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Archive for the ‘IMAGINiT’ Category

Have a Finger on the Pulse: New System Integration Platform from IMAGINiT

Friday, June 8th, 2018

IMAGINiT Technologies’ new Pulse Platform, available now, is designed to allow engineers and architects to share data between independent software on-premise or cloud products beginning with Autodesk Vault and Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle. Other integrations with other products are forthcoming, according to Matt Mason, software development team manager for IMAGINiT.

“It’s an initial release and a big new area for us,” said Mason. “We’ve always done system integration work, and the work tends to be custom and one-off. This is our attempt to build a platform to make the process of system integration easier, more packaged and less custom.”

Mason adds that previously system integration was primarily 90% custom and required high level software developer or consultant. “We want to see 85% -95% of system integration work as a part of the package. The rest would be what a midlevel consultant could do, set up relationships between systems, map one to the other, etc.”

IMAGINiT Pulse benefits include (according to company materials):

  • Connectors for Autodesk Vault, Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle, Autodesk BIM 360 Operations and BuildingLink and other systems, allow users to automatically flow information from one software program to another. For example, individuals involved in enterprise resource planning and PLM may need to seamlessly transfer certain data in a specific format from Fusion Lifecycle to Vault.
  • Real-time visibility of datathrough an easy to read dashboard, allows users to understand exactly what information is being transferred, monitor each step in the transfer process and ensure the security and consistency of the data between the two systems.
  • Configurability gives users control over information being transferred, the systems it is being transferred between and the format in which it is being transferred – all without needing a dedicated development resource on staff. IMAGINiT technical professionals can assist Pulse users to define what data must move, in what direction, the format, and the reaction it triggers upon arrival at the destination software system.

Mason said that the connectors were built to do the heavy lifting of system integration, for working with specific products and getting data in or out of those products and doing updates.

“What’s left in the middle are workflow, rules and data mapping, and that’s modest, but doesn’t require the same level of development expertise that the actual deep integration to each system takes,” said Mason. “We’re trying to build something where we can have these pre-built connectors that do the hardest part of the work and separate the business logic and business rules into a separate part of the product.”

The first three connectors are built for Autodesk products currently since IMAGINiT’s consulting work largely revolves around those products. The fourth one was a non-Autodesk product called BuildingLink.

“We actually had a chance to build a product that made use of BIM 360 operations product with the BuildingLink product,” said Mason. “We expect to do more connectors over time, building our catalog of connectors. We’re expecting to do Bentley ProjectWise and other common integrations that we’ve done in the past such as Microsoft SharePoint.

People using the connectors need to be familiar with the workflows for the products involved. What is in the middle between the two is defining those workflows and some scripting is necessary, such as Microsoft.net scripting, as one product may refer to a part and another may refer to it as an item, etc.

An example, Mason said, are two Autodesk products that don’t communicate very well together such as Autodesk Vault to Fusion Lifecycle. They each have a separate language for how they describe parts and items and both are heavily customized for each customer to define the pieces of information they have. Someone has to build out the script of how to map data from this side to that side. To date, people have set up custom properties on their systems.

“We’re trying to build the connector out so it is visible to the user but not necessarily end user,” said Mason. “The person responsible for the integration wants to see what’s going on and see how integration flows from one side to the other. When you’re doing each one of these as a custom job, there wasn’t much time for polish. We wanted to invest more in the polish and see information flowing back and forth and have a way to visualize and trace. Since we were building it as a platform we could invest more than we could in a typical one off minimalist consulting project.”

In most cases IMAGINiT’s customers have already had their systems custom built for them. “We’re using the expertise of all the integrations we’ve done over the years and tried to build something so the next year’s integration will be much easier.”

Customers just want integration and want it to work, not cost too much. The Pulse Platform offers them “a nicer system that is less risk and less cost than something more custom, because so much of it is packaged,” said Mason.

Pulse will be separate from ongoing development, support and consulting, with annual use fee, including automatic updates for connectors for each company.

There will be one cost for the platform itself, and if you want two systems to connect, get a connector for each system, as each connector has a different amount of and specific complexity.

 

 

AECCafe Special Coverage: Reality Capture Fast-Tracks Infrastructure Design

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

In recent years we have seen an explosion of the use of reality capture by traditional CAD and building information modeling companies. Its ability to capture existing conditions and create 3D models out of photographs or laser scans, without seams makes it a great fit for the AEC industry. Technologies used include 3D laser scanning, mobile and aerial LiDAR, and photogrammetry. This resulting point data is reconstructed into a 3D model. While accurate, LiDAR only captures 3D data leaving color out. Photogrammetry uses photographs to reconstruct a 3D image.

ReCap Enhancements

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Make a Difference with BIM: Interview with IMAGINiT

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

In an interview with Joe Eichenseer, Building Solutions Team Manager of IMAGINiT, he talked about current trends in BIM and what people want from the technology these days.

Apple building in Cupertino

JE: From our perspective, we’re seeing more people moving toward trying to do more with the model, whether through information and analytics or taking it into fabrication. There is a large acceptance of BIM in the design and engineering community, and to some extent in the construction side. The question is, how can we get more, because the cost of software and business isn’t going to go away. People want to know what can we do to become that much more efficient and stand out from the crowd in our use and application of BIM philosophies in the design, engineering and construction world.

AECCafe Voice: Have you seen or implemented any really groundbreaking application of that among your clients?

JE: What we’re really focusing on is the incremental improvements. In some cases, it might be taking someone a couple of steps beyond where they were before. With the application or use of BIM with residential home construction, single family homes, we’re working with various home builders to make that transition so they can get into the whole VR side of things. They can show prospective buyers what that home is really like with whatever materials and finishes they have inside the rooms. We want to bring that industry forward, which is traditionally the last to come through because of the nature of the design and construction market.

We’re taking the analytics we can extract from the Revit project or collection of Revit projects using our CLARITY software. We’re getting people to understand where the true technological bottlenecks are inside the company. And if you are a BIM manager or a BIM coordinator, how can we better guide your vision to those things that actually make a difference in your business?
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AECCafe Editorial Calendar 2018

Friday, November 24th, 2017

AECCafe

Editorial Calendar 2018*

The Philharmonic Hall of Szczecin by Barozzi / Veiga. Photo © Simon Menges.

 January:

Editorial topics:

  • Trends and Predictions for 2018
  • Are We Getting Closer to Compatibility?

February:

2/4-2/7 Solidworks 2018

Editorial topics:

  • Solidworks for AEC
  • Current Events

BLK360

March:

Editorial topics:

  • Reality capture
  • The Changing Face of BIM

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Special AECCafe Report: BIM Interoperability: Emphasis on Data Not Tools

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

When everyone on a team uses a different BIM software, it can be painful to maintain accurate model versions, control user access, compare versions and analyze different models. On big projects, there are many teams coming together, all using whatever BIM technologies they have been tasked with and making all those interoperate, multiplying the challenge several fold.

Multi-discipline design with BIM Models

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Coming Soon: AECCafe Special Report on Interoperabiiity for BIM

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

When everyone on a team uses a different BIM software, it can be painful to maintain accurate model versions, control user access, compare versions and analyze different models. On big projects, there are many teams coming together, all using whatever BIM technologies they have been tasked with and making all those interoperate, multiplying the challenge severalfold.

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Ease-of-Use, Owner Involvement are Big Themes at Rand IMAGINiT

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

Carl Storms, Senior Applications Expert, for Rand IMAGINiT and Matt Mason, director of Software Development, for Rand IMAGINiT spoke with AECCafe at Autodesk University in November 2016 about the direction of the AEC industry. Rand IMAGINiT is a consulting and software development firm and Autodesk Partner. Carl Storms is “out in the trenches,” working with real world problems in AEC while Matt Mason is behind the scenes in the software development department, realizing the solutions to those challenges.

 

When asked about popular products and trends in AEC, Storm said, “Dynamo and visual programming are still a big thing. It’s been around a couple of years and now people more comfortable with it. Autodesk’s latest release of Dynamo Player is for people who are maybe not well versed in technology. They can just hit a button and play something. It’s like a playlist, you can pick a track you want to play. It accesses the information inside of your Revit model. It will, for example, have your text go from lower case to upper case with just the click of a button. It really gives people the benefit of using the technology without spending a lot of time learning the programming.”

According to Matt Mason, “Dynamo is still used by the power users, but to make it available to the rest of the people in the firm it needs to be more approachable. It’s been a challenge historically because you had to open the power users’ big complicated graph and understand it. From a usability standpoint, for the other 95% who aren’t at the level of doing Dynamo, it really helps democratize and leverage the Dynamo concept. The players can take advantage of the power users’ skills and have pretty much on-demand access.”

“Another big thing is augmented and virtual realities,” said Storms. “It’s now in more client and consumer based products. You have things as simple as Google Cardboard where you spend $12 to get the little lens and use your own smartphone, to high end devices, but they all allow you to immerse yourself in the data. Whether it’s a virtual reality type of device where you get immersed in the world of your model, you can walk around in your model and see what’s going on. Or you bring the reality into your reality so you can still see people and have conversations. You can see your interaction. People have been talking about it and have lots of thoughts and ideas for using it, and it will become more mainstream.”

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Top Trends in AEC Technical Training from ASCENT Center for Technical Knowledge

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

In an AECCafe Voice interview with Paul Burden of ASCENT Center for Technical Knowledge, the courseware segment of Rand Worldwide, he spoke of the trends he saw in the provision of technical training for their customers.

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The Human Experience and Technology: AECCafe’s Autodesk University 2016 Report

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

The Autodesk University 2016 keynote kicked off this Tuesday morning at the Venetian Congress Center, Las Vegas, with some rousing state-of-the-art rock and roll, followed by an introduction by Autodesk CTO Jeff Kowalski.

experience-au-600x325

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AECCafe Editorial Calendar 2017

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

AECCafe Editorial Calendar 2017*

IMG_5123
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Bentley: RealityModeling
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