For a moment I had my doubts, if Bentley was talking about a new format that would replace the dgnV8, then I thought it was a kind of compressed format such as the kmz with the Google Earth kml. Many months ago I made a post, wanting to assume that It meant the i of V8i, After the presentation made at the Symposium and although I am sure that this is more geofumado, I think I am understanding what it means (laughs) the i.
This is the I-model, a bet that Bentley is aspiring to, that will possibly revolutionize the way they see their products and their dgn / dwg / dxf V8 format. Although what they showed us was only a breef, already in the V8i versions We started to experience what these friends are up to and what I-model means for Bentley.
I-model towards Bentley
For Bentley, it's very simple, a fusion of the capabilities of Project Wise and Microstation, main products Which until now had served: one to manage documents, the other to operate spatial data.
With the I-model, Bentley hopes to take ProjectWise Navigator to a more civilized use, which until now has been considered a medium complicated accessory to implement in simple projects. It implies that the workflow would be loaded to what Project Wise already does but under a structured data management, following standards and integrating the Different tools Of geoengineering that Bentley has acquired and then rebuilt from XM.
While at Microstation level, the dgn format would now integrate xml data from different specialties, structured in a similar way to what they did with the xfm. Bentley View would be replaced by ProjectWise Navigator, we do not know if it would still be free and Microstation would acquire properties that ProjectWise lite had.
I-model towards the Bentley user
The gain of the user is wide, because it would improve the ability to work together on the same data, forgetting the concept of files. To give an example, in an I-model type file, the cadastre technicians could empty their data with millimeter precision, while the GIS users would create topological layers to do spatial analysis, the road engineers would draw the subgrade line of a new work and those of public services the expansion of the network. Everything, with topological rules adjusted to the pertinence according to specialty, seeming to operate the same file that weighs 20% of what would be individual files, with rights per user and keeping a history of changes stored. Thus, the topological standard would make the same line for cadastre the boundary of a property, for urban planning a retaining wall, for public works a mitigation structure and for design a curtain wall; the operation of rights simple check-in-out and the administration of changes accept-reject flags.
Then Geoweb Publisher raises the file to publish on the Intranet or Internet, with an improved VPR that understands criteria of simple reading (WMS, WCS), redline evolved to the edition controlled by (WFS-T). Doing what he has done, now respecting standards and associated with transactions with rights, digital signature and control Historical.
The smoke seems astral, but it is the concept of BIM applied to a workflow that happens every day in a real scenario. Conste, all this can already be done with Microstation and ProjectWise, but the data is external or there is little association at the xml level, what there is is a hyperlink similar to what were the mslinks of Geographics; Hence, I associate this transformation with an implementation of the Xfm concept proposed in 2005, integrated in Bentley Map XM. If the V8 format is well conceptualized, and supports xml from that date, then we would not have a new format for V8i, simply new versions of Bentley products would have the ability to read structured data according to their level of expertise. Previous versions to V8i would read the dgn without seeing the xml attributes as it is now to see with normal Microstation a file operated with Bentley Map.
I-model towards the user of other brands
Here seems to be the strongest challenge, the integration pilot with AutoDesk Revit, which allows data to operate from Bentley Architecture seems to be the guideline, and although it is my guess, Bentley may be aspiring to reach beyond. Recall that something similar exists in Bentley Map to interact with mxd and lyr ArcGIS, with the difference that requires an ESRI license installed; the fact that this now works with Revit without requiring a license makes us think that it is the result of Agreement between AutoDesk and Bentley, Since AutoDesk was the one who first promoted the concept BIM in Revit.
While V8i would be a working format for users of Microstation, for outside users it would be an enriched exchange format from which they can read data under accepted standards, not what a pdf or an exported file does. In the end, BIM beyond Architecture is summarized to interpret the geofumed figures in a virtual space as objects of real life that they have always represented, as Txus says. It is also likely that Bentley is looking to make better use of its dxf / dwg formats that have been operating without transformation for several years, and that now using plugins would be read by AutoCAD with all its V8i attributes.
If this were the case, a Civil3D user would read in a dwg-i-model a surface built with Inroads, while an AutoCAD user would only see the vector that served as the primary source, such as the dot grid. This is what users generally expect from different branches of human creativity called commercial brands (including open source ones that are also commercial) and that aspire that large firms consider the term interoperability as a global benefit and not a mutual embrace to close plus the circle.
In conclusion, I-model is the implementation of BIM, managed by ProjectWise, operated by Microstation and in harmony with other brands.