I am a long time MicroStation user currently reviewing a number of the leading BIM platforms out there - namely Bentley Architecture, Revit, & Archicad.
Now I am not a 'die-hard' Bentley fan and so my remit is to simply try and evaluate each package on its own merits in order to get a fair comparison and to help inform our decision about which to use.
So far I have a good understanding of the pro's and con's of each but with regards to Bentley Architecture my initial experience is that it is incredibly complex and has unbelievably poor 'help' documentation (especially when compared to Bentley's competitors) making it very difficult to learn the software. To me this sounds like shear arrogance on Bentley's part or market share suicide - not sure which at the moment. Even once the software has been mastered it is my impression from reading the forum that Bentley are still way behind the likes of Revit and Archicad in terms of meeting user suggestions / feature requests?
Is this is a fair opinion of Bentley Architecture and if not why?
Also does anyone have experience of trialling / reviewing both Revit and Archicad?
Thanks in advance...
Since I am a Bentley colleague I will refrain from telling you which is the best BIM platform (I think you could guess what my answer would be), but I will try to address a couple of your concerns and share some things to consider in your BIM evaluation for your firm. Obviously there is no software package in the world that is perfect, and Bentley does not claim to be exempt from that claim. We recognize we have deficiencies and work hard to erase those and also respond to user feedback in a timely manner. I would find it difficult to believe that you would hear claims from Revit users that they have the direct communication with Product Managers and developers like that occurs every day between Bentley and our clients. While at times some of the comments and posts that occur in BE Communities forums seem critical of some tools or applications, I firmly believe that the users in these forums feel comfortable posting their opinions (good or bad), because they are heard by Bentley product managers, developers, support and even the Bentley executives. Often times this result in a quick turn-around on a bug fix or additional features added to builds to meet a particular clients need. On the other hand, I have been told by several dual-platform clients that Revit's feature list is frozen for the 2014 release already (and closing in on feature freeze for 2015), therefore any feature requests or complaints on an Autodesk forum would be done so in vain. I really only mentioned that because I don't think that I have ever come across a person who confused Bentley with being arrogant, and I hope the users in this forum will reinforce this sentiment.
Regarding your concerns about Bentley, I would encourage you to take a look at AECOsim Building Designer rather than Bentley Architecture. Building Designer will be the next release (1-2 months away) of Bentley Architecture. However, for me to say that Building Designer is just the next version of Bentley Architecture is a gross understatement. Building Designer is a complete BIM solution in a single application that in addition to added architectural features includes full functionality for Structural, Mechanical, Plumbing, and Electrical design/documentation, a robust and intuitive clash detection engine, hyper-modeling, Dynamic Views, and additional feature enhancements. This is what you should be using as your benchmark against other BIM vendors.
If only looking at Bentley Architecture, I believe that your concern with poor 'help' documentation is valid, and as I stated above, Bentley has identified this as a shortcoming and invested in a thorough update to both the content and delivery methods of help/informational documentation that will ship with AECOsim Building Designer. In addition to this, an even bigger effort was initiated to overhaul the Bentley delivered datasets to make Building Designer production-ready with little-to-no customization required by the end user. This effort was guided by several of our BIM consultants with experience working everyday with our users from all over the world to capture the functional requirements of a vast user base and reflect the collective knowledge gained from this user collaboration into a workspace that everyone can leverage. The dataset overhaul was in direct response to user comments that the applications were complex (as you observed) and aimed to set out to show users that the solutions and workflows can be simple, while still affording the ability to customize the applications, workspaces, and processes to support even the most complex organizations, which in my opinion has always been one of Bentley's greatest strengths.
In my architecture days before Bentley I was faced with the same choice, which BIM solution is best for me and my organization. Given that I am now working for Bentley it is apparent which I chose, but I at time I was an more of an Autodesk user than Bentley if that indicates that I haven't been biased my entire BIM career. In fact, still to this day I have nearly as much experience on Autodesk applications as on Bentley applications. Full disclosure out of the way... Below I will include a couple points that you should consider in your evaluation as they are often overlooked items. At firms that I have worked for or consulted with, I have seen the workflow/staffing impact that oversight of these items has yielded and more importantly to a business the resultant hidden project and organizational costs, which are often substantial.
Interoperability - Bentley BIM solutions are all built on top of the DGN file format and thus there is no file export process required to move between 3D data-rich models and static 2D construction drawings that can be opened by clients, contractors, or reviewers that do not have Revit or Archicad. Additionally, since BIM is an intra-disciplinary process that requires intense collaboration by all project stakeholders (architects, engineers, contractors, owners, and more), Building Designer, as a unified BIM application, enables live referencing of models from all disciplines with full data fidelity to offer an immense project savings on avoiding data/time loss on import/export/link processes that can stall the design process. Bentley even provides a free plug-in that allows collaborators that might be working in Revit to publish i-Models (with precise geometry and BIM data) that can be referenced directly by MicroStation, Bentley BIM solutions, and even Navigator for Clash Detection and Design Review processes. Don't be mislead by Autodesk's claim that they allow direct linking of DGN's in Revit 2012 as an interoperable solution. Despite Autodesk having the DGN file format as part of the interoperability agreement between Autodesk and Bentley, they only allow a Revit link to a V7 DGN, which would require a Save As or Export, which disrupts live coordination and wastes project time and money on data exchange processes for your company.
BIM is a Collaborative Process.... Many people falsely assume that the main point of BIM from a design perspective is to simply have better coordinated 2D Construction documents, because they are extracted from the 3D model. While this is a benefit of BIM, anyone that identifies this as the primary reason to adopt BIM is clearly missing the point of the BIM process and is likely to not benefit much, if any, when it comes to the bottom line after additional software, training, and related overhead costs are factored in. BIM (as a process) should be utilized in conjunction with BIM software in order to produce a better designed (thoroughly coordinated across all disciplines & being free of costly, last minute coordination changes that compromise the overall design) & constructed built asset (reduced/eliminated change orders as a result of design phase coordination, among others) for the owner. BIM applications that nearly force you to work through a building as though it was a set of 2D drawings rather than a 3D facility (which needs to be inhabited, operated, and maintained in a 3D world) seem to be missing this critical component to the success of BIM, and the primary reason that owners are starting to more frequently require BIM. Personally, I have never physically experienced a building through plan, section, or elevation and as such can't understand how a designer would want to design a project in this manner when a 3D simulation model is being created. This is not something to be taken lightly, because as an architect or engineer you are not contracted to create pretty drawings that state it is someone else's problem, but instead you are to produce a coordinated design that will satisfy the functional requirements of the building program, codes, and owner's requirements. Also, if collaborating across offices, make sure to examine the process for sharing data/models as well as communicating design coordination information. Beware of being required to align software versions with all project consultants, which may result in users having to have multiple software versions on their machine at the same time in order to work on more than one project.
Infrastructure... Make sure to examine the system requirements carefully to avoid an unexpected overhaul of hardware in your office. In addition to just the computer hardware look at network bandwidth. I have seen a dual platform firm deploy Revit after doing a small pilot project (project approx. 20% of their normal project size), and as soon as they had a project of normal size they discovered they needed all new hardware and still the software had difficulty handling the complexity and size of the project. Upon bringing a second Revit project into the office the network was nearly crippled for most of the work day, and users had to begin to save to Central 30 minutes before they wanted to leave for the day. This resulted in the company being forced to upgrade their entire network, which combined with the hardware upgrades resulted in hidden costs that were greater than the software licenses (not even quantifying lost productivity into that amount). This experience is not intended to cut down Revit, just to warn you of what they won't tell you until after they have your money, if they tell you at all. Historically, Bentley's federated approach to workspaces and model organization has allowed numerous firms to save substantially by not requiring hardware or network upgrades and I would recommend that be considered in your evaluation.
As a BIM consultant, I work with users every day, and I think that you will see that most of the time despite the fact that I am a Bentley colleague that I will side with the user on topics related to functionality change requests, but at the same time tirelessly respond to user's inquiries with software questions and workflows that make BIM teams more profitable. It is with this experience in mind that I challenge you to look at a project's overall BIM workflow involving not just those that touch the BIM software, but the entire project team. I will tell you that making the transition to BIM is a challenging and potentially expensive one that involves substantial workflow/cultural changes in order to be most successful and maximize your return. Any software vendor that tries to sell a BIM solution without recognizing the need to interoperate with not only other disciplines, but also other vendors is not painting the entire picture for you and you will discover that cumbersome workflows for collaboration along with losses in time and data due to poor interoperability workflows are exponentially more costly with BIM than they are with CAD.
Well despite what this lengthy post might make you believe, I am a professional services consultant and not a marketing or sales guy, but I too often see the marketplace get consumed by the marketing machine of Autodesk that fails to tell the BIM story. I apologize if any comparisons seemed limited to Revit/Bentley that is only because I have limited experience with Archicad as most clients i work with are multi-disciplinary and mandate a BIM suite that includes capabilities for all engineering disciplines. If you would like any additional information regarding AECOsim Building Designer (or any of our products, preferably somewhat related to buildings), or if you would like more information on the BIM process, feel free to send me an email.
Now I will let the rest of the community chime in with their less-biased opinions. ;)
Nice and very informative reply Travis.
I have been a Microstation user for many years and have not found Bentley to be arrogant during that time by any means. There is no other software that I am involved with that gives the users such direct interaction with their programmers and developers. That said, we too are in the process of evaluating BIM systems here at my office. Mind you we are very biased towards Bentley but to be honest there are two major factors holding us back. The lack of parts/content in their BIM package and the lack of help/tutorials. The content is the biggest issue to us by far but hopefully, when AecoSim is fully released, this will not be an issue at all. We are an MEP outfit so the biggest selling point for us is the fact that AecoSim comes with multiple disciplines. Very nice attribute. Good luck in your decision process.
Thanks to everyone for your responses to my original post – it’s great to hear people’s BIM experiences and views.
Travis, seeing that you offered the longest response and the fact that you are a representative of Bentley I will direct my response to you if I may…
Firstly, I agree with you entirely when you discuss BIM as A ‘Collaborative Process’. BIM is a collaborative method of working and not simply a debate about software. This is a very common misconception within the industry. That said, in order for BIM (as a process) to be possible it does require the BIM technology (i.e. software & hardware) to work effectively and this is why such emphasis and discussion revolves around this at the moment. This is why I am currently evaluating all the leading BIM software out there - so that we as a company can try to answer our own internal questions / doubts rather than simply sticking with our existing software provider (Bentley) or listening and falling for the marketing spiel from any of the BIM software providers.
As far as I am concerned the key to BIM is in the letter ‘I’ – ‘Information’ and how this data is linked to entities within the model and how is this information is easily added, interrogated, extracted, and used by the different parties on a project. Every BIM program is capable of building 3D models but ultimately BIM (as a process) falls apart completely if the information contained within the model cannot be exchanged effectively and accurately between platforms. As an aside I saw a webinar slide recently that showed a test project where the same 3D model had incurred information loss and alteration when it was passed between differing platforms – a sort of ‘BIM Chinese whispers’ I suppose which clearly goes to highlight the need for all the key providers to ‘collaborate’ (funny that!) in sorting out interoperability issues. In my opinion BIM will not succeed until the fundamental issue of interoperability is addressed.
In terms of software I accept that all the leading platforms have their relative merits and drawbacks and that there is no perfect platform out there. In fact I am just as aware of the issues with Autodesk (thanks for your feedback Brian J!) as with Bentley. However, it seems from my first-hand experience (as well as the other contributors to this discussion) that Bentley has more than its fair share of drawbacks - and this is leading many in the industry to regard Autodesk as the safer bet out there at the moment.
I must admit I am reassured by your comment about Bentley recognising that there are deficiencies with their software and that they try hard to remedy them. On reflection maybe my comment about Bentley being ‘arrogant’ was a tad too harsh (I had just spent a morning trying to get to grips with Bentley Architecture that day with frustrating progress and rubbish help files!). I suppose what I was trying to communicate was that ever since I started using Microstation 10 years ago I have always felt that Bentley have been lagging behind other CAD software (especially in terms of features and usability) and over my 10 year horizon have come to regard Bentley as complacent and only playing catch-up in the marketplace rather than trying to lead it. I feel that this is still the same with BIM.
Don’t get me wrong I do understand how powerful Bentley’s suite of applications are (in theory) and I do generally understand and agree with the underlying strategic approach with regards to how Bentley develop their software but my fundamental issue is that the interface and tools are so extraordinary complex and clunky (especially when compared to competing software) that it makes it virtually impossible for average users to harness the power of the application. For instance in my office I am probably one of the most technically / IT minded members of staff and even I find Bentley Architecture incredibly difficult to grasp but in comparison I am finding both Archicad and Revit a delight to use (deeper BIM issues aside). I am absolutely adamant that my less technically minded colleagues would struggle enormously with Bentley Architecture and I must stress that usability is a very important issue I will be considering when I present back to my bosses. It is also clear from the other contributions to this discussion that others share my grievances.
With regards to your suggestion about looking at AECOsim BD I must admit I had never heard of it but I did manage to download the Beta version from your website. To be completely honest apart from a revised menu of Structural and MEP tools (which is quite neat but as architects we will never touch) I have observed no real improvement or addressing of the issues I have documented using BA (for example my compound wall problem still occurs in AECOsim BD). If you say this is what we should be using as a benchmark against other BIM vendors then I would be very worried if I was Bentley as even the help information remains incredibly poor and as do the library parts (sharing John K’s concerns). I am hoping that these issues are only because I am using the early beta of AECOsim BD and the imminent full release you mention will address all these issues and more. To be frank though, at the moment I am in complete agreement with both Damon and Dwy.seah – in other words BA and AECOsim BD are completely stagnant and need to be re-written to compete with the likes of Revit, Archicad, EliteCad etc in order to make them far more intuitive and user friendly. As Dwy.seah says these are actually relatively small usability refinements but the problem is that there is just a lot of them!
Personally I think Bentley need to act very fast as I envisage them losing significant market share in the coming years. This is especially true in the UK market at the moment due to the UK government requirement for BIM level 2 by 2016. At the moment UK architecture firms are frantically starting to jump on the BIM bandwagon and unfortunately from Bentley’s perspective the vast majority of them see Revit as the software of choice and BIM standard. This seems to correlate with reports I have heard (and discussed here) where large architectural firms have chosen Revit and employed Autodesk consultants to assist with the transition. My perception is that Autodesk are doing a very good job marketing Revit and this is supported by the fact that BIM conferences that myself and colleagues have attended recently we have not heard or seen one Bentley representative talking about BA or AECOsim!
In terms of size big firms may be able to afford the luxury of run dual platforms (and wait to see how the market plays out) but for smaller firms (such as the one I work for) this is simply not feasible. I have heard quoted the cost of £15k to introduce BIM per staff member (i.e. software license, training etc) and there is simply no way firms like mine could justify spending £30k per seat. Therefore, the decision of software is actually crucial for us and if Bentley’s are perceived to not respond to the issues raised here then I forecast that they will suffer quite badly in the long run.
So, in some sort of conclusion I understand Bentley’s underlying strategy to BIM and I have a lot of confidence in it. Whilst the single model concept (Archicad & Revit) makes initial sense I can see the pitfalls with this strategy as project models grow in size and complexity and across disciplines. As such I can appreciate just how powerful the federated approach could be in theory but I am utterly frustrated by the unintuitive and clunky interface and tools which hinder this from being a reality. Therefore, what I would wish for is all your BA and AECOsim product managers actually down-tools for a week and download the free trials of Archicad and Revit just to see just how intuitive the interface and toolsets are – for this is what I observe BIM users are coming to expect as a benchmark. In tandem the help sections need to be fundamentally addressed with better content. For instance both Autodesk and Graphisoft have YouTube channels with learning videos and the only Bentley Architecture videos I have been able to find online were produced by a Lawrence Eaton – an employee who left Bentley two years ago!
I seriously hope Bentley will take on board all the concerns I have discussed above because I if Bentley Architecture or AECOsim BD had the same level of accessibility and intuitive toolsets as competing BIM software then I am certain Bentley would be leading the field in every aspect and we would most certainly not even be thinking about switching software provider.
Well stated .... your comments reflect much of my feeling about the situation. (I'm also based in the UK, ... for the record)
I got so fed up with BA I dropped it about a year ago and will wait and see just how 'usable' in real world production the new ABD really is when it comes out. My 'trials' (like mentioned in a couple of the other posts) kept leading me to the conclusion that what additional features/benefits I might have been getting out of BA where outweighed by the overhead in time and effort trying to get it to work. I wasn't seeing any real-world productivity benefits at all. As mentioned, BIM is not just about 3D modelling software, ...... there's a whole lot of other 'non CAD app' issues to deal with. For the time being I'm sticking with Microstation (which can still be used for BIM!) and am putting my time and effort in to other aspects of the AEC process rather than wasting time/banging my head with the clunkiness/glitches/poor dataset/scatter gun approach of BA
I can only suggest in relation to your evaluation of BIM software that you could put to your bosses/powers that be that in fact they would probably be better of not being 'panicked' in to buying ANY so called BIM software (BA or Revit) for the time being as they all have drawbacks and in real-world use often don't offer the so called productivity increases that the software companies hype would like to suggest. Tell them the market is not 'mature enough' right now and they shouldn't be wasting there time/money on products that aren't quite frankly 'doing what it says on the tin'. I must stress again, ..... BIM, .... there's much to be done in ways that have nothing to do with getting some new 'top of the range' BIM modelling package: Drawing Registers, updating your import/export procedures, linking Microstation to SketchUP/Viz processes, .... how developed is your Batch Printing? Compiling Spec documents, Schedules (Tags anyone?), plenty of very usable clash detection can be done in 2D (yes most definitely) and a 'regular' 3D model (just plain solids), ..... it's called using your own 2 eyes and thinking about it (software vendors please take note) ...... beats any of these so called Clash Detection software things any time ..... no extra software costing thousands required!, ..... I could go on.
Anyway ..... good luck with it
Freelance AEC CAD/BIM Technician ..... (& ex Low Carbon Consultant, ..... because they weren't that bothered!)
AECOSim SS6, Windows 7 Pro, 64 bit, HP Z600 3Ghz, 12Gb RAM, ATI R9 290 4Gb, ect,
I didn't forget about this post, I have just been on the road the last three weeks and won't be back in the office until Monday. Please do not think that I am dodging the thread. I do think the conversation is great and I do want to respond to some of comments/concerns with some of my observations working with numerous firms of various sizes and complexities over the last couple years.... I hope to be able to have time to respond on Monday... this was just to keep the conversation fresh.
No worries at all. I look forward to hearing your views / feedback on what has been discussed here since your last post in addition to what Bentley are looking to do about it.
Thanks for the great feedback and I totally agree with you. At the moment I am advising my bosses to sit tight with Microstation and not fall for the ‘BIM panic’ out there because, as you say, the market is just not mature enough. Our research / this debate have clearly revealed that there is still a shed-load more work for the BIM software providers to resolve before any of them can truly state their product ‘does what it says on the tin’ and interoperability is also absolutely key in this regard.
That said, out of all of the providers I do believe Bentley has a greater strategic understanding and approach when it comes to BIM but in my honest opinion they will never get there if they don’t respond to users’ comments and drastically improve the UI, tools, datasets etc.
Thanks for your comments. Your views and experiences seem to match my own – especially in that Bentley over the past decade seem to have lost ground when it comes to the user interface and the ability to produce decent 2D drawings and graphics. For me the same is true with the 3D modelling, visualisation, and animation side of things – the tools are complex and unintuitive, the process slow, and the outputs not worth the effort. As such I still use 3ds Max or SketchUp/VRay if I need to get a fast and consistent good looking visual (or lighting analysis) done with minimal effort and within budget.
With regards to your point about looking towards the universities and seeing what students are doing I think this is an important point within reason. In all my years of university study not one of my fellow architecture students used Microstation for their work. I did know some that had tried but they had given up in favour of Autocad, Archicad and Vectorworks – the reasons being due to MS’s clunky interface and poor quality learning support available. However, whilst much student work is very impressive to look at, and university is a great place to push boundaries and test ideas, I personally disagree with you and don’t think we should pay that much attention to what students are doing. In my opinion (and this is based on my first hand experience) many students these days are absolutely brilliant at producing beautiful and seductive ethereal projects but they lack the basic knowledge and understanding of how buildings go together in reality or how to work collaboratively with other disciplines. Much of architectural education seems to be in a bubble where seductive imagery and Photoshop skills are placed on a far higher pedestal than the knowledge and skills required to produce attractive, contextual, and commercially viable buildings and I think these revered award winning examples prove my point. For me architectural education needs to be completely overhauled to reflect the real-world landscape that is the construction industry – and I feel the collaborative process of the BIM methodology should be at the heart of this.
As for your final point about comparing BIM software I think you are missing the point. Firstly, the real issue is not just about how easy it is to model in each software and get a decent drawn output (don’t get me wrong this is important) but the real issue is how do these different platforms perform in a truly collaborative way when working across disciplines. Secondly, I’m afraid there’s also no way my practice would just rely on my personal experiences of trying to draw my house in each software. My current understanding has been informed by undertaking just such an exercise in each software but unfortunately my company is going to require a lot more rigorous comparison and performance / market data when they come to make this important investment decision about which BIM software to go with.
How much more marketing data do you need ? There are today in the UK 49 listings for Firms Requiring Revit users in Greater London alone and 1 for Bentley Architecture, . . . . . .Am I doing myself in by not converting to Revit I wonder ???
uso con molto profitto e soddisfazione BA. Ho avuto in studio chi usa Archicad: bel software. Ho utilizzato Revit: software carino ma inutilizzabile. A questo punto vorrei conoscere: come viene utilizzato BA da parte delgli utilizzatori che scrivono, per che scopo. per quale tipo di outpup? Qual'è il flusso delle informazioni, come vengono inserite ed utilizzate dallo sketch al dettaglio esecutivo?
Every month or so we have the same debate on Bentley forums when it should be held over at Autodesk.
When it comes to Archicad and copycat Revit you don't need to be a brain surgeon to realize the three words - Manipulation, Data Crunch and Innovation - lets forget about clamoring bureaucracy for a moment and look how restrictive this software is , if the debate was about Rhino BIM or Grasshopper I would look at the pros and cons and say that they have more to do with the future than their ability to grind it out , these programs occupy an area of 50 sq. meters for 200MB in one unmovable file whilst Bentley software could encompass the world and recreate every single building on it on one computer.
Bentley bashing is one thing , forgetting what it can do compared to other software is another.
This is a valid point you make arkitron - But I am starting to think that these shortcomings can be overlooked when confronted with the hard and un-user friendly tools we have in BA. It is just something you will need to "workaround" if you adopt Archicad/Revit.
BA and the coined term "workaround" is something that BA seems to be embedded with.
I find I use this term alot when I am teaching users how to create models and drawings in BA with just about every tool I use in BA.
Intresting that you bring up Rhino. We have an architect who recently joined our ranks a few months ago and he says Rhino is the bees knees and we should be investing in this rather than PW+BA.
Maybe this is someone Bentley should be lookiing into if you think there are obvious good features in this package.
BA Forms Tool is the quickest way of thrashing any building out ,something no other program has , the Mesh Tools are a bit lacking although one thing you might not know is that lofting in Rhino is limited to 2 rails whilst Mstn. can use an unlimited amount of profiles and rails just by pressing the ctrl button.
I was at school with Zaha and Rem and I know how they think - the only thing they touch is either a pencil or microphone , they have Rhino Grasshopper guys to configure the sketches but we have Generative Components.
Even the BA solid feature modelling is workable- there is a problem with thicken solids on some meshes but you can offset them just as Rhino does - it might be hard to emulate T-Splines in BA and that is why Autodesk bought it and cut off the link to Solid Works - something Bentley would never do.
Dgn and 3dm get along quite nicely but Rhino is just an A5 piece of paper compared to BA's huge canvas.
Well done Arkitron. Some real perspective. What amazes me when this topic rears it’s ugly head every few months are the Rhino, Revit, Archicad experts who profess to know everything and I just spend a lot of time shaking my head. Your point “whilst Bentley software could encompass the world and recreate every single building on it on one computer.” best sums up where we are right now.
Damon. Perhaps you should move over to Rhino. It’s a surface modeller and who needs solids anymore any way. The work-arounds one needs to adopt in Revit to get a project out are criminal so the odd work-around in BA is acceptable in my book. Just pop over to the Autodesk forums - every second thread is marked with the word “workaround”. I often forget about the BA interface you so vividly attack - probably because I moved all the tools around years ago to where I thought they were best suited. oh that’ right I can customize my interface. How wonderful is that? Yeah sure the developers should have designed to better and I’m an architect so why would I want to customize an interface and all that but really, do you want to be told how to have your screen layout? Not in my book. AECOsim is coming and that issue seems to be addressed - I don’ think I will need to move any buttons around now. I remember 10 years ago when the Bentley interface smashed anything that Autodesk could throw up. Then Autodesk put in a mammoth effort to clean up its act. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was next on Bentley’ hit list. If you look at any software out there, they typically stick with the same interface for 5, 6, 7 years. I remember being engrossed in Revit about the time the ribbon bar interface started to evolve. I was appalled and so were most other users. To be honest I’m still appalled that a CAD/BIM/Graphics/etc software would use a ribbon bar. It may look pretty but it’s terrible to use day in day out. And whilst I’m on it so many things in Revit upset me off no end. The move tool. It’s an extra button click to get started and once you finish the tool defaults back to neutral - so I go and select the tool again. Just plain awful. And 3D navigation - please - just atrocious.
Someone mentioned earlier that Bentley was hard to model in. Please. If it was any easier it would be called sketch up. Accudraw - use it - there is nothing you can’t model using Accudraw.
Now for the finale - The best one of all. Model your house over a weekend. Now I’ve heard it all as I pick myself up off the floor. Please spare me. How can a commercial architect judge the competency of a software by modelling their house. Where are the deadlines, where are the other members of staff who participate in the design, where is the network that hits the wall at 4pm when the backup kicks in, where is backup system, restoring your 500Mb revit file after it corrupted for the 5th time this week because worksharing decided not to play ball, where are the designer designed components going through design options. So many questions throw itself up here and really at the money end of the business it’s not about what you can knock up, with a beer in hand, at home on the weekend.