Sharing Engineering Library data with multiple users

Applies To 
Product(s): StormCAD, SewerGEMS, SewerCAD, CivilStorm, WaterGEMS, WaterCAD, HAMMER, PondPack
Version(s): CONNECT Edition, V8i
Original Author: Scott Kampa, Bentley Technical Support


This article explains how to share or transfer custom Engineering Library files (containing catalog information) with multiple computers.


Since standard model component data is stored in Engineering Libraries, it can be desirable to share this information with multiple users / computers.  

This includes anything that might be in an Engineering Library for a given product. For the storm and sewer products, this might include custom conduits, inlets, storm data, runoff values, and flow-headloss curves for example. For the water products, this might be pipe material or air valve curves for example. The basic options for sharing engineering library data are:

  1. Manually copying Engineering Libraries
  2. Storing Engineering Libraries in a network location
  3. Storing Engineering Libraries in ProjectWise
  4. Using Seed files

Option 1 - Manually Copying Engineering Libraries

This approach is best if you do not have ProjectWise or a network location. The downside of this approach is that changes to the library data would require re-copying of the XML file to prevent other computers from getting out of sync.

Note that that steps below show one example from the Engineering Library, but the same general steps can be used for any other Engineering Library types..

First, on the computer that has the library data already, ensure that the catalog information has been exported to the Engineering Library, which stores the data as an XML file. See: Modifying and using Engineering Library Data

Browse to Components > Catalog > Engineering Libraries, to open the Engineering Libraries on the computer. 

The individual library files are .XML files that are stored somewhere on your computer. To see where the files are located, highlight the .XML file you want to transfer to another computer. On the right side of the screen, you will see where the library file is stored. In the case below, the file to be shared between computers is "new CN library.xml".

Note: If you ever forget where you saved the library you can highlight that library and to see the where the file is saved, as shown highlighted above.

Next, use File Explorer to locate the file and transfer it to the other computer. Store the file in a safe location on the other computer(s).

Open the Engineering Libraries on the other computer by going to Components > Catalog > Engineering Libraries. Highlight the type of library file it is (in the example above "CN Libraries"). Next, select the New button, then Add Existing Library.

Browse to the library .XML file that and choose Select. The library file will now be available on the new computer. The catalog information contained within can be imported into the respective catalog in any model on that computer.

Option 2 - Storing Engineering Libraries in a network location

This approach is similar to the first approach but involves storing the file in one central location. The benefit is that changes to the Engineering Library would only need to be made once and all users would be able to "pull" that new information from the centrally stored library.

To do this, use the same approach above but store the XML file on a network location that all computer have stable access to. When the software is opened, it will attempt to open the XML file in the network location. The downside to this approach is that network problems could prevent stable access to the engineering library. The ProjectWise approach below is a better-managed solution.

Option 3 - Storing Engineering Libraries in ProjectWise

This approach is similar to the above approach but Bentley ProjectWise is used to manage the centrally-located Engineering Library data. See more details here: Sharing engineering libraries using ProjectWise

Option 4 - Using Seed Files

This approach involves importing all of your standard catalog and library information into a template model that you would open when you want to start a new project. The benefit is that all the standard information is easily available in the model without having to import. The downside is that changes to the seed file would need to be distributed to all users, and it would not be usable for existing models.

First, start a new model and configure all of your standard catalog information. This involves importing your standards into catalogs like the Conduit Catalog, Inlet Catalog, Storm Data, Material Library, etc. Or if you do not have engineering libraries, it would involve creating new catalog information such as the Catalog Classes in the Conduit Catalog. You may also want to configure standard units, standard Element Symbology (color coding, annotations, etc), standard Prototypes, Engineering Standards, and more. 

Once completed, save the model, then go to File > Seed > Save to Seed and save the Seed file. Share this file with other users that need to use these standards. Then, when a new project needs to be started, instead of using the New button and importing from Engineering Libraries, you would go to File > Seed > New from Seed and select your standard Seed file.

See more here: Seed file / Model Template

See Also

Modifying and adding entries to Engineering Libraries

Sharing engineering libraries using ProjectWise

How to create and share FlexTables between different computers