The 2020 release of SYNCHRO 4D includes the following desktop products:
SYNCHRO 4D 2020 (v6.3) release introduces SYNCHRO 4D Pro as a new desktop product that brings more value to planners, schedulers and BIM/ VDC experts by providing an integrated cloud solution for more collaborative and affordable 4D planning, scheduling and visualization.
In addition to all Pro’s existing functionalities, SYNCHRO 4D Pro enables 4D model and project data storage in SYNCHRO Control, your construction project context in the cloud. The 4D model is more accessible than ever. Users can author the 4D construction model through SYNCHRO 4D Pro, review the model and 4D sequence playback using just a web browser (no install required), and perform model-based progress updates through a mobile app with impressive performance. SYNCHRO 4D Pro also includes Iray at no extra cost. SYNCHRO 4D Pro requires a SYNCHRO 4D Visa under the Construction Entitlement, more details can be found in Sales/ Services FAQ.
Under the hood of the 4D model in SYNCHRO Control is a wide breadth of Bentley’s iModel/ iTwins technology, and the revolutionized SYNCHRO Workgroup Project and Link API logic. SYNCHRO Workgroup Project and Link now become an integral part of SYNCHRO Control cloud technology and are no longer commercial products that require licensing and costs. Access to SYNCHRO Control (for one user) and the ability to cloud-host projects for collaboration is included with a 4D Pro seat. Users can set-up multiple cloud-hosted projects – there is no longer a per-project cost for collaboration (as there previously was for SWP)
Meanwhile, SYNCHRO Pro continues as the 4D market leading desktop application for standalone and file-based 4D Planning, Scheduling and Visualization. Iray can be added at extra cost.
Find out a quick summary below and more from SYNCHRO 4D Pro Release Notes
Product and Version
Support standalone file?
SYNCHRO Pro v6.2
SYNCHRO Workgroup Project (SWP) only, $6,995 extra per project
SYNCHRO Pro v6.3
SYNCHRO 4D Pro v6.3
SYNCHRO Control only, included
See also: SYNCHRO 4D 2020.1 Release Announcement
For v6.3, choose 4D Pro in order to collaborate a cloud-hosted 4D model project. This allows your entire project team to access the same 4D Construction Digital twin from SYNCHRO 4D Pro (desktop), SYNCHRO Control (web) and SYNCHRO Field (mobile).
Choose SYNCHRO Pro v6.3 if you only require a standalone. sp file-based workflow with NO possibility for multi-user collaborating, web-based data management, or mobile-based field updating. To help guide your decision-making, consider the following two workflows:
SYNCHRO 4D Pro
For v6.3, 4D Pro entails setting up the 4D project within SYNCHRO Control with the 4D Scheduling service enabled. This new cloud technology backed by Bentley iModel and iTwin services enables multi-user desktop, web and mobile access to the same 4D model. A typical user’s journey is described as follows:
The user mentioned in the above user journey can be one single user or multiple users with different functions with access to different products in the SYNCHRO Portfolio.
Even with 4D Pro, if user prefers not to host in the cloud for some projects, they can continue with their traditional file-based workflow to work on their 4D model using 4D Pro. In this case, user launches 4D Pro on desktop, creates the 4D model, saves as an .sp file.
A SYNCHRO Pro user continues with the typical user workflow with a standalone file. One Pro user can work on an .sp file at a time. To share with another person for edits, review and comments you must stop work on the .sp file, save and send it to them. SYNCHRO Pro standalone is best if your company is a small operation with little or no need to collaborate on projects.
Still Want to use the SYNCHRO Workgroup Project technology, or host on-premise? You can still use SYNCHRO Pro v6.2 with SYNCHRO Workgroup Project v6.2. In this case, don’t upgrade to v6.3.
Hosting in SYNCHRO Control provides 4D Construction Project Context with desktop/ web/ mobile access and increases visibility of your 4D model and work plan
More affordable and reduce unnecessary product licensing and cost
See also SYNCHRO 4D 2020.1 Release Announcement
If you are an existing Pro 2019.2 (v6.2) user with SYNCHRO Pro entitlement, using SYNCHRO Pro with a standalone file-based workflow (.sp) file, go to Bentley Software Downloads, download and install SYNCHRO Pro 2020 (v6.3) to upgrade.
If you are an existing Pro 2019.2 (v6.2) user with a SYNCHRO Pro entitlement, using SYNCHRO Pro with a SYNCHRO Workgroup Project (SWP v6.2), we recommend staying on this version. We do NOT recommend mid-project upgrade from 6.2 to 6.3 if the project is cloud hosted. This introduces complications in many aspects including the conversion from old tech to new tech and data schema, etc.
You can still leverage the web viewing technology in Control by uploading an .sp file as a 4D Snapshot. For details about SYNCHRO Workgroup Project (SWP) v6.2 and prior, refer to the section SYNCHRO Workgroup Project (v6.2) Support and Migration.
If you are an existing Pro 2019.2 (v6.2) user and want to upgrade to 4D Pro 2020 (v6.3), you can contact your Account Manager at Bentley, who will prepare the paperwork for the required contract changes to upgrade to SYNCHRO 4D Entitlement which grants you access to SYNCHRO 4D Pro (v6.3).
If you are an existing 4D Pro 2019.2 (v6.2) user with a SYNCHRO 4D Entitlement or SYNCHRO 4D Pro Practitioner license and want to upgrade to 4D Pro 2020 (v6.3), go to Bentley Software Downloads, download and install SYNCHRO 4D Pro 2020 (v6.3) to upgrade.
It is not recommended installing both Pro and 4D Pro v6.3 on the same machine even if in some rare case you have access to both products (when user is entitled with both SYNCHRO 4D Visa and SYNCHRO Pro Visa). For v6.3, SYNCHRO 4D Pro includes the integration with Control 4D Cloud Project and Iray, in addition to all SYNCHRO Pro’s functionalities. Therefore, there is really no need for having both 4D Pro and Pro v6.3 installed on the same machine.
If you must use both products, it is likely because you need to support one SYNCHRO Workgroup Project (v6.2) using SYNCHRO Pro v6.2 or prior, and another Control project using SYNCHRO 4D Pro v6.3. However, in this case you will be installing the two products with different versions on the same machine now that this is possible.
It is our recommendation NOT to install two products with different versions, this was never possible in the past as SYNCHRO Pro or SYNCHRO 4D Pro were and are not forward compatible (.sp file saved in a more recent version cannot be opened in an older version).
SYNCHRO 4D Pro includes the integration with Control 4D Cloud Project and Iray, in addition to all SYNCHRO Pro’s functionalities.
The best practice would be not mixing 4D Pro and Pro and avoid installing both products on the same machine no matter what version these two products are.
If you must install 4D Pro and Pro on the same machine, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and refer to "If I use Pro and 4D Pro in the same timeframe, how am I charged?" (below) to understand potential cost implications.
For v6.3, we recommend installing only Pro or 4D Pro on user’s machine as 4D Pro includes all Pro’s functionalities. Best practices and our recommendations are provided in Can I install both products, 4D Pro and Pro, on my machine? Can I mix the two on a project (with or without Iray)?
If you have consulted the SYNCHRO team and still decide to install both products with or without different versions, here are some cost implications as you will be using both products, SYNCHRO Pro, and SYNCHRO 4D Pro.
Construction entitlement contains visas (4D, Control, Field, AWP), Visas contain individual products. (IDs for Visas are different than IDs for products.).
For CSS - organization should have Construction entitlement. This allows them access to any of the SYNCHRO visas (and thus products). They are only charged for the highest-level visa that each user uses during the quarter.
With SYNCHRO 4D Pro being introduced as a new product (3035) in v6.3, it is possible user can use SYNCHRO Pro v6.2 and SYNCHRO 4D Pro v6.3 and have them installed on the same machine machine. As long as the iModel plugin is NOT turned off in SYNCHRO Pro v6.2 AND user does not somehow have access to 2807 entitlement, user will not be double charged as SYNCHRO Pro v6.2 looks for 3035 when the iModel plugin is enabled.
But if user is using SYNCHRO Pro v6.1 and SYNCHRO 4D Pro v6.3 and has them both installed on the same machine- and this is possible when user has both 4D Visa and 2807 entitlements. In this case, user WILL be charged for both products as SYNCHRO Pro v6.1 does not check for 3035.
For an organization that has Construction Entitlement and has access to 4D Visa (which they should unless the admin blocks their access specifically), Account Manager should NOT grant the same organization access to 2807 which is specifically for SYNCHRO Pro only.
Additional instructions for Account Manager can be found in Sales/ Services FAQ.
If 4D Pro is used with a Control project (Control 4D Cloud Project), there are two methods bringing in the 3D Models. The first method is the traditional method (import 3D, IFC, .spx, etc.) that SYNCHRO Pro users are familiar with. The second method is to use iTwin Connections in the cloud or via the iTwin Synchronizer app to bridge all 3D models into a centralized iModel.
Method 1: Traditional 3D imports in 4D Pro.
Once user sets up an iModel within a Control project and enables 4D Scheduling service. 4D Pro user opens a Control project and stays connected, user can go to File> Import> 3D to import CAD files, or other 3D import methods such as IFC or .spx within 4D Pro. Any imported 3D models will be directly saved in the iModel within Control 4D Cloud project, so as the imported schedule data.
Method 2: Create iModel by using Bentley iModel bridges through desktop or web
If you are familiar with Bentley iModel bridge workflow, or are interested to leverage the iModel technology, you can use one of the workflows below to bridge into iModel. After the iModel is created in a Control project with 4D Scheduling service enabled:
Refer to this list of Supported Applications and File Formats
No matter which method you decide to use for your project, all subsequent synchronization of models will need to follow the initial setup. i.e. if Method 1 is used, all subsequent imports and synchronization will need to be performed within 4D Pro using the traditional 3D imports in 4D Pro’s UI. If Method 2 is used, all subsequent imports and Synchronizations need to be performed using the iTwin Synchronizer or Instant-on iModel bridges.
To bring Schedule data in, no matter whether it is cloud hosted or not, you will need to use the File> Import> Schedule within the application.
For more detailed information, see Choosing between SYNCHRO 4D Pro importers and iModel Connections to add 3D models
We understand the excitement that user may want to view the 4D model through a Control project using their browser, even though they may not be able to upgrade their current project to v6.3.
Playback 4D model by is available to try by uploading an .sp file to a Control demo project with three simple steps:
See Reviewing the 4D Project in SYNCHRO Control for more details on 4D playback
We are advancing the SYNCHRO workflows from the legacy products over to SYNCHRO 4D, Control & Field. We will continue to support the legacy products and follow Bentley’s Legacy Support Policy (releases 6.2 and older).
If you are currently running SYNCHRO Workgroup Project (v6.2 and prior) on an on-going construction project, we recommend staying on the current version for the period of the project or only upgrade to the latest SWP (currently v220.127.116.11). This is because the new cloud technology used by SYNCHRO Control is not fully compatible with the previous SWP technology (v6.2) and we do not recommend mid-project upgrade.
SYNCHRO 4D 2020 release (v6.3) includes evolution of SWP and Link logic into SYNCHRO Control so that 4D model is more accessible than ever, through desktop, web and mobile. This increases collaboration and visibility of the 4D model. SYNCHRO Workgroup Project and Link have fulfilled their journey as commercial products by 2019.2 (v18.104.22.168) as the last major release for both products. Under the hood of SYNCHRO Control, you will notice the SYNCHRO Workgroup Project (SWP) and Link logic and the extensive workflows and functionalities brought by them to users.
As SYNCHRO Control is completely a cloud solution, we understand some users and organizations may still be interested to host on-premise or use the legacy SYNCHRO Workgroup Project technology, you will still have the choice to use v6.2 SYNCHRO Pro, SYNCHRO Workgroup Project, etc.
The most recent SYNCHRO Workgroup Project is the 2019.2 hotfix (v22.214.171.124). As usual, SYNCHRO Pro/ Scheduler/ Viewer, SYNCHRO Workgroup Project are required to be on the same version (v126.96.36.199) to work with each other. Please refer to What is Bentley’s plan for SYNCHRO Workgroup Project (v6.2 and earlier) and projects hosted on-premise? To find out our plan for SYNCHRO Workgroup Project (V6.2 and earlier).
While we introduce SYNCHRO 4D Pro and new Control 4D project, it means that SYNCHRO Workgroup Project and Link have fulfilled their journey as commercial products by 2019.2 (v188.8.131.52) as the last major release for both products.
We will maintain the existing 2019.2 (v184.108.40.206) and provide fixes if there is any major defect to support on-going projects, whether these projects are hosted on-prem or hosted in the cloud through SYNCHRO Portal. The most recent SYNCHRO Workgroup Project is the 2019.2 hotfix (v220.127.116.11). As usual, SYNCHRO Pro/ Scheduler/ Viewer, SYNCHRO Workgroup Project are required to be on the same version (v18.104.22.168) to work with each other.
However existing functionalities included in SYNCHRO 2019.2 (v22.214.171.124) products will not be advanced further with any new features, major and minor enhancements.
We will also help existing users who are interested to migrate to new technology and Control 4D Cloud service. We are dedicated investing our dev efforts in future technology by providing more collaborative and accessible 4D projects.
We recommend all existing SYNCHRO Workgroup Projects (v126.96.36.199) stay in the current version until the end of the project.
We understand the desire for using Control to playback 4D in the web browser. Refer to "Can I still playback 4D model in Control (web) if I cannot upgrade my project to 4D Pro v6.3 soon?" (above) to find out more details.
If you want to upgrade SYNCHRO Workgroup Project (v188.8.131.52) to a Control 4D project, please contact email@example.com so we can provide our advice.
Assuming user is supporting one project that’s hosted on SWP (v6.2 and prior) and another project that’s hosted on Control. Although it is not recommended due to the concern of overwriting an .sp with a more recent version as SYNCHRO Pro and SYNCHRO 4D Pro are not forward compatible, it is possible to use SYNCHRO Pro for the SWP (v6.2 and prior), and 4D Pro (v6.3) for Control cloud hosted 4D. It is possible to install both products in different versions on the same computer.
However, since SYNCHRO 4D Pro and SYNCHRO Pro are two products and user may be charged for both products. Please refer to If I use Pro and 4D Pro in the same timeframe, how am I charged? to understand cost implications.
For a brief overview: SYNCHRO 4D 2020.1 Release Announcement
See the full release notes here
To learn about the new workflow, see: Collaborating on a cloud-hosted 4D project