Configuration Tips - Manage Configuration Utility

MicroStation Update 17 includes the new Manage Configuration utility. This enables MicroStation to switch between multiple configurations allowing further control and separation of standards for organizations working with serial clients or on major projects that require specific CAD/BIM standards.

This is equally beneficial for smaller organizations as this feature can support accessing, with minimal technical input, an entirely self-contained configuration supplied by a third-party.

For administrators, even when they are only managing a single configuration, it enables them to easily switch between production and development configurations.

Where a Custom Configuration is already used by Update 16, during an upgrade to Update 17 MicroStation picks up the path to this configuration from ConfigurationSetup.cfg and will list it with the Example configuration in the new Configuration panel:

If you install Update 17 and do not see your previous configuration, either nothing:

or only the Example configuration:

this will be because the previous ConfigurationSetup.cfg was not found. This can happen if a previous version is uninstalled and all remaining folders and files are deleted, whether manually or by an IT system process.

In this case simply launch Manage Configuration and click Add following the steps in this video (once the new configuration is created in the first few seconds the video goes on to show switching between configurations):

The required inputs, shown in this video, are a name and description that will appear in the UI, the choice of Custom Configuration location, the path to the Custom Configuration. This path is to the Custom Configuration root folder that contains WorkSpaceSetup.cfg. Ensure 'Visible' is ticked, if it is not the configuration will not be listed in the UI.

Clicking the Workspace Setup toggle displays the active configuration variables in the existing WorkSpaceSetup.cfg. These do not need to be changed to use an existing Custom Configuration.

Documentation is here for Update 17: Creating and Managing Configurations.

Where are the Manage Configuration settings stored?

Configurations are stored in C:\Users\...\AppData\Local\Bentley\MicroStation\10.0.0\prefs\configuration.xml.

This file can be copied to any users provided that the path(s) stored in the XML for each configuration is/are valid for each user.

Manage Configuration XML Syntax

Each configuration is contained in a <ConfigurationModel> tag pair. The values entered in the Manage Configuration utility are stored in a similar order to the dialog:

Configuration Name: <Title>SMB Config</Title>
Description: <Description>SMB Demo Config</Description>
Set by application: <ConfigurationVariable>_USTN_CONFIG_SMB_Config</ConfigurationVariable>
Type: <Type>Local</Type>
Visible: <IsActive>true</IsActive>
Configuration Folder: <Path>D:\_SMB\SMB_Resources\</Path>
<IsSelected>true</IsSelected>
<IsEditable>true</IsEditable>

Additional values set by the application are IsSelected, which identifies the user selected configuration and ConfigurationVariable, which is is an an identifier used by the application.

IsEditable is set by default to true for new configurations but set to false for the Example configuration to ensure new users have access to the examples for learning purposes.

The example configuration can be hidden by editing the XML, set the IsActive statement to false:

<IsActive>false</IsActive>

Hide Configuration Manager

In MicroStation 17.1 we can use _USTN_USER_CONFIGURATION to hide the Configuration Manager and all configurations listed in configuration.xml. This is an interim step. The ability to hide Configuration Manager while making pre-selected configurations available for use is being worked on for MicroStation 17.2.

When _USTN_USER_CONFIGURATION is directed to a configuration path that configuration is the only one that will be visible in the UI, similar to its previous behaviour.

  • Offline in reply to Marc Thomas

    Hi Marc,

    I can only support the request, that this should be configureable and centralised.
    Having this file in the localappdata is difficult to manage in a company.

    Is there a seed file for the xml-file:
    C:\Users\...\AppData\Local\Bentley\MicroStation\10.0.0\prefs\configuration.xml.

    Where are the defaults stored?

    Regards Günter

  • What was updated for Manage Configuration Utility in MicroStation CONNECT - Update 17.1?

    I upgraded to Update 17.1, and cleaned out user preference files (prefs folder)

    Now user only has options to select example workspaces/worksets delivered with the product... and no "Manage Configurations"

    This does not allow users to access our workspaces/wporksets on the network....

    If I restore the user prefs (from previous version), "User Configuration" will show up and user can access our networked workspaces/worsets

    I guess I could go back and manually edit the configuration.xml file (local) - to get the "user" configuration back, but this seems counter intuitive...

  • Could this feature be set as a Technology preview for the next builds while Bentley fine tunes the implementation of it?

  • Hi Marc

    As per the others feedback, this needs to be added to a configuration variable, so CAD Admin's can select the location.  Having this file located within the user C drive profile is a pain 

    Ian 

  • I agree this is yet another layer of choice that the user at the coal face has to decide on, and that is not ideal - especially when users generally don't/can't keep up to date on every new feature.


    However as a background admin tool I would love to see configuration more generally turned into an organised "database" structure that allows an admin to control configuration in one place rather than chasing several CFG files. It is undeniably tedious to track down what a variable is doing when having to hunt through several CFG files that usually follow their own internal order.

    If Bentley is listening -
    I can see a future Config Editor that is able to take several XML based config files and mash them together in one editor interface. Much like the way OpenBuildings Designer mashes together several XML files to form a dataset, and presenting a single structure to the admin.
    In this single editor interface it would be far easier to visualise and juggle what order/level(s)/values variables are organised in.
    The interface would then save out to the separate files for Organization / Workspace / Workset / etc to maintain that flexibility & power we have now with the mixing and matching of CFG files.

    XML is still human readable (like CFG), but can come with a schema that would help keep the structure true.
    Tags could include 
      - <Variable Name/>
      - <Variable Value>
      - <Variable Type/> (is the variable a path, path list, file name, filename list, boolean, text, integer, etc.)
      - <Processing Priority> (%level)
      - <Description/>

    However I admit I am not sure how logical conditions could be handled with this format (%if etc.) so perhaps this editor interface would only be able to evaluate things from the perspective a specific workset... much like the Configuration Explorer currently does.

  • But I just don't understand the logic behind this xml file. It breaks everything a CAD admin wishes for. We have data segregation at Organization / Workspace / Workset. We were told that's the CONNECT way. Now this xml adds another layer "CONFIGURATION?" into the mix.

    I understand the appeal for the ease of switching workspace/workset in situ, but if you have hundreds of CAD operators in the building, "ease of switching workspace/workset" is deffinitely not what a cad admin wants.

  • Hi Marc - I think this xml should be centralised (centralis-able?) and be something that can be pointed to as part of the application installation/deployment. It certainly has the potential to clean up the redirection of a local PC installation to a server based config. The whole ConfigurationSetup.cfg / WorkSpaceSetup.cfg redirection is a bit messy.

    1. Currently hardcoded, we are looking at adding a variable to control it
    2. I have flagged the lack of documentation and will continue to update this blog post. 
  • Hi Marc,

    1 - Is the C:\Users\...\AppData\Local\Bentley\MicroStation\10.0.0\prefs\configuration.xml hard coded? Can that be change?

    2 - Any more documentation forth coming regarding configuration.xml? Seems there still things about this file that's not included in this post?

  • Hi John, Hiding the Manage Configuration tools is in our plan for Update 17.1. Personally, once the Mange Configuration button and the right-click menu are hidden, I think it would be still be useful if we displayed the active configuration for consistency of UI appearance and for confidence that the correct configuration is active.

    I'm looking into the "Why did it not show the redirected configuration options when opened the first time" question with the developers.

  • Hi Jon, ConfigurationSetup.cfg is still where is always was, just not used. I will pin down the detail of that soon.

  • Hi Tim,

    I understand XML is used as it feeds directly into the UI in a similar manner to other UI settings based elements and is very flexible for further development. The XML is a structured store for parameters.

  • Where is file ConfigurationSetup.cfg to be found?

  • I think this option should only be available to administrators as users generally do not want to be involved with setting the configuration.

    I set up a deployment image that had our configuration location included and it did not appear in the workspace options until I clicked on one of the options in the left pane, once I was able to select one of our workspaces it all came good and showed all our custom options. This situation could lead to a user getting completely lost when the update is opened the first time.

    Why did it not show the redirected configuration options when opened the first time?