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May 28, 2012
IMAGINiT Clarity Incorporates Must-Haves for Customers
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
Each AEC Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the AEC industry, AEC product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by AECCafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

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Industry News

IMAGINiT Clarity Incorporates Must-Haves for Customers


Beau Turner, director of Business Development for IMAGINiT, talked with AECCafe this week about the latest release of IMAGINiT Clarity and IMAGINiT Clarity LT for Autodesk Revit Server 2013 software from the IMAGINiT Technologies division.

Designed to enhance the Revit Server platform, this is a web-based solution is in its second release offers new features in task automation, security for BIM models and project collaboration. Non-Revit users can also benefit from the product as they can receive data with secure connectivity.

Customers were concerned naturally with ROI – how much time does it take a manual user to do a task as opposed to having the task automated. They were also concerned with security of the BIM model – “how do you put a price on security where your stuff is either open for everybody to see or you can limit it exclusively, “ said Turner.

Price was an issue, said Turner, so they also offer in this release a much smaller package, Clarity LT, which is a bundled package.  This has got all the same features as the full Clarity, but it’s limited to two projects and 25 users.

Task automation was one of the biggest must-haves that users wanted with version 1 of Clarity. “People were looking to generate PDF and DWF files, and those are things they take and then project back up and archive,” explained Turner. “Right behind that was exporting out to things like DWG and IFC. These are the things that are run on a regular basis, and take a lot of time, so we included those in being an automated task.”

The moment the user saves to central in task automation,  this automatically kicks on, when there’s a change. “The reality is very few people actually do this immediately to generate tasks. But it’s more likely they’re going to do it a few times or on demand.”

IMAGINiT is strictly focused around the data flow with Revit users to Revit users and out to those people who need access to the data who are not Revit users. “Up to this point everyone who chose to use Revit Server were really just doing it inhouse and a few select firms across the world were trying to work with other partners,” said Turner. “The problem was there was no secure way to do that. With 100 projects, when you bring in a partner they can see all 100 of those projects, so either it required different instances of Revit Server, where you might have one set up for one group and another one there just became a management nightmare. And with Clarity all that is
done in one box, and users only see what they’ve been explicitly given permission to see, whether they’re in Revit or inside of Clarity or Dashboard. There are a lot more firms that are doing outside partnering, not just multiple offices but multi-firm, which wasn’t easy before.”

Clarity limits what users inside or outside the firm can see. “In today’s economy, firms that are small need to continue to find ways to compete with large firms, and firms all need to find ways to compete with less,” Turner said.  “Rather than hiring additional staff, or taking people’s time as the top billed resource, and they’re waiting for 2 ½ hours for their machine to generate PDF files and they can’t be more productive as their machine is tied up and they can’t do anything else. With task automation they just gained 2 ½ hours back every time they need to print.”

“It could be weekly or every couple of days – their deliverables multiplied across users and 25 or so projects and you see incredible ROI for that,” said Turner.

What is really new is how non-Revit users are responding to being able to use Clarity in their workflows. Non-Revit users can see data in another file format such as Excel, where as before there was no native way to be able to look at those files. Now the non-Revit user can just log into Clarity and they don’t need to know anything additional, there is a button to export to Excel, they don’t have to call anyone else, they can use tools they’re familiar with. They can view it all right there, they can also export it and use that data any way they want without adding any more time to the project and having to get other people involved.

Administrators can manage users, projects and the health of the infrastructure, and see what the project and historical data look like. 

In this version of Clarity if the number of servers drops or a connection drops you can set the values and it will send an email right to the administrators instead of finding out later that it hasn’t been working. Users do not have to be IT or Revit gurus to use this product.

“In this release we support multiple, central hosts,” said Turner. “In the past, there was one central host; if you had 100 projects and no matter where they were spread out across the country or the world you only have that one point that everyone could access. Now we have that distributed, so if you’ve got four, like the firm HDR, a large organization, they’re making use of multiple central hosts. It helps them balance their workload. With Clarity they can get to one single spot and they can see all their central hosts, and drill down to the individual hosts themselves or look at everything as a whole.”

With task automation in this release, there is the ability to add distributed task servers. In the past if you ran 100 tasks and you had one single processor or one single task server, you had to wait for it to run one at a time. This could take perhaps ten hours to run those tasks.

“Now, if I want to run a couple more, I want to add ten task servers here, all of those are processed and done in an hour,” Turner explained. “Because of that new workload, this is a quick way to add more employees at a very minimal cost. Like having robots working for you processing this data – computing power is cheap and if you want more just bring it online.”

The need to explicitly control who has access to the BIM model is where the Security BIM model comes in. In a single firm you may share information with partners but you may also share information with government projects. All this needs to be very secure.  “If all of a sudden a partner can see 5 other projects they’re not connected to that doesn’t instill confidence or security that you’ve got data that everyone should or could have,” Turner pointed out. “So with Clarity you have project level security, you explicitly assign control for this user to be on a specific project.”

Turner added that they also control access, bring in new partner sites and locations and for the local accelerators they use a certificate based VPN.  That gives the level of control that if the relationship sours or that partnership is done they can renew the connection itself and revoke that certificate. “It’s one more way to make sure that when data should be cut off it’s officially cut off and terminated.”

IMAGINiT Clarity is an enterprise software which means the customer own the data, the servers, the virtual machines, the hardware -- everything associated with it. IMAGINiT provides the software infrastructure they’re paying for.


Availability & Pricing

For organizations interested in the new IMAGINiT Clarity LT offering, an introductory offer allows customers to purchase IMAGINiT Clarity LT at a savings of approximately 50 percent until June 30, 2012. This limited time offer also includes installation and training.

IMAGINiT Clarity can be packaged with Autodesk Revit Server or it can be integrated into an existing installation. Setup and training is included and managed by IMAGINiT's trusted team of implementation and training experts. Pricing is dependent on number of locations, hosts, accelerators and task servers. Maintenance and subscription fees apply.

Top News of the Week

Autodesk, Inc. announced Autodesk Fabrication software, a new set of applications designed to help extend Building Information Modeling (BIM) across the building lifecycle to support the fabrication and construction of mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) projects. The new software line marks the latest step in Autodesk’s portfolio of solutions aimed at MEP contractors and engineers, and is based on products provided by Micro Application Packages Limited (MAP Software), which Autodesk acquired in October of last year.

Bentley Systems, Incorporated and Trelligence, Inc. announced an integration between their respective software products to provide end-to-end building lifecycle support.  Bentley is the leading company dedicated to providing comprehensive software solutions for sustaining infrastructure.  Bentley’s AECOsim Building Designer is a single, integrated application that includes tools for architectural, structural, mechanical systems, and electrical design and construction documentation.  Trelligence is the creator of Trelligence Affinity™, the industry-leading architectural programming, early design, and data aggregation

The integration between Affinity and AECOsim Building Designer makes the program and early design models created in Affinity available to the users of AECOsim Building Designer.  Members of the project team can easily move an Affinity program into AECOsim Building Designer where it can be used to guide design development.  Alternatively, designers can develop the building schematic design model in Affinity and then move it to AECOsim Building Designer for detailed design.  The combination of AECOsim Building Designer and Affinity provides a robust set of tools that yield improvements in quality and reductions in cost throughout
the building lifecycle. 

Alliances, Agreements, Acquisitions

The National Institute of Building Sciences buildingSMART alliance and buildingSMART United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland have agreed to collaborate on the development of building information modeling (BIM) standards. The two organizations signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) in April setting the parameters of the relationship.

The Alliance, developer of the National BIM Standard-United States (NBIMS-US), is in the process of rolling out NBIMS-US Version 2 (V2), the first-ever consensus-based standard governing BIM for use in the United States. Both a council of the National Institute of Building Sciences and the North American chapter of buildingSMART International, the Alliance is working with a number of buildingSMART member nations on BIM standard development.

Applied Software, announced that it has earned the new Simulation Specialization designation for value-added resellers (VARs) from Autodesk, Inc., a world leader in  3D design, engineering and entertainment software. As an Autodesk Specialized Partner, Applied Software has shown that it has made significant investment in its people, has a solid business plan specific to its specialization area, has customer references and can provide a high level of expertise, experience and support to customers in the manufacturing industry.

Rand Worldwide announced that the Australian division of IMAGINiT Technologies has been awarded the Simulation Specialisation designation from Autodesk, Inc. IMAGINiT Australia is the first Autodesk channel partner to receive this designation in the Asia Pacific region. With this designation, Autodesk recognizes that IMAGINiT has invested significantly in training members of their team to demonstrate an understanding of simulation, fluently represent and support the Autodesk products that make simulation possible and recognize and convey the business benefits that simulation brings to clients.

AVEVA announced the acquisition of the Bocad group of companies (“Bocad”). This strategic acquisition includes all companies in the Bocad group, bringing to AVEVA all IPR, employees, contracts and assets. AVEVA will establish a new Structural Design Centre of Excellence across Bocad’s two main offices in Bochum, Germany and Ocquier, Belgium where it will continue to develop and support the Bocad software products. The software developed through the Centre of Excellence will be tightly aligned with the AVEVA PDMS and AVEVA Marine solutions and will be sold through the AVEVA global sales force. The new combination will create a
world-class engineering design offering for the plant, marine and fabrication markets.

Deltek, Inc. announced a new partnership with Ten Six Consulting. Headquartered in Virginia Beach, Va., Ten Six will provide implementation services for customers who purchase Deltek’s Integrated Program Management solutions suite.


Autodesk, Inc. reported financial results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2013.

First Quarter Fiscal 2013
  • Revenue was $589 million, an increase of 11 percent compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2012.
  • GAAP operating margin was 16 percent, compared to 15 percent in the first quarter of fiscal 2012.
  • Non-GAAP operating margin was 25 percent, compared to 23 percent in the first quarter of fiscal 2012. A reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP results is provided in the accompanying tables.
  • GAAP diluted earnings per share were $0.34, compared to $0.29 in the first quarter of fiscal 2012.
  • Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share were $0.47, compared to $0.40 in the first quarter of fiscal 2012.
  • Cash flow from operating activities was $139 million, compared to $128 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2012.

  • Technologies that make buildings smarter and more energy efficient continue to evolve at a rapid pace, with new entrants and solutions announced every week. Many of the new products and services center on the big data that buildings produce in real time. Buildings have been producing volumes of information for many years, but today, according to a new white paper from Pike Research, many companies are starting to leverage the cloud as the basis for rich software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings.

    Since 1980 Jeff Drake from Drake Exhibits has created trial exhibits for fire losses, construction accidents, electrical incidents, structural and mechanical failures, industrial accidents, vehicular accidents, and other personal injury cases. And, Drake recently used Vectorworks’ 3D modeling capabilities to create powerful exhibits that shaped the outcome of a courtroom verdict.

    The situation was as follows—a security camera recorded a slip and fall accident that took place on an icy, steeply sloped walkway. The security video was the prime piece of visual evidence in a case against the contractor that built the walkway. The legal team knew the evidence was good, but it also needed to give context to the video image and explain why the sloped walkway violated standard building code requirements. Photographs and measurements of the site were recorded, including three-dimensional plotting of the sloped walkway by a professional surveyor. The measurements were then placed in a CAD drawing to create the 3D model. The security camera location was documented,
    and the point of view of the camera was established in the 3D model.

    New Products

    Autodesk, Inc. launched Autodesk SketchBook Ink for iPad paint and drawing app, the latest release from the company’s popular SketchBook family, which has more than 10 million downloads to date. Powered by a brand new engine, Autodesk SketchBook Ink introduces unique technology for artists to create stunning, high-resolution ink-style artwork. The SketchBook Ink addition to the SketchBook family increases the number of choices available to artists to express their creative visions in a digital environment.

    Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES) announced the latest release of its Virtual Environment software suite, IESVE 2012. This includes the new ModelViewer II which features solar shading, solar arc and improved reporting capabilities, and is available to all VE-Gaia and VE-Pro users. Important Solar Analysis features have also been added to the VE-Pro module SunCast, allowing users to view Solar Energy/Intensity on a 3D model. IES will showcase these new features this week in Washington, DC at the American Institute of Architects 2012 National Convention and Design Expo at booth 2121.

    GRAPHISOFT, a Building Information Modeling (BIM) solutions for architects, has announced an update for its BIMx application.  The BIMx 1.2.455 update for iPhone/iPad app provides native support for the iPad 3 Retina display, resulting in crisper images and stunning virtual reality.

    The new iPad's Retina Display offers graphics and a new level of mobility to professional, high-end visualization. At the same time, the quadrupled pixel count makes the application of interactive 3D apps like BIMx a difficult task.

    3M Architectural Markets made its debut in the lighting market in a dramatic fashion, collaborating with designer Todd Bracher to showcase an innovative, state-of-the-art new lighting effect at this year’s WantedDesign event at Tunnel in the Terminal Stores during New York Design Week. The “Virtual LED,” enabled by 3M technology, was revealed via an experimental iteration of the company’s modular architectural lighting system known as Lightfalls, designed by Todd Bracher. 

    Eagle Point Software Corporation, an Autodesk AEC Industry Partner, announced the 2013 release of its AutoCAD Civil 3D companion solutions: Data Reduction, Designers’ Companion, and Surveyors’ Companion. These 2013 releases are designed to help civil engineering professionals deliver more innovative project solutions by enabling building information model (BIM) processes.

    AVEVA announced AVEVA Instrumentation 12.1, an enhanced version of its highly successful and market leading instrumentation and control engineering software is available. AVEVA Instrumentation 12.1, the most powerful instrumentation application on the market and one of AVEVA’s fastest growing products, is available for both plant and marine environments. Like AVEVA’s recently launched brand new application AVEVA Electrical, it has been designed and tested in close collaboration with AVEVA customers who have demonstrated up to a 30% man-hour savings with the new product.

    HP announced new mobile and cloud-based printing solutions for its HP Designjet systems, including an HP ePrint & Share application for Android.(1)

    On display at the American Institute of Architects 2012 National Convention, the new solutions and features make it easier for architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) professionals and firms to print large-format documents from virtually anywhere. They include:
  • An HP ePrint & Share mobile application for Android smartphones and tablets, allowing more users to access, view and print drawings on the go.(1)
  • New features for HP ePrint & Share, including the ability to print PDF files directly from e-mail and optimization for Apple iPad®.
  • HP-enabled cloud printing, now available directly from Autodesk AutoCAD WS, only available with HP Designjet web-connected printers.

  • For more on the HP printing and enterprise solutions see
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    -- Susan Smith, AECCafe.com Managing Editor.