Using the freeware application Sync1, it's possible to convert numerical Shapefile properties upon import.
In this example, the default import of a sample Shapefile shows the following attributes: block_id, FID (turned off for import), shape_area (sq ft) and shape_len (US ft). When imported, Bentley Map adds the Geometry_Area (sq m) and Geometry_Perimeter (m) properties.
For learning purposes, a new Acres property is added and its value is derived from the existing shape_area property during the import process.
To do this, a new feature is created in a geospatial project and properties are added to correspond with those found in the Shapefile. In addition to those, a new property named Acres is added and the Initial Values for the Editing key is set to:
Value Type = cexpression
Value = [Parcels.Area] * [0.0000229568411] Where 0.0000229568411 is the conversion factor for square feet to acres. If your properties represent different units, substitute the correct conversion factor here.
Without the Sync1 applicaiton, the Editing key is only applied when performing the Bentley Map EDIT FEATURE command. This also means that MicroStation commands such as MODIFY ELEMENT or MOVE ELEMENT, as well as Maps import routines do not trigger the Editing initial value key.
To auto-load Sync1, define MS_GEOINTCMD = MDL LOAD SYNC1 in the workspace Macro node. This will enable the Editing initial value key to be applied when performing an import or when using MicroStation commands such as MODIFY ELEMENT. Without Sync1 loaded, only feature changes altered by Bentley Map's EDIT FEATURE COMMAND are invoked.
During the import process, the shape_area is remapped to Area which will apply the formula above.
Comparing the imported results to the values of Measure Area confirms that the Editing initial values were applied.
A sample XML and files are provided for your learning.
Import with Sync1.zip