IMPORTANT: Reorganization of the MicroStation communities

To raise Bentley and our users' participation on Be Communities, as well as to minimize confusion about where to search, find, or post Bentley product technical support-related information, the MicroStation communities are being reorganized. The current structure, based on MicroStation releases, will be consolidated and a new, flatter hierarchy based on context-specific topics will be created. The result will look like this:

  • MicroStation (existing)
  • MicroStation Interoperability (new)
  • MicroStation Printing (new)
  • MicroStation Annotations (new)
  • MicroStation Programming (existing)
  • MicroStation Visualization (existing)
  • MicroStation Administration (new)

Note that we do not plan a "CR/TR" community... we have other, better plans for something along those lines. Each of these communities will have its own forum and wiki -- the "general" community and a few others will also have a blog and file area.

Please see further details below (it is quite lengthy, but it needs to be) and post comments or suggestions here.


Currently, there are a number of places on Be Communities where MicroStation and MicroStation PowerDraft users can go to get information and ask questions about those products. These include various forums, blogs, wikis, and file areas for a number of different MicroStation releases and subsystems. The number of choices has led to some confusion as to where to post inquiries. Since communities exist for context-specific topics (e.g. MicroStation Visualization, ProjectWise Programming, MicroStation Programming, etc.), it makes some amount of sense to consolidate the communities and applications into a few that are of similar context. In other words, make the communities more topical in nature as opposed to being release-specific.

We did this last year with the Programming community – see http://communities.bentley.com/help/f/9549/p/77292/212002.aspx#212002 for what was done there. It came off REALLY well and was well-accepted. That is really the premise behind our intent.

In essence, what exists on Be Communities now is one big location for MicroStation, except it is a bit of a challenge for our users (and ourselves) to navigate to get to the “right place”. Currently, the MicroStation area looks like this:

  • MicroStation
    • MicroStation Blog
    • MicroStation Forums
    • MicroStation Gallery
    • MicroStation - Wiki
  • MicroStation V8i
    • MicroStation V8i Blog
    • MicroStation V8i Printing Blog
    • MicroStation V8i Forum
    • MicroStation V8i Detailing Forum
    • MicroStation V8i Printing Forum
    • MicroStation V8i DWG Forum
    • MicroStation V8i Detailing Files
    • MicroStation V8i Files
    • MicroStation V8i Detailing Wiki
    • MicroStation V8i DWG Wiki
    • MicroStation V8i Wiki
  • MicroStation Programming
    • MicroStation Programming - Blog
    • MicroStation Programming - Media Gallery
    • MicroStation Programming - Forum
    • MicroStation Programming - Wiki
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8i VBA Blog
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8i Programming Blog
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8i Programming Forum
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8i VBA Forum
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 XM Edition Programming Forum
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 XM Edition VBA Forum
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 2004 Edition Programming Forum
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 2004 Edition VBA Forum
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 2004 Edition Programming Files
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8i Programming Files
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 2004 Edition VBA Wiki
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 XM Edition Programming Wiki
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8i Programming Wiki
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8i VBA Wiki
  • MicroStation Visualization
    • MicroStation Visualization Blog
    • MicroStation Visualization Forum
    • MicroStation Visualization Files
    • MicroStation Visualization Gallery
    • MicroStation Visualization Wiki
  • MicroStation V8 XM Edition
    • MicroStation V8 XM Edition Blog
    • MicroStation V8 XM Edition Detailing Forum
    • MicroStation V8 XM Edition DWG Forum
    • MicroStation V8 XM Edition Forum
    • MicroStation V8 XM Edition Printing Forum
    • MicroStation V8 XM Edition Files
    • MicroStation V8 XM Edition Printing Wiki
    • MicroStation V8 XM Edition Wiki
  • MicroStation V8 2004 Edition
    • MicroStation V8 2004 Edition Blog
    • MicroStation V8 2004 Edition Forum
    • MicroStation V8 2004 Edition Printing Forum
    • MicroStation V8 2004 Edition DWG Forum
    • MicroStation V8 2004 Edition Files
    • MicroStation V8 2004 Edition DWG Wiki
    • MicroStation V8 2004 Edition Printing Wiki
    • MicroStation V8 2004 Edition Wiki
  • MicroStation - all pre-V8 versions
    • MicroStation - all pre-V8 versions Blog
    • MicroStation - all pre-V8 versions Forum
    • MicroStation - all pre-V8 versions Files
    • MicroStation - all pre-V8 versions Wiki

Yeah… it does :)

That should be reorganized up to help users get to where they need to get to. One thing that needs to be identified and accepted is that the number of areas needs to be kept a minimum. Spreading out across a number of communities/sub-communities/applications/sub-applications does the opposite of the good intentions usually sought. So the basic hierarchy would be:

  • MicroStation (existing)
    • the “general” community for all issues that are not associated with any of the “peer MicroStation communities”
  • MicroStation Interoperability (new)
    • for interoperability issues with non-DGN format files
  • MicroStation Printing (new)
    • for product issues related to MicroStation-based printing
  • MicroStation Annotations (new)
    • for issues pertaining to MicroStation’s text, tag, dimensioning, and detailing subsystems
  • MicroStation Programming (existing)
    • where users and development partners can go to get information on VBA and published MicroStation-based SDKs and APIs
  • MicroStation Visualization (existing)
    • the place to go to get the latest and greatest information on MicroStation’s visualization subsystem (and get answers to question, suggestions for best practices, etc.)
  • MicroStation Administration (new)
    • for administrators and site managers to get information and share best practices relating to workspaces, configurations, software distribution, etc.

What else comes out of this? And what is planned to execute on this?

  • Each community will have a forum and wiki. Only the main MicroStation General community and a few other communities would have a blog and file area.
  • “Move” all existing, non-empty MicroStation... community applications (e.g. forums, wikis, etc.) into the respective MicroStation community. The result would be things like the current MicroStation V8i DWG Forum and MicroStation V8 XM Edition DWG Forum (among the other ones identified above) being “sub-forums” under the “MicroStation DWG Forum”. This would be similar for MicroStation... blogs, wikis, and file areas.
  • Post an announcement note in each “old” sub-forums identifying that it is read-only and direct members to where they can go to post questions.
  • Make the “old” (i.e. [Archived]) forums read-only.
  • Post a “best practice” announcement (i.e. always appearing at the top of the thread stack) in each “MicroStation ... Forum” asking members to include some form of brief identification in the thread subject that lets others know the MicroStation release being used without having to open the thread (e.g. [V8i]..., [XM]..., [pre-V8]..., etc.)

There is existing content on the site that still has some value, so to retain that without starting anew, the overall layout would look something like:

  • MicroStation
    • MicroStation Blog
    • MicroStation Forums
    • MicroStation Gallery
    • MicroStation - Wiki
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8i Blog
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8i Forum
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8i Files
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8i Wiki
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 XM Edition Blog
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 XM Edition Forum
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 XM Edition Files
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 XM Edition Wiki
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 2004 Edition Blog
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 2004 Edition Forum
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 2004 Edition Files
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 2004 Edition Wiki
    • [Archived] MicroStation - all pre-V8 versions Blog
    • [Archived] MicroStation - all pre-V8 versions Forum
    • [Archived] MicroStation - all pre-V8 versions Files
    • [Archived] MicroStation - all pre-V8 versions Wiki
  • MicroStation Interoperability
    • MicroStation Interoperability Forum
    • MicroStation Interoperability Wiki
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8i DWG Forum
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8i DWG Wiki
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 XM Edition DWG Forum
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 2004 Edition DWG Forum
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 2004 Edition DWG Wiki
  • MicroStation Printing
    • MicroStation Printing Forum
    • MicroStation Printing Wiki
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8i Printing Blog
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8i Printing Forum
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 XM Edition Printing Forum
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 XM Edition Printing Wiki
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 2004 Edition Printing Forum
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 2004 Edition Printing Wiki
  • MicroStation Annotations
    • MicroStation Annotations Forum
    • MicroStation Annotations Wiki
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8i Detailing Forum
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8i Detailing Files
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8i Detailing Wiki
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 XM Edition Detailing Forum
  • MicroStation Programming
    • MicroStation Programming - Blog
    • MicroStation Programming - Media Gallery
    • MicroStation Programming - Forum
    • MicroStation Programming - Wiki
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8i VBA Blog
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8i Programming Blog
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8i Programming Forum
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8i VBA Forum
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 XM Edition Programming Forum
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 XM Edition VBA Forum
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 2004 Edition Programming Forum
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 2004 Edition VBA Forum
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 2004 Edition Programming Files
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8i Programming Files
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 2004 Edition VBA Wiki
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8 XM Edition Programming Wiki
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8i Programming Wiki
    • [Archived] MicroStation V8i VBA Wiki
  • MicroStation Visualization
    • MicroStation Visualization Blog
    • MicroStation Visualization Forum
    • MicroStation Visualization Files
    • MicroStation Visualization Gallery
    • MicroStation Visualization Wiki
  • MicroStation Administration
    • MicroStation Administration Forum
    • MicroStation Administration Files
    • MicroStation Administration Wiki

It is much simpler and cleaner from a navigation perspective, since there is less of a “hierarchy” than what currently exists. The fact that there isn’t a one-to-one correlation of community or application to existing Support queue is not really relevant (have to get the “SAP way of doing things” out of our minds).

It is anticipated that all this can be done in a relatively short amount of time. We are looking at doing this over the May 25/26 weekend. Like other instances of community moves, there will be some disruption of links (i.e. anything that was hardcoded on the site or external to the site will need to be updated accordingly) and community activity will be reset, but we just wanted to provide some advance notice of this upcoming reorganization.