Configuring AECOsim Building Designer #7 – Sharing Standards

Anyone who has used a well managed MicroStation system will be familiar with the sharing of CAD standards via a networked workspace.

So far I have moved to the network:

  • project data.
  • project and user configurations.
  • the Company dataset.

How about the more general company CAD standards?

There are two broad possibilities:

  • Integration with an existing MicroStation configuration - this could be complex and may require some consultancy support.
  • A new or separate AECOsim configuration - this can be relatively simple and is what I will cover here.

Step one is really simple:

  1. Create folder E:\Standards_OnNetwork

  2. In ZZ_CompanyConfig.cfg add the line:

    _USTN_SITE = E:/Standards_OnNetwork/

    (Note: please add this line at the head of the file, it will simplify future improvements to the file.)

  3. Copy all of the folders contained in C:\ProgramData\Bentley\AECOsimBuildingDesigner V8i Ss4\WorkSpace\Standards to E:\Standards_OnNetwork

  4. Rename E:\Standards_OnNetwork\Standards.cfg to 01_Company_Standards.cfg 
    (Note: the 01 prefix is preparation for the possible addition of other configuration files in the future, this one always wants to be read first.)

Now you will have in your E:\ drive:

holding a series or containers ready for your site specific settings to be stored and referred to by 01_Company_Standards.cfg.

An example of how to use the Standards folder:

To start with a straightforward and common example, let's add your Company cell libraries.

Copy/move any existing company cell libraries into E:\Standards_OnNetwork\cell\.

Open 01_Company_Standards.cfg in Notepad (or my favorite, Notepad++), look at line 26:

MS_CELL   >   $(_USTN_SITE)cell/     # Cell libraries

  • MS_CELL defines the paths that AECOsim searches for cell libraries
  • The $( ) around _USTN_SITE expand it to E:/Standards_OnNetwork/ as defined in ZZ_CompanyConfig.cfg
  • > is the operator that adds the expanded value of MS_CELL to the paths now being searched.
  • # Cell libraries is a comment, anything after # is ignored by AECOsim.

So in addition to the default locations searched by AECOsim you now have E:\Standards_OnNetwork\cell\

Add the line:

MS_CELLLIST < $(_USTN_SITE)cell/*.cel

and company cell libraries will appear at the top of the Cell Library dialog's File menu.

The other lines in ZZ_CompanyConfig.cfg show some of the many other possible uses for the Standards configuration file and folders. That will be the subject of another article.