Bentley announces major product releases, subscription refinements, and acquisitions/partnerships

Bentley Systems Inc. released a series of announcements at its invitation-only "Be Inspired: Infrastructure Best Practices Symposium and Awards event" in Charlotte, N.C.

By Michael Ivanovich, Editor-in-Chief October 13, 2009

October 2009 availability of MicroStation V8i (SELECTseries 1).

This newest version of MicroStation features innovative and flexible value-creative enhancements for infrastructure professionals highlighted by RealDWG library support and integrated 3D printing capabilities. SELECTseries updates for all Bentley products maintain forward and backward compatibility across the entire V8i lifecycle. They are scheduled independently for each Bentley product and are made available to Bentley SELECT subscribers for adoption at their own pace, to suit project schedules and align with project demands.

By delivering Autodesk’s RealDWG software within MicroStation V8i (SELECTseries 1) and other Bentley products, Bentley provides its users the highest level of fidelity when reading or writing DWG formats including 2009. At the same time, Bentley fulfills the commitment it made in July of 2008 , through its interoperability agreement with Autodesk, to improve architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) workflows by:
• Enabling broader reuse of information generated during the design, construction, and operation of buildings and infrastructure, and
• Enhancing the ability of project teams to choose among multiple software sources.

In addition, MicroStation V8i (SELECTseries 1) is able to produce i-models – the new "containers" for open infrastructure information exchange – and to aggregate comments registered against them in dynamic collaboration workflows. These capabilities will lead to expanded information reuse, improved process and workflow efficiency, and increased project quality.

October 2009 availability of ProjectWise Navigator V8i (SELECTseries 1), dynamic collaboration software for iterative project review.

This new version of ProjectWise Navigator can be used by infrastructure teams to interactively view, analyze, and augment project information. To make this process dynamic, so feedback can flow in both directions for any participant to add value, Bentley also introduced i-models. An i-model is a container for open infrastructure information exchange. A key characteristic of i-models is "provenance": knowledge of its origin and evolution – its change management history.

With highly versatile viewing capabilities, ProjectWise Navigator V8i (SELECTseries 1) delivers a more intuitive user experience. At the same time, it better leverages the interactive nature of information stored inside i-models, which are also optimized for high-performance visualization. This interaction enables greater project insight to help teams avoid costly on-site errors.

With ProjectWise Navigator V8i (SELECTseries 1), users can:

• Take advantage of its ability to be customized and its ease of use to open multiple file types – including DGN, DWG, and i-models – with a single software solution;

• Explore models naturally and intuitively in real time, and manipulate view settings to interactively change geometry display on screen;

• Perform intelligent analysis, find business intelligence behind geometry, and measure distances, areas, and volumes with complete engineering precision;

• Simulate what-if scenarios, optimize schedules, and dynamically resolve clashes to reduce on-site errors;

• Use the more-organized and extensible project information it delivers to group and classify items by leveraging intelligence of content;

• Mark up the model with simple geometry, and register and preserve comments against items in dynamic collaboration workflows;

• Create photorealistic images and animations, and produce intelligent 2D/3D PDFs for consumption by a wider audience.

Immediate availability of Country-Level License Pooling and Passport Subscriptions.

Country-Level License Pooling , Bentley’s latest SELECT subscription enhancement, expands the benefits of site-level license pooling. Passport Subscriptions provide, for named users, an affordable alternative to perpetual license purchases. The value created by both of these subscription innovations is passed on to the users’ constituents in the form of higher-quality projects delivered in less time and at a lower cost.
Bentley’s Country-Level License Pooling offers immediate benefit to user organizations with multiple sites within an individual country. It enables project teams to share software resources across all such sites, affording more efficient asset management, and more flexible allocation of project work to dispersed professionals to maximize workforce utilization – a current necessity.
Bentley’s new Passport Subscriptions cater for individual infrastructure practitioners to provide the benefits of "software as a service." For a single annual fee, a discipline-specific Passport Subscription provides access to the full range of software, training, and content that their project mix typically requires. Subscribing to the appropriate Passport offers an affordable "professional upgrade" in software toolset and skills, for practitioners to quickly make their work more valuable.
Bentley Passport Subscriptions, including software for building design and for energy assessment, offer:
• An affordable alternative to purchasing combinations of multiple software products (some used relatively infrequently), separate training, and content; thus eliminating cost and budget obstacles, and accelerating economic returns;
• A wide selection of conveniently configured application suites corresponding to common professional work roles, in each case increasing competitive edge, and enabling high-quality project contributions;
• Unlimited access to Live Training – via virtual classroom – and OnDemand eLearning, speeding time-to-productivity, reducing time out of office, and eliminating travel costs;
• Self-service or assisted support "24x7x365" from Bentley software experts, whose commitment is to help maintain productivity and to keep projects on schedule;
• Unlimited access to software upgrades based on project needs throughout the subscription term.

Among the acquisitions and partnerships that Bentley announced was a technology agreement with Pointools Ltd.

Through the agreement with Pointools Ltd., the leader in high-performance software to exploit point clouds captured by 3D laser scanning of infrastructure assets, including aerial LiDAR surveys, Bentley has licensed Pointools’ super-fast Vortex API engine (and its ongoing upgrades) for incorporation in MicroStation and all other software products that leverage Bentley’s platform technology.
According to Bentley, the Pointools engine is ideally suited to the demanding requirements of architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) projects due to its unrivalled ability to handle the very largest point cloud datasets, comprising billions (not millions) of points, and from virtually every scanning source. Through Bentley’s ProjectWise collaboration servers, AEC projects and owner-operators will now be able to interoperably manage, reference, and maintain point cloud content, for continued lifecycle value.