These were the most popular enhancements in MicroStation V8 XM Edition, judging from crowd response.
- Reference a PDF within the model. The 2D PDF document shows up like a flat sheet, complete with markups, in the MicroStation 3D model. The PDF file is dynamically linked to the model. (see picture)
- The DGN file format does not change ("transition to V8 XM should be painless")
- Define a animation path for use in Google Earth. After a MicroStation model has been placed in Google Earth, a curve drawn is used by Google Earth to pan around the project
SELECT subscribers can download and an early version of V8 XM at www.be.org/getv8xmnow. The official release is expected tomorrow.
Kieth Bentley, CTO, holds Microsoft as an example of a file format standard, as Microsoft is opening up the specification for XML. Further evidence of "openness" was that although the next version of Office will introduce a new file format, Microsoft will make it it "retroactively upgradeable." This will be done with a freely available utility that will allow Office 2003 users to read the new file format. This is quite unlike Autodesk, says Keith, which capitalizes in DWG incompatibility between versions, forcing users to upgrade. "That is some companies business model," he says disdainfully.
Keith's favorite improvement for XM is the Distributed DGN technology that occurs in ProjectWise V8 XM Edition. This allows many users to work and change the same DGN file -- each doing so independently of the others -- and then ProjectWise sorts all changes out and merges them into one updated DGN file.
The next edition of MicroStation code is code named Monet and is already in development. Bentley is on a 2 year release cycle.