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Bentley Content Strategy (including RFA interpreter)

By now, many of you have heard about our exciting announcements at the Bentley LEARNing Conference relating to our content strategy. For those of you who were not there, here is an overview of what we announced. Hopefully it will answer some of your questions and leave you as excited about them as we are.

 Our content strategy fits into three segments with each segment corresponding with a product currently under development. While different product groups are developing individual segments, all three are collaborating so these three segments will coalesce into a unified “Bentley” parametric solution for parametric content creation, management and reuse:

  1. 1.       Creating Content  (Parametric Content Modeler)
  2. 2.       Content Repository and Management  (Content Management Service)
  3. 3.       Utilizing Existing Manufacturers’ Content (RFA Interpreter)   

The Bentley Parametric Content Modeler which allows you to create parametric content for DGN based projects. This product will be a robust parametric content modeler with the emphasis on ease-of-use. It will supersede products such as Parametric Content Studio (PCS) and Parametric Frame Builder (PFB)

The Bentley Content Management Service (integrated with Bentley Connect) allows your company to share content among your offices and for manufacturers to share content with you.

 Lastly, the RFA Interpreter will enable you to use parametric content in RFA format that is readily available from manufacturers on the internet, extending Bentley’s interoperability even further. What is RFA?  An RFA is Revit’s file format for storing their parametric families (parametric components) and are similar to AECOsim's PAZ files for parametric components.

Since a majority of the RFA content is Building Information Modeling centric, AECOsim Building Designer (SELECTseries 5) will be where this RFA Interpreter is currently being applied and was demonstrated at the Bentley LEARNing conference.  We expect to begin Beta Testing of this exciting new addition to AECOsim Building Designer in July 2013 and “NO”, it does not require a copy of Revit or a specialized cloud service to use the RFA Interpreter. Stay tuned for more details!!

The remaining portion of this post is dedicated to brief overview of what the RFA interpreter, what it WILL do, what it WILL NOT do, and how it will work:

 The RFA Interpreter in AECOsim Building Designer WILL allow the RFA to:

    • Access and select the types defined within the RFA
    • Retain its native parametric behaviors and properties, which will be exercisable in AECOsim Building Designer (such as lengths and angles)
    • Retain its business properties (Such as manufacturer, catalog number, and fire rating)
    • Retain its perforator, to allow content to cut openings (such as doors and windows)
    • Retain its mechanical & plumbing connection points (for air handlers, plumbing fixtures, etc.)
    • Retain its 2D plan and elevation symbols
    • Register itself with the DataGroup Catalog, mapping its business and parametric properties to counterparts in AECOsim Building Designer
    • Map RFA attributes to ABD symbology and/or Part & Family
    • Behave like a native ABD element (similar to BXF or PAZ)
    • Support RFA content versions 2009-2014

The RFA interpreter in AECOsim Building Designer WILL NOT support:

    • Revit system types (walls, curtain wall, stairs, etc..)
    • 2D only RFAs (title blocks tags, profiles, etc..)
    • Embedded formats (DWG, SKP, etc. placed inside the RFA)
    • Changing the original RFA definition     

The process of reading that RFA content is broken into two stages: (1) Import the data from the RFAs into the DataGroup catalog and (2) Place the RFAs into your project.

In step 1, a Wizard helps you map the RFA category, properties, and object styles to the equivalent AECOsim Building Designer category, properties, and Parts & Families. Each Type that is defined in the RFA becomes a DataGroup Catalog Entry. After going through this mapping process, the RFAs will look, act, and report similarly to how the existing AECOsim Building Designer content does.

In step 2, you will use the existing AECOsim Building Designer tools to place the RFAs. The Place Door tool will place RFA-based doors. Place User Defined will place most architectural furniture and equipment. Currently, a new Place Mechanical tool will place RFA-based air handling units, plumbing equipment, and other mechanical and plumbing content.

We have attached a linked to a video, highlighting the RFA interpreter using RFA content within AECOsim Building Designer.

Kind Regards,

- Jeff Ashley & Tom Waltz 

What is presented in this forum posting by Bentley is not intended to be a promise or guarantee of future delivery of products, services of features but merely reflect our current plans or development activities, which may change.

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