I am posting this question as a result of several discussions I had recently with customers. I am aware it's not a representative pattern, because I typically serve smaller companies and individuals, but in my opinion the topic is important generally.
My customers use BM (or more often BMPV because of very good price offer in the past) as drawing tool only, with spatial data support. BM was often used because INSPIRE and other data are important, and even when not well supported in V8i versions (WFS, WMTS, local formats...), it was still better than in plain MicroStation. In V8i, it works quite fine, because it's "like MicroStation", so experience and setting can be shared easily and it allows to access data in ad-hoc style and to create output on top of them.
When talking about "BM as GIS", it's much worse. Right now I have only one customer who use BM as GIS tool, all other left Bentley platform towards to competitive (better supported with more advanced functionality).
All these users are now evaluating a migration to CONNECT Edition. They are usually have mixed environments with MicroStation, PowerDraft or civil products. Sometimes competitive tools like AutoCAD or ArcGIS are also used in parallel. The question is: What is the future and directions of OpenCities Map? Does make it sense to move to CE platform, or to plain MicroStation / PowerDraft, or to some competitive platform?
I must admit, that I have had no clear answer or recommendation for them. And I realized I have no idea what OCM product line should be used for, what are development aim, targeted areas and workflows and competitive strengths. Whereas I see priorities and quite clear directions for products like MicroStation (the platform in general), OpenRoads Designer or GenerativeComponents, because there are active discussions, webinars, SIG sessions etc. available, OCM world looks more like "we gave up".
It is a bit complicated to talk about GIS today:
So, what is OCM expected to be?
So, what is unique feature of BM and what is its development priority?
Maybe it's 3D GIS, but it's something very specific, not interesting for 99% of users. Which does not mean it's wrong, because when old users will be lost, new ones can be found. But now, what users tell me, this platform cannot be trusted as stable for such expensive decision like the migration. Even when the migration to competitive platform is typically quite expensive (data conversion, users training etc.), in long term perspective it seems to be cheaper, because: directions are known, the solutions are well supported locally, there are companies available to develop local specific tools and there are best practices how to go for web, which is crucial.
So, end of whining. May I ask for some insight what is the future? When the current surviving mode will change to "we are on edge, these features are breaking news and we are able to offer bigger value than our competitors, including supporting local regulations and specifics"?
thank you for your straight questions, unfortunatelly there's no satisfactory answer at all. I thought there's no one else complaining about Bentleys marketing strategy for Bentley Map.
We're one of the few customers that are using BM as GIS or for GIS data maintenance. Therefore we were using ProjectWise to manage our DesignFiles with the Geospatial Connector for Oracle as query and post-back interface. That was nice since once configured it's an easy way to get data from spatial database into DGN and get it posted back.
Now we have to migrate to OpenCities Map CE but there is no server-based method to get this task done anymore. Yes, we could use Interoperability Manager inside OpenCities Map but that's a client-based database query that requires more administrative effort (e.g. we need Oracle Clients). In my opinion it's outdated and not really performant on large datasets. Sadly we were wating for the missing CE components for Connector for Oracle and recently Bentley support dropped incidentally that this product will not be developed and supported anymore. And no one may give us any alternative interface (beside Interop Manager which is really demanding for end users).
So we're forced to make the decision upon OpenCities Map and redesign our workflows or searching alternatives. But what'll be the benefit switching to OpenCities Map?