Archive for the ‘General’ Category

ProjectWise SIG

Posted: September 30, 2013 in General, Training

We are starting up a ProjectWise Special Interest Group (SIG) for all who are interested in advancing their knowledge of ProjectWise.  I’ve scheduled the first two for October 17th and November 21st.  The sessions will be repeated twice on these days at 10:00AM EST and 8:00PM EST to cover as much of the ProjectWise world as possible.  We will try and do a quick presentation of some technology as well as have Bentley representatives from our software group and technical support group available to answer questions or relay valuable information that can’t be found elsewhere.

Session 1:
October 17th
Time: 10:00AM EST and 8:00PM EST
Duration: 1 Hour each
Trainer: Eddie Anderson
Session Description: This is the inaugural ProjectWise Special Interest Group session.  During this session we will discuss issues important to every ProjectWise Administrator and User.  This session will include information relating to the ProjectWise Development Roadmap, a quick demonstration on the new Rules Engine, advanced guided topics and an open Question & Answer in which representatives from Bentley Professional Services, Bentley Software and our Technical Support Group can hear and comment on your topics.

Session 2:
November 21th
Time: 10:00AM EST and 8:00PM EST
Duration: 1 Hour each
Trainer: Eddie Anderson
Session Description: This is the second ProjectWise Special Interest Group session.  During this session we will discuss issues important to every ProjectWise Administrator and User.  This session will include a discussion and presentation on Bentley CONNECT and how it affects your company, advanced guided topics and an open Question & Answer in which representatives from Bentley Professional Services, Bentley Software and our Technical Support Group can hear and comment on your topics.

Link to the registration page, for Session 1 on October 17th :

Link to the ProjectWise Special Interest Group Learning Path: ProjectWise Special Interest Group Learning Path

See you then!

I wanted to follow up on a previous blog about the Point Cloud Streaming that is now available with ProjectWise.  To start off with, the streaming is available for ProjectWise Clients running MicroStation, MicroStation based applications, Navigator, Descartes.  A future release will also include a connector for AutoCAD.

To give you a good feel for expected performance we ran some test on two Point Clouds. One, a relatively small 50 MB and the other was a 1.5 GB Point Cloud.  Not that our testing should represent the performance that you would experience, but it should give you a feel for what to expect.  Here are the results that we experienced:

Standard MicroStation Download and Launch:

  • 50 MB – 3 minutes 30 seconds
  • 1.5 GB – Greater than one hour

Streaming MicroStation Launch:

  • 50 MB – 1 minute and 26 seconds
  • 1.5 GB – 1 minute and 38 seconds


Take a look at the new Navigator Mobile app for the iPad.  In it I discuss the navigation tools and features of the app.  Also, in this case I use a Revit model that was converted using our dgndb format which is really fast even on an iPad.  Enjoy!



The new SELECTseries 3 GEOPAK finally solves the long standing road bump (also known as the GPK file) with ProjectWise. The new integration allows for the GPK to reside only in ProjectWise and no longer needs to be export out of the system.  This works for both single and multiuser access.  There is also a new update for GEOPAK SELECTseries 2 which allows for the same integration. BOOYAH!


When working with outside parties there are server considerations. First is how they are going to connect and where is the data stored.  Connectivity can happen using a browser based client or a thick client.  Each has its pros and cons.

The thick client access has the most functionality and can also provide direct integration inside of many commonly used applications such as AutoCAD, MicroStation, Revit, Civil 3D, Microsoft Office, as well as other applications.  It also offers increased performance via data compression and delta file transfer (DFT).  Thick client access does require the installation of the ProjectWise Explorer on the desktop and requires port TCP 5800 for connectivity and file transfers.

When utilizing the thick client it also gives added flexibility for routing since the ProjectWise Explorer can directly contact a ProjectWise Gateway Server, ProjectWise Caching Server, or ProjectWise Integration Server as the next server in the route.  All three of these servers can pass routing information to the thick client.  If added performance is needed, or in a larger office with many users a ProjectWise Caching Server may be utilized.  Caching Servers can have a dual function.  The first is being able to store files as their home location.  The second is caching of files from remote offices. 

Thin client access is much easier since it works over standard web browsing ports.  It also has capabilities to allow viewing and markup of CAD formats through a browser with no design markup of viewing tools installed.  Browser users can check out/in files but need to understand that ProjectWise would be unaware of reference or x-ref attachments and require a scan be done on the file(s) after they have been checked in so any changes in references would be picked up, therefore it is recommended that CAD editors use thick client access to edit files. Viewers, markups, and Microsoft Office type users can use the browser based clients without any issues.  Thin client users would also not be able to take advantage of DFT traffic, therefore users of larger files may benefit from thick client.

Client to Server communications are done on ports TCP 5800 for thick client access and ports HTTP 80 and HTTPS 443 for browser based clients.  All server to server communications will be on port TCP 5800.  When working with a remote office port TCP 5800 will need to be open on any firewall between the ProjectWise Explorer (thick client) and the next link in the chain which may be a ProjectWise Caching Server, ProjectWise Gateway Server, or ProjectWise Integration Server.  Also, any of the servers that are next in line would also need to communicate using TCP 5800.

Browser based clients will utilize standard ports 80 and SSL 443 for communications.  Browser traffic cannot be relayed by a Caching or Gateway Server.  It must have direct contact to the ProjectWise Web Server.  Once the traffic reaches the ProjectWise Web Server it will then communicate via port 5800 to the other servers to process requests.

If dual authentication is needed then VPN access may be required as the first level of authentication with their ProjectWise login being the second.  Other options may include a Citrix type connection to ProjectWise which is a supported configuration.

The diagram below represents some of the common routes that ProjectWise traffic can take when dealing with outside entities. 



I’ve had several people ask me if you can edit PDF files using the ProjectWise iPad app so I created a video with two simple workflows. This first is the check out the PDF, edit using the Adobe Reader app and then check the file back into ProjectWise. The second is opening a PDF from ProjectWise, mark it up, and save a copy of the markup back to ProjectWise. Pretting simple stuff, all with an iPad. Who said the iPad can’t create content. ipadpdf


DGN & i-model Viewer

Posted: March 5, 2013 in General
Tags: , ,

The  new release of ProjectWise V8i SELECTseries 4 Refresh has a new addition to the preview pane of the ProjectWise Explorer.  We now have an embedded viewer for both DGN and i-model formats which allows for viewing without leaving the ProjectWise client or having a viewing tool such as Navigator or MicroStation loaded on your machine.  This is the same viewing technology that we have had on the web side for a while.

The viewer supports several actions including the following:

  • Pan, walk, fly, rotate, zoom, window, and fit navigation
  • Measuring distance
  • Print
  • Models & views
  • Model interrogation with business intelligence


We know, you want markups, DWG support, blah, blah, blah.  I think the saying is “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.


Starting in ProjectWise V8i (SELECTseries 4) the available Point Cloud Service can stream Point Clouds and large images to client machines running MicroStation SS2, Navigator, Open Plant, Descartes SS3 and Bentley Civil products.  A possible AutoCAD streaming integration may be in the works.  Much like Google Earth, Point Cloud Streaming only sends the needed information to the client based on the location and zoom ratio.  Point clouds can be from several megabytes to many gigabytes in size.

The Point Cloud Service can be loaded either on an Integration Server or Caching Server.  There is a price difference, so consult your sales team for pricing, however it is less expensive when running on a Caching Server.  Once configured, import your .las or .pod files into a storage area/folder on the Caching Server or Integration Server that is running the Point Cloud Service.  This Streaming also works for large images.

In general, you can run one Point Cloud Service and have all of the point cloud files on one server, or you can add multiple Point Cloud Services and store the point clouds in multiple storage areas.  Keep in mind there is no need to cache point clouds in remote office, as they will be streamed as needed.


ProjectWise 3.xx was released early 2000 and over the next two years added features that included the Web Explorer Lite, which was the first web client.  Document level security, DWG redlining, and the document creation wizard were also added.

ProjectWise V8 started the modern era of ProjectWise. The January 2003 release included such innovations as the Preview Pane, Workspace Profiles, Components, Audit Trail, and the Distribution System.  Over the next few years we saw 2004 and V8 XM Edition ProjectWise releases.  These releases included Full Text Search, Thumbnails, DGN Indexing, Managed Workspaces, and SharePoint Web Parts.

Late in 2008, the first V8i release of ProjectWise was introduced.  It included Delta File Transfer, the Web View Server, Spatial Navigation, the Quick Search tool bar and auto login to integrated applications. Over the next several years SELECTseries releases (one through four) have included Revit and Civil3D integration, as well at Transmittals, Dynamic Composition Server, Point Cloud Streaming, and Dynamic Plotting.

Today’s ProjectWise is a true 64-bit application that scales up to thousands and thousands of users with excellent performance, especially over higher latency networks. ProjectWise has truly become the most mature Engineering Information Management System in the industry.


In about a month we should have a new release of ProjectWise.  This is considered a “refresh” which has several feature enhancements, integration updates, and bug fixes.  Below is a listing of some of the more major updates and enhancements.  

  • ProjectWise Explorer Enhancements
    • Bentley DGN Navigator Control, for viewing DGNs and i-models in the ProjectWise Explorer
    • Support for ProjectWise Explorer on Citrix XenApp 6.5
  • Application Integration Enhancements
    • Support added for:
      • AutoCAD 2013 applications
      • Revit 2013 applications
      • 64-bit Microsoft Office 2010 (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint)
      • Microsoft Project 2010 and Visio 2010 (32-bit and 64 bit)
    • Advanced integration developed for AutoCAD Civil 3D 2012 and 2013
    • AutoCAD integration enhancement – new Disable / Enable Integration button
    • Revit integration enhancement – new Resolve Links dialog, to fix broken links before the document opens in Revit
    • Office integration enhancement – new Disable / Enable Integration button in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Project, and Visio
  • Infrastructure Enhancements
    • Support for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 for most modules
    • Full Text Indexing supports Windows Search Service on Windows Server 2012, and Microsoft Indexing Service on Windows Server 2008
    • Updated Web Parts
  • ProjectWise Administrator Enhancements
    • Updated Attribute Exchange example files for Microsoft Office 2003
  • Miscellaneous Enhancements
    • Rebranding:
      • ProjectWise Dynamic Composition Server (DCS) for PDF is now Bentley i-model Composition Server (ICS) for PDF
      • ProjectWise Dynamic Composition Server for i-model (extension to ProjectWise Automation Service) is now Bentley i-model Composition Server for i-model
    • New Modules:
      • ProjectWise Rules Engine

Over the next several weeks I’ll try to break some of these down individually.