Like V8i? You’ll Love CONNECT – Side by Side: The MicroStation CONNECT Edition and MicroStation V8i

You like MicroStation V8i, but…   

MicroStation V8i has been in use since it was first released in November of 2008, effectively serving the Bentley user community for many years. It has evolved to become a proven and stable platform, considered by many to be an indispensable part of their design and engineering workflows. However, this technology is over 10 years old and is no longer being updated. And while V8i has met the needs of organizations, and had done so well, the MicroStation CONNECT Edition offers many new enhancements that can speed production and improve workflows. With future development in MicroStation V8i having ceased, you may wonder what to do.


You’ll love the MicroStation CONNECT Edition because…

It is the solid foundation of V8i that the MicroStation CONNECT Edition is built upon. The CONNECT Edition offers many exciting benefits and productivity enhancements that Users will find to be compelling reasons to upgrade their software. Some of these enhancements include:

  • Data interoperability – Enabling MicroStation to better work with other file types including DWG, IFC, and SketchUp just to name a few.
  • Item Types – User defined sets of properties used to describe an object or element.
  • Reports – Used to extract and present data from a DGN file.
  • Tables – A new MicroStation element type, similar in operation to that of an Excel workbook, used to present data in a tabular format.
  • Sheet Index – A centralized and structured collection of sheets used for displaying all sheets in a project (WorkSet) that is useful in creating a construction document set.
  • Parametric Modeling – Parametric modeling uses parameters to control the dimensions and shape of elements, which may be modified later, with the model updating to reflect the modification.
  • Labels – A cell used for labelling that can maintain an association to the element being labelled, with the label driven by various types of properties or Item data.

The MicroStation CONNECT Edition can coexist alongside MicroStation V8i, with both versions being installed on the same workstation. This “parallel installation” allows a User to work on a project using the required version of MicroStation as directed by project or client needs. Existing projects that are far enough along can be completed in V8i (when it makes sense to do so), while new projects can be undertaken using the MicroStation CONNECT Edition.

Some of the benefits of a dual installation include:

  • Workflow continuity – When an existing project is far enough along that it makes sense to complete that project in V8i, project team members can do so allowing project development to continue uninterrupted, with new projects beginning in the MicroStation CONNECT Edition as desired.
  • Separate installation folders – The MicroStation CONNECT Edition and MicroStation V8i each utilize their own installation folder, allowing the applications to be isolated from each other.
  • Separate User Preferences – Each MicroStation version uses a separate set of User Preferences that are unique to the specific version.
  • Design files – The DGN file format remains essentially the same in the MicroStation CONNECT Edition. This allows a file to be opened in either version of MicroStation.
  • CAD standards files – Most CAD standards files (i.e. cell libraries, DGNLib’s, RSC files, etc.) do not change and will work “as is” in the MicroStation CONNECT Edition without requiring additional development or the need to upgrade the file format. There are notable exceptions to this such as MDL applications and VBA’s.


The installation of both MicroStation V8i and the MicroStation CONNECT Edition on the same workstation helps ease the adoption of a new software version. This effectively lowers the learning curve by allowing users to become familiar with the MicroStation CONNECT Edition’s interface and updates while continuing to remain productive in existing V8i based projects.

Load the MicroStation CONNECT Edition and begin your CONNECT Edition implementation by initiating a pilot project today!

If you’re interested in speaking with a Bentley expert about making the move to MicroStation CONNECT Edition, please complete this form to have someone contact you to provide advice and assistance.