The Build - Part 1 - Standard Directories

The hta is a great start point for any build, but what about the build itself? It's very important to put some time and effort into getting this right or you will end up with a mess that is hard to configure and even harder to maintain. The build I have now is an accumulation of 10 or so years work that I have tweaked and changed to better suit clients and my own thoughts. 

As I have mentioned before in other articles I run a development and a live build and as such have name the root folders for these 2 locations '_CADdev' and _CADmanage'. The reason for the '_' is to keep the 2 directories at the top of Explorer to make them easier to find. 

In many situations I have builds for more than one software provider so I then split the directories based on provider. In this case I use the rather obvious 'Bentley' directory name. To see what I mean, check more out in figure 1 on:

Next, directories are split into 'Site' and 'Standard'. The 'Standard' directory is the location for the main configs, apps, library files etc. for the companies CAD build. This build can then be replicated, as required, to all offices. At times I've had this running in 3 or 4 countries across 10 offices, all replicated and manager from a single source.

The 'Site' directory is for each office or region, depending on management, to add and build on the master build so they can include other apps that may not be considered core products. The 'Site' directory also contain the data for all client and project build. By using this method all builds are kept in a single location and not spread across the network and also mean that each office can maintain it's own builds and share them across office as needed.

Both of these directories are then split down based of MicroStation version number.

I recommend that for any of these builds you try and use the standard main directory structure as delivered by Bentley. As such I then have the 'Standards' directory, which I define by _USTN_SITE in my appl config file as discussed previously in:

This contains all my build cfg files at the root and then directories such as cell etc. as you would see in the installed product. Keeping the 'Standards' directories the same under 'Site and 'Standard' means we can define them in our builds configs easier and keep them consistent across all builds.

See figure 2 in:

Other apps can have their builds and cfg files added as required under the version directory as shown. Base cfg files for these apps are kept in the 'App_Vars' directory and included through the build. More on that down the track.

The 'Site' directory is not only used for the client and project builds, but also for the base files for install locations, project and client list text files all used by the hta file.

Keeping these standard across the build, as mentioned before, is critical if you're going to put together a build that can be replicated across multiple offices and be used as part of a work sharing environment.

Now we have the base directories, next comes our config files.

More soon.