so you know where data came from.
Common app-lication environment Navigator CONNECT and the app work seamlessly together, can start a workflow in the field and finish in the office and vice versa.
Common project performance environment Beyond individual projects, the common platform can extend across projects, with project analytic service you can see how you performed in another group of projects.
Alan Kirly remarked that they had to expand the features of ProjectWise CONNECT Edition in a couple of ways.
Through a number of services and cloud services, he said, ProjectWise CONNECT Edition has the ability to keep track of various dependencies between Bentley and other offerings they support. It also manages not only files, but immersive 3D web access and spatial data.
Bentley added Adobe as this data is being used by other departments. “The Contracts department wants to know that what they are under contract are being done,” said Kirly. “Engineers and procurement people want to know how we are complying. As the project is being constructed, we want to know that it is happening and happening in the field, and to give early indications back to engineers.”
Many industries are seeing more requirements around legal obligations regarding records management so they want to be able to answer to that in records management departments. ProjectWise Engineering Content Management as part of CONNECT Edition will take care of all this. Built on eB, it is able to describe the asset all the way through the lifecycle through substantiation to the operations.
Beside being useful within companies, ProjectWise CONNECT Edition extends across organizations outside the main company, who all want to share the common environment.
To facilitate this are ProjectWise Connection Services that are built on the Azure platform that include project sharing services, transmittal services, mobile device access, tools to create that common project environment, and project performace analytics.
For joint venture scenarios, and very close collaboration, ProjectWise Sharing Services enable users using different systems to easily share information. A user has a folder they want to share with a contractor, and with this service, you just put it in a folder and you’re done. Now the recipient just goes to the folder and the information is there. That communication is approved, established, and there is an audit trail of when it happened. Because that information is flowing through, it’s also on the web and available immediately on mobile apps.
ProjectWise CONNECT WorkSite is all project centric. WorkSite allows the user to have a centralized view of a project, and progress work packages. There is document retrieval workflow and shortcuts into the data so the user doesn’t have to worry about what repository the data resides in. Federated information access is operating behind the scenes and tied into one view for centralized access to all data.
With this application, Navigator CONNECT app and application, the whole i-model capability is available. If the user finds and issue on a pipe, for example, he or she can pull up issue resolution and fill out a form to give the team in the office specifics of what’s going on. The team lead can triage issues coming in from the field and interact with the model, looking at a view from a spatial perspective also.
With all the interest in the workflows downstream, what about common environment in design?
Santanu Das, senior vice president of Design and Simulation, talked about MicroStation, generally the original source of all the created architectural and engineering data.
“MicroStation CONNECT Edition, represents our next foray into how we’re going into a project based workflow,” said Das. “How do we jump into this project based workflow with MicroStation? How do we share this data? No matter how much you do in 3D design, you’re going to get paid on 2D deliverables.”
“MicroStation is a project based experience that lets you define what your project is going to be. You can aggregate different files and collaborative workflow with design engineers who may be across the world. You can store locally or in ProjectWise online.”
MicroStation now has workflow-based sets that will give you the tools you need, as well as object-based elements. MicroStation CONNECT Edition can be mixed and matched with other services and with the v8i generation of products.
ProjectWise Catalog Services now allows you to parametrically create designed-based elements (Functional Components) and share all that information all through design through decommission so it can be shared also with other disciplines.
Another cloud service called scenarios or optioneering has been made possible by Bentley’s acquisition of SiteOps which allows site optioneering. “We can drive cost and understand cost much earlier in the process. Theses services permeate down into our v8i products,” said Das.
Early Access participants have already gotten to sample MicroStation CONNECT Edition, and many of the ProjectWise CONNECT Edition services, along with the Navigator CONNECT Edition app-lication, will be available for Early Access by the end of 2014. MicroStation users will be happy to know there is no change to the DGN file format,in fact, V8i modeling applications will intra-operate with both MicroStation CONNECT Edition and ProjectWise CONNECT Edition. The CONNECT Edition of Bentley’s modeling applications and AssetWise offerings will be released throughout 2015 and 2016.
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