Drinking from the fire hose: Tips for upgrading to MicroStation CONNECT Edition

What do you get when you put four MicroStation experts in a room together with users for just 45 minutes to talk about upgrading to MicroStation CONNECT Edition? If you’re thinking chaos, well you’re on the right track. Let’s call it a structured chaos. It’s hot in New Orleans but this fire hose of information only served to fuel the flames of interest in learning more about the MicroStation CONNECT Edition.

45 minutes is only enough time for a high-level overview of the changes in the MicroStation CONNECT Edition and how users will benefit from the upgrade. Even if I captured every point here, it wouldn’t do it justice. Fortunately, this is just the beginning of educating users on the MicroStation CONNECT Edition and the team has already built several courses that take a deeper dive into these concepts. Check the 2015 LEARNing Conferences - MicroStation CONNECT Edtion Learning Path to see more.

Shawn McGaffick opened and set the stage for what the team would cover – focusing on four facets in particular:

  • Connected User Experience
  • Deliverables
  • Functional Components
  • Reality Modeling (coming soon)

Tom Stogdill led off presenting the ways users will benefit from “connecting”; not the least of which is the enhanced customization of the interface.

The Connected User Experience includes:

  • LEARNservices
  • Projects
  • Playbooks & Playlists
  • Backstage

Users will benefit from up-to-date product news and innovations that improve productivity; direct connection with Bentley CONNECT cloud services to accelerate collaboration and enable secure sharing, among participants; and the consolidation of application settings into a single location, removing clutter from the design canvas.

Tom then gave users a brief overview of the new interface, including “navigating the ribbon”. For users familiar with the Microsoft interface, this should be a fairly comfortable transition, packed with increased functionality and options for customization.

Workflows are the cornerstone of the new interface five pre-loaded workflows including drawing, modeling, and visualization.

Other capabilities shown were:

  • Search & Filter
  • Settings
  • Contextual Tabs
  • Customization
    • Ribbons/Workflows
    • Quick Access Toolbar
    • Migrate Tasks
    • Drag and Drop

V8i Workflow Integration

  • Place tasks in dgnlib search pat
  • Will show up in Workflow lis
  • Use as is or migrate to ribbon using customize

Shawn McGaffick continued with a discussion of Deliverables highlighting:

Documentation Center

Property Driven Annotation

  • Create annotation based on object properties
  • Annotation is generated and updated based on selected properties

Property Driven Display Rules

  • Manage print output as project standards in MicroStation
  • Set display and print symbology based on object properties
  • “Set and Forget”, always up to date based on project status

Property Driven Reports

  • Create tables, schedules and BOM’s based on project properties
  • Values update as properties change
  • Flexible formatting
  • Link across projects
  • Export to Excel

John Melbert acknowledged, “As you progress though the drawing composition stage, into the sheet composition stage of your design, you may feel the pain that tracking, ordering, and laying out drawings onto sheets; it is a time consuming and error-prone process that’s done differently by everyone on a team and can cause inconsistencies and delays in getting projects delivered”

Good news for MicroStation CONNECT Edition users – the solution is Sheet Indexing and Automated Sheet Creation and Layout.

  • Create multiple sheets in a single operation
  • Automated layout based on scale, location & along path
  • Modify sheet layouts for fine adjustments

To wrap up the presentation, Samir Haque discussed Functional Components and the “Common Modeling Environment”

A key concept Samir stressed was that this is based on the concept of parametric (or feature-based) modeling. He also emphasized a core goal is to make 3D modeling easier. Users will be just as productive employing 3D modeling techniques and will gain additional benefits.

  • Embed design knowledge
  • Capture design intent
  • Create flexible solid models
  • Import and reuse data
  • Integrate with ProjectWise Catalog Services


  • Maintain geometric relationships
  • Drive key dimensions with Variables and expressions
  • Use Variations to capture configurations
  • Use profiles for models or drafting


  • Element records its history
  • Edit model parameters interactively or using precise input
  • Simplifies modeling by unifying SmartSolids and Feature Solids

Parametric Surfaces

Technology extended to surfaces, starting with:

  • Loft
  • Extrude
  • Revolve

The presentation closed with a comment on intra-operability across multiple applications thanks to the integration with ProjectWise Catalog services.

Stay tuned. This is only the beginning. #bentley15