Model backward / forward compatibility

Applies To 
Product(s): WaterGEMS, WaterCAD, HAMMER, StormCAD, SewerCAD, CivilStorm, SewerGEMS, PondPack
Version(s): All
Area:  Modeling
Original Author: Dan Iannicelli, Bentley Technical Support Group

Problem

Can a model be saved down or back to an older version?

How can I send my model to a user who has an older version? Can it be "saved down"?

Background

The following error may occur when attempting to open a file saved in a newer version (or one of the errors in this article):

"The model you are trying to open was saved in a newer version and cannot be opened in this version."

Solution

Currently, a model cannot be saved 'down' and most versions are not forward compatible. Meaning, you generally are not able to open a model that is saved in a newer (forward) version. For example, if you've created and saved a model in WaterGEMS V8i SELECTSeries 6, a user with an earlier version of will not be able to open it. Generally speaking, "major" new releases introduce a "schema" update whereby older versions cannot open the model, whereas "minor" releases are typically compatible with one another. A "major" release has a version number whose second or third group of digits increase, whereas a "minor" release only changes the number in the last group of digits. For example a model saved in 08.11.06.113 can be opened in 08.11.06.58, but not in version 08.11.05.61.

To find the version that the model file was saved in, see: How to find the version a model was created in and last saved in

New major versions of the programs have introduced many new element types and features, which could not be interpreted by an older version. Another reason is that the structure of the database files used to store model data (the 'schema') changes between major versions to accommodate improvements and new features. The older versions cannot interpret the new database format.

Note: OpenFlows products are however backward compatible. Meaning, you can open a model that is saved in an earlier (backward) version.

Below are the options available to resolving this issue.

Option 1: Upgrade

The recommended solution is to upgrade to the latest version of the software, or at least the version used to modify the model you want to open.

Downloading OpenFlows / Hydraulics and Hydrology Software

Option 2: Export to EPANET (Water) or EPA SWMM / LandXML (Storm and Sewer)

If the user is not able to upgrade to your version, the best workaround for the Water products (HAMMER, WaterCAD, & WaterGEMS) would be to export the model to the standard EPANET format (File > Export > EPANET). This format can be opened in most older versions (File > Import > EPANET). For example in older v8i versions, you can import EPANET via File > Import > Network. Note that there are limitations with this method such as only being able to export one scenario, and other items described in this wiki article .

The best workaround for SewerGEMS and CivilStorm would be to export the model to the EPA SWMM format (File > Export > SWMM v5). After that the SWMM file can then be opened by most older version of the software (File > Import > SWMM V5). As with the EPANET for the water products, you may also run into some limitations or have the potential to lose some information in the process of the export/import. In SewerCAD and StormCAD, you can export the model to the LandXML format (File > Export > LandXML) and import the LandXML file into the older version of SewerCAD or StormCAD.

Option 3: Export to Shapefiles

Another workaround would be to export all elements in your model to shapefiles and then import those shapefiles with the older version of the software using ModelBuilder. 

The first thing you need to do if you're using this method would be to make sure all your FlexTables have all the information you input for the properties of each element and then export each element to Shapefiles. Export your elements to Shapefiles is described in the following wiki:

Converting your model elements to Shapefiles

After you do this you would need to use the ModelBuilder tool in the older version of the software (Tools > ModelBuilder) to import all those elements back in. Using ModelBuilder to construct a network is described in this wiki found below and there is also information in our help documentation on how to use ModelBuilder:

Building and updating a model using ModelBuilder

This method can take some time to work through. It will assure the data is imported accurately. However, each scenario will need to be done separately.

See Also

"Unsupported dataset type schema" error or "Object reference" error when opening a model

"Unexpected drawing version..." error when opening model

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