June 11, 2007
BE Conference 2007 – Platform and Applied Research
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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Geocoordination continues the work done with Google Earth last year and takes it to the next level, so it takes all existing ProjectWise geospatial management and all of the existing geospatial coordinate systems that are available in some of Bentley’s geospatial MicroStation applications and putting those as a core component into MicroStation and ProjectWise. Anybody designing anything can now work in true real world or state plane coordinates and coordinate their work around the world accurately to locate it on the world without any issue of using different coordinate systems and finding that files don’t come together in reference properly.

Applied Research Group

Buddy Cleveland presented a talk on the new Applied Research Group at Bentley. Bentley has always invested in research, so what is new about this group? Cleveland said that their research has been very much product focused, which makes it subject to product delivery deadlines and schedules, and thus within a short time horizon. Without an exclusive focus, said Cleveland, it’s nearly impossible for the company to distinguish research from product development, difficult to gauge the magnitude of our research investments on the one hand, much less the return on these investments on the other.

A project around the concept of Digital Pen & Paper, licensed from

The Applied Research Group, from a business point of view, is intended to help Bentley increase the visibility of its investments to make sure they are aligned with their business objectives and the customers’ business objectives.

Bentley’s mission is to look “beyond the next release of software, and to identify white space in solutions, determine where we can bring new technologies to you, in support of improving the world’s infrastructure.”

The mission will be executed on one project at a time, some will involve internally prototyped development, others will be joint projects with other organizations, technology providers or partners.

Examples of types of Applied Research projects:

1) Projects to implement new software that uses new capabilities in existing areas and provides capabilities in new areas. Bentley’s GenerativeComponents (GC) is an example of this type of project. GC is “an associative design system, giving designers and engineers new ways to efficiently explore alternative building forms without manually building the detail design model for each scenario,” according to its chief architect and spokesperson, director of Research & Senior Scientist at Bentley, Robert Aish. GC is also Bentley’s first true research project. Aish is now a colleague in Applied Research, and the first version of the software will be released soon.

2) Incorporating new technology into existing Bentley products, example: a project around the concept of Digital Pen & Paper. Licensed from
Anoto, this technology incorporates a special pen that accurately captures and stores marks made by that pen, and does it by way of special optics in the pen that can record where that pen is based on a microdot pattern embedded into the paper. This microdot pattern is unique over an extremely large area, roughly the size of Europe and Asia combined. “Our project is focused on validating and prototyping the integration of this technology into our project content management
and plotting capabilities,” said Cleveland. “If successful, this will enable users to use their standard paper plots to electronically record and manage their comments and as builts information as if they had been done on computer with an application like Bentley Redline.

Update on where Bentley is with the project to date: the idea is to open ProjectWise plot organizer, sign into ProjectWise, open plot set of project drawings, pick some plots to send, user will just say I want to enable Digital Paper. Once plots are generated user can use pen and pick up the paper and start writing with the pen. They don’t have to tell it which drawing they’re writing on, they can go to next sheet, they don’t have to tell it they’re going to another sheet. The paper itself looks a little gray with microdots. Once it’s done, the user can upload the pen marks into ProjectWise using Bluetooth, once loaded, log into ProjectWise, ProjectWise
knows automatically, has related the microdot pattern to the actual version, and plot number plotted, so when it opens the pen marks it knows what file was being marked up and creates a Bentley Redline file. The user can check the redline file and make any comments. Then the user can then check that into ProjectWise. Mark Smith is the principal researcher on this project.

3) Application of existing products in totally new areas. Current project: To prototype a general framework for geolocating remote sensing devices and providing capabilities for managing and accessing those devices using ProjectWise, alongside all the other content that ProjectWise manages. The devices could range from remote video, environmental sensors of all types. “The objective of this project is to bring together real time information from diverse types of sensors so you can see where they are, and understand how they fit within the context of the infrastructure asset, not just physically where they are, but in the context of design data, analysis data, documentation ,
software applications and emergency procedures,” said Cleveland.

The example of the floor plan of building 1 of the Exton campus was given, including icons for security cameras which are registered in ProjectWise and are geolocated on the floor plan. If the user would like to open that camera using the interface, he/she can use the mouse and drag the camera around to look around the room.

“We’ve implemented this prototype within the standard project XM with the geospatial extension version of ProjectWise, and we’re now in the process of extending this prototype to encompass a much broader range of devices,” Cleveland said. “Simply by registering and locating real time devices within ProjectWise, we can extend the scope of the content managed by ProjectWise to include the real time conditions of an infrastructure asset and really transform it into a real time asset.”


Autodesk, Inc. announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire NavisWorks, a privately-held company based in Sheffield, England that provides software for 3D coordination, collaboration and sequencing in design and construction for approximately $25 million in USD cash, subject to a working capital adjustment. The acquisition underscores Autodesk’s commitment to help its customers derive the greatest possible value from the information created during all phases of the design process.

Deltek, a provider of enterprise applications software for project-focused organizations, announced that it has acquired WST Pacific (WSTP), its longtime earned value management (EVM) partner, to add additional EVM skilled development, services and support resources.

Co-founded by Mike Boulton and Tony Scuteri in 1991, WSTP is Deltek's Australia-based partner and has provided development services for the company's Cobra, Open Plan, WelcomHome and WelcomPortfolio products. WSTP has had a long relationship with Deltek and with Welcom, which Deltek acquired in March 2006. Also in 2006, Deltek acquired CS Solutions, Inc. (C/SSI), the world's principal producer of Business Intelligence tools for the EVM marketplace.


Research and Markets
has announced the addition of Frost & Sullivan's new report: North American Intelligent Buildings Market - A Snapshot to their offering.

The research service titled North American Intelligent Buildings Market - A Snapshot provides an overview of the intelligent buildings market, the benefits of intelligent buildings, the key market forces, current trends in the market and an overview of some leading market participants.

For more information visit the


Autodesk, Inc. announced that, following the completion of its voluntary review of the Company's stock option grant practices and related accounting issues, it has filed its fiscal 2007 financial statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The review covered the period from January 1988 through August 2006 and resulted in aggregate pre-tax, non-cash charges of $34.8 million over the entire period. On a GAAP basis, diluted earnings per share for fiscal 2007 were $1.19, and restated diluted earnings per share for fiscal years 2006, 2005, 2004 and 2003 were $1.35, $0.90, $0.50 and $0.12, respectively. See times="" new="" roman="" ;="">

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-- Susan Smith, AECCafe.com Managing Editor.


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