Bentley’s V8i Release Takes Center Stage

Keith Bentley said, “One of the areas we’re focusing on in MicroStation V8i is extremely large files. In previous versions of MicroStation, there had been issues when a set of files became so large that they would exhaust every available space on your computer. In V8i we’ve changed the algorithm around. Another area in MicroStation that has tremendous improvement is our Luxology rendering engine. The time to complete a rendering has diminished “by many areas of magnitude.”

“The delta file transfer capability in ProjectWise V8i is the killer app that distributed enterprise for infrastructure have been waiting for,” said Greg Bentley. “Big files and the need to transfer big files is a big issue. In ProjectWise V8i only the incremental changes and work the person does will be transferred to the other participants. The rendering engine is almost fast enough for real time innovation so you can improve design decisions while you’re designing rather than having to import/export into other products for visualization.”

Singh added that V8i is global in scope, thus Bentley is localizing V8i products beyond language, by adding support for local codes, design codes delivering content and implementing local standards from many parts of the world. Despite its scope, he said V8i is very scalable and lists products for individual practitioners, it has integrated suites for workgroups and total solutions that scale to the needs of largest company, and delivers value to small and large firms globally.

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“Infrastructure software is all we do at Bentley,” stated Singh. Users are reacting to put greater value on designs that embrace the environment rather than intrude upon it, designs that minimize harmful emissions, with lower energy consumption are more efficient in the use of materials and sometimes incorporate designs that challenge our conventional notions of form.

Singh said that the results of the Bentley/Autodesk Interoperability Agreement announced this summer, will not be included in this release of V8i as the agreement occurred too late in the development cycle. The Agreement stated that Autodesk and Bentley will exchange software libraries, including Autodesk RealDWG, which Autodesk uses to read and write in their own products, “to improve the ability to read and write the companies' respective DWG and DGN formats in mixed environments with better accuracy.” As a result, Bentley will be able to work directly with the Autodesk code to read and write DWGs. In the other direction, Bentley has exchanged comparable DGN libraries with Autodesk. Beyond that, Singh said the two companies will be able to run each other’s object enablers by downloading an object enabled directory from each other’s websites to run each other’s applications with high level semantic understanding. Also, the Agreement allows the companies to work with one another’s APIs, which will further interoperability between the applications.

“We are shipping Revit interoperability with our Structural and MicroStation products that does just that,” said Singh. “We also have dedicated technical liaisons who can help users who work in mixed environments with interoperability.”

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Currently Bentley is working on embedding libraries. “We’ve been supporting DWG for a long time really well, so we have to make sure that as we transition from our own DWG support to the embedded libraries, that we don’t lose any functionality,” concluded Singh. “We expect the V8i scope to expand to the SELECT updates we’ll release over the next year. The first SELECT update we’ll release for MicroStation will include RealDWG from Autodesk.”

Bentley also announced a new financing program to accelerate adoption and return on investment in V8i during these times of economic uncertainty. Information on this (from the press release) is as follows:

For new licenses purchased during the balance of 2008 (at Bentley’s standard competitive pricing), fees may be paid in three annual installments. Also, to expedite realization of V8i’s benefits for infrastructure, during the balance of 2008, users of Bentley software who are not presently subscribers to the Bentley SELECT subscription program may join SELECT without needing to pay the back fees that would normally pertain for periods of non-coverage.

The products that are currently available in the new V8i Software Portfolio are listed here:

Note: All V8i images are provided courtesy Henning Larsen Architects, and depict work the firm performed for the Massar Children’s Discovery Centre.

Top News of the Week

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) awarded its highest level of recognition, LEED Platinum certification, to the Conference Center at the newly re-opened TreePeople Center for Community Forestry. TreePeople, an environmental non-profit, has served the Los Angeles region for 35 years with the goal of "helping nature heal our cities." The state-of-the-art Conference Center provides a gathering place for local, national, and international leaders to create healthy, sustainable cities.

The Conference Center is the focal point for the Center for Community Forestry, a four-acre environmental educational campus located in L.A.'s Coldwater Canyon Park. Furthering TreePeople's mission to provide environmental and watershed education to the public, the Conference Center utilizes natural principles to minimize the building's need for imported heating, cooling, energy and water.

Autodesk, Inc. and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) have announced the results of the 2008 Autodesk/AIA Green Index, an annual survey that measures how AIA members are practicing sustainable design, as well as their opinions about the green building movement. This year's index shows an increase in the implementation of sustainable design practices from architects and building owners. In addition, it shows that architects' clients have experienced a doubling in the market demand for green buildings over the past year as well as positive shifts in architects' attitudes toward their ability to impact climate change.

Acquisitions, Agreements, Alliances

Autodesk, Inc. announced that it has completed the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Softimage - a developer of 3D technology for the film, television and games markets - for approximately $35 million. On October 23, 2008, Autodesk announced it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire Softimage from Avid Technology, Inc.

SC&H Consulting - a member of SC&H Group, LLC - one of the fastest-growing CPA and management consulting firms in the nation, announced its relationship with Deltek, a leading provider of enterprise applications software for project-focused organizations. This partnership is a natural fit for both organizations that will be of great value for customers in the government contracting industry. SC&H will utilize its expertise in government contract accounting to implement Deltek's GCS Premier accounting system for clients.

VFA, Inc., provider of software and services for facilities capital planning and asset management, and Bricsnet, a provider of solutions for executive decision support and strategic planning in real estate, announced a strategic alliance designed to help clients improve operating efficiencies and long-term planning for their real estate portfolios. Together, VFA and Bricsnet offer organizations with large, complex real estate portfolios a comprehensive solution for facilities planning and management, with sophisticated decision support tools for enhanced financial intelligence.

Clarizen, a provider of on-demand, online project management software, announced its integration with Autodesk’s AutoCAD software. The partnership lets engineers and developers using AutoCAD software work directly with Clarizen’s SaaS project management solution to update and manage their projects directly without leaving their AutoCAD system.

Bamboo Solutions, a provider of products that enhance Microsoft SharePoint and TeamDirection, a provider of collaborative project solutions, announced an OEM agreement to expand their Microsoft-based project management offerings for SharePoint. Available today, TeamDirection is offering the Bamboo SharePoint Project Portfolio Dashboard Web Part as part of its IntelliGantt Add-in for Microsoft Project. This combined offering provides SharePoint customers who also use Microsoft Project 2007 Standard or Professional an intuitive and affordable project management solution for project managers, SharePoint users and project stakeholders. Utilizing robust client tools, team members can work in shared workspaces that are easily accessible and convenient while stakeholders can view clear and concise progress reports in a Portfolio Dashboard.

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