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BE Inspired News
by Marc Thomas - 02 December 2011

At BE Inspired in Amsterdam last month Bentley headlined several new developments across their product range. For more information read the full version of this BE Inspired report published in Building Design today.

Clearly a higher level of development effort has lately been applied to their BIM tools. Having mentioned BIM let’s not forget that the highly portable pencil/paper combo is also an effective BIM tool! But if pencil and paper is too retro then you will want to try Bentley’s iPad apps. In a live display, a welcome departure from the ubiquitous pre-recorded demos, CEO Greg Bentley, called up various project documents using Bentley Navigator for the iPad, closing with a walk around inside a point cloud survey of Paddington Station. Once inside a 3D model, you just move the iPad around like a window into the model. The app is free and available now.

Everyone is talking about ‘The Cloud’. Taking an intelligent and honest approach demonstrating a clear understanding of their clients needs, Bentley’s cloud strategy will always be a hybrid between cloud and office systems, offering the flexibility to access project information on mobile devices, backed up by the security of retaining office based systems and data storage.

Backing up this Cloud strategy is Bentley’s new collaboration with Adobe to package i-models within PDF files. What’s an i-model? Think Russian dolls! It is a very smart container that packages up a MicroStation file and all attached data. Now this container will be packaged up within Adobe’s PDF container meaning that data from a wide range of formats, including MicroStation, Rhino, Revit, Autocad and SketchUp can all be published together to anyone with Acrobat Reader. This will be available early in 2012.

Bentley’s Applied Research team were demonstrating current projects some of which will be on show at our Visualisation Event next week.

Looking at the nuts and bolts, of immediate interest to everyone is confirmation that the MicroStation and PowerDraft will be updated by the SelectSeries 3 (SS3) release early in 2012, probably February/March, followed closely by AECOsim Building Designer (ABD), the upgrade to Bentley Architecture.