In real-world, multiple Bentley applications are used in tandem on a single project. Multiple domain-specific products built on top of MicroStation platform are used together. For example, in a large infrastructure project, AECOsim Building Designer (aka ABD) is used to design buildings, OpenRoads Designer (aka ORD) is used to model bridges and roads, and Bentley Map for geographical mapping. The project has separate design files for each application in the Designs folder of the same WorkSet. However, each domain would have their own standards like levels, display styles, text styles, etc. So, the requirement is that when a design file is opened in an application, it should use the styles and standards defined for that application only. Sounds difficult, but in the new Configuration system in CONNECT Edition, this is very easy to implement. Let us see how this can be achieved in our example.
Assume that the three products work on a common WorkSet named CityPlan. The Designs folder will be common to all products. However, you want the standards for building to be used when you open a design file in ABD, and similarly, respective standards to be used when opening designs in ORD and Bentley Map. To achieve this, let us make use of the _USTN_PRODUCT_DIRNAME configuration variable. This configuration variable defines the directory name of your Bentley product. For the products in our example, the definition of _USTN_PRODUCT_DIRNAME is AECOsimBuildingDesigner, OpenRoadsDesigner, BentleyMap for the ABD, ORD, and Bentley Map respectively.
First, you will have to create three subdirectories in the ..\CityPlan\Standards\ folder, named AECOsimBuildingDesigner, OpenRoadsDesigner, and BentleyMap.
Similarly, create three .cfg files in the same directory with the same names as the subdirectories you created above. The folder structure should look something like as shown below.
Now, in each of the three .cfg files you created above, enter the configuration variable definitions that you want to be accessed at WorkSet Standards level. For example, you can define the following in the AECOsimBuildingDesigner.cfg to access dgnlibs, cells, and material from the subfolders within the AECOsimBuildingDesigner folder at WorkSet level.
That’s all. Your WorkSet is all set. The next time you open a design file in ABD, you will see ABD’s standards, and on the same lines, when you open Bentley Map or ORD, the respective standards are seen.
As a side note, you can use iModels to cross-reference design data across design files created in different applications and maintain display and print fidelity. We will explore this more in our future blogs. Do stay tuned…