5 Easy Steps to Create a Hybrid WorkSet in the MicroStation CONNECT Edition

Are you a Project Manager, Team Leader or Early Adopter who wants to stay on the cutting edge of Bentley technology? Do you want to use and adopt many of the new features and workflows but just cannot due to your projects being at V8i?

Then we have some great news for you! The MicroStation CONNECT Edition makes it easy for you to collaborate on your data with both versions of MicroStation simultaneously. You can easily migrate a V8i based project to the MicroStation CONNECT Edition without cloning or copying the data and resource files.

In short, we can point the MicroStation CONNECT Edition to the location of the data files, simple as that. While going from a V8i project to a MicroStation CONNECT WorkSet is certainly the preferred path, Bentley understands that in some cases you may not be able to “flip a switch” on a Project moving it forward to a CONNECT Edition WorkSet.

Consider this, there is an existing Project functioning just fine in MicroStation V8i. You need to be able to create and edit geometry in MicroStation V8i, but would also like to take advantage of the modern features such as Reporting from DGN elements and Placing a Table from a Report or gain improved productivity through Sheet Management or create custom element properties with Item Types.

Next, you will review the steps needed to direct the MicroStation CONNECT Edition to the location of an existing V8i Project. The MicroStation CONNECT Edition will create the folders and files needed for it to become a MicroStation CONNECT Edition WorkSet, including the .dgnws and the .cfg, placing them in the same location that MicroStation V8i stores its project data. These steps will allow you to continue working on a V8i based Project while taking advantage of the many new features and enhancements found in the MicroStation CONNECT Edition.

You are welcome to read the steps and try them on your own. Attached is the same dataset, along with a video, showing the entire process.

  1. Locate and note the exact path of the V8i based Projects folder. For this example, it is found using a UNC path (\\NA2257\_ProjectData\Projects). Ensure that you have Read/Write access to the folder location.
  2. Create a MicroStation CONNECT Edition WorkSpace, called “Projects”. The MicroStation CONNECT Edition will create a CFG file in the CONNECT based \WorkSpaces folder. This configuration file will simply point to the V8i based Projects folder (\\NA2257\_ProjectData\Projects). The process will also create two folders under the shared \Projects folder, one for WorkSets and the other Standards. Keep in mind the name of the WorkSpace in the CONNECT edition MUST be named the same as the existing folder in which the V8i Workspace data is stored. In this case, this was Projects.
  3. Navigate to the location of your “Hybrid” project, in this case, \\NA2257\_ProjectData\Projects. You will note the existence of HybridProject.pcf and the Project folder structure for the V8i Project.
    1. Copy and rename the Project Configuration File, HybridProject.pcf to HybridProject.cfg.
    2. Move the new HybridProject.cfg to the shared location:  \\NA2257\_ProjectData\Projects\WorkSets
  4. Using your favorite text editor, edit HybridProject.cfg. This file is a copy of the HybridProject.pcf from MicroStation V8i and needs to be modified if it is to be used in the MicroStation CONNECT Edition. The following changes need to be made:
    1. Replace any instance of the variable $(_USTN_PROJECTDATA) with $(_USTN_WORKSETROOT).
    2. Remove the variable _USTN_PROJECTDESCR =
    3. Remove the variable MS_SETTINGSDIR < $(_USTN_PROJECTDATA)data/
    4. Remove the variable MS_SETTINGSOUTDIR = $(_USTN_PROJECTDATA)data/
    5. Change the title from Project Configuration to WorkSet Configuration.
  5. *** The most critical step is to define the USTN_WORKSETROOT variable. This variable and _USTN_WORKSETNAME are new to the MicroStation CONNECT Edition. Define the variable as:

_USTN_WORKSETROOT = //NA2257/_ProjectData/Projects/$(_USTN_WORKSETNAME)/

This variable will set where the WorkSet is located. It also ensures that certain variables are set at the proper level in the MicroStation CONNECT Edition. Don’t forget to Save the cfg after editing.

Now you might ask, what about all the other things set at other levels in the WorkSpace in MicroStation V8i. Yes, those need to be addressed. This method is best suited for simple Workspaces and Projects that set symbology related functions. However, it is possible to create your WorkSpace for the CONNECT Edition either manually or via Configuration Migration/Configuration Assistant.

Note: Look for a separate blog on using Configuration Migration.

At this point, you can open the MicroStation CONNECT Edition, with the WorkSpace Projects and the WorkSet HybridProject.

Open the file LandscapeRD_1.dgn. You will note that in the \_ProjectData\Projects\WorkSets folder where the HybridProject.cfg exists, there will be another file that was created, the HybridProject.dgnws. This file is used to store WorkSet properties, the Sheet Index, and WorkSet related links.

Once you have the dgn opened in the MicroStation CONNECT Edition, let's test out the idea of a “Hybrid” WorkSet. From Reports, using Place as a Table, add the table to the model Ground Cover Summary Report as displayed.

Then, using MicroStation V8i and the HybridProject, note the newly placed table. The table placed from the MicroStation CONNECT Editon can also be seen in MicroStation V8i. If the table needs to be edited or updated, this needs to be done in the MicroStation CONNECT Edition.

The concept of creating a Hybrid project is really a temporary situation. Ideally, you will move the project to a CONNECT based WorkSet. But this concept gives you an alternative for simpler projects that need to be worked on in both versions. When the team members are ready you can then archive the V8i project and switch everyone over to the MicroStation CONNECT Edition.

Take advantage of the great things the MicroStation CONNECT Edition offers sooner rather than later. Try out a Hybrid WorkSet now!

Hybrid Project.zip