Hello, I'm a system administrator (responsible for printing and graphical applications) for a water-distribution company in Belgium. We use a mixture of Bentley Microstation, AECOsim, AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT and other design software in our line of work. Why we have so many different ones has historical causes, I'm not going into that. But I am convinced that we should go all-Bentley, certainly for all the big projects.
Currently we have 32 concurrent-use licenses of Microstation. But my reports indicate me that we are constantly brushing the limits of our license file and we have no room for more users or usage. A consultant pointed out that we could just as well use Powerdraft instead of Microstation V8i, as we don't use the advanced features that differentiate MiSt. from PoDr. anyway. If that were so, I could replace installations of MiSt. with PoDr., and have more usage licenses, so that I could push the usage of Bentley products more. (at an exchange rate of 8 PdDr. to 5 MiSt.)
But do have a some questions.
- is Powerdraft 100% compatible with Microstation?
- Does Powerdraft accept the startup settings, used by and for Microstation, and reacts in the same way?
- Are user-interface configurations, made for Microstation, taken over by Powerdraft?
Only if all 3 questions can be answered as YES, can I continue to opt for a migration from one to the other.
We used Portfolio Balancing to consolidate a bevy of Bentley products to two main platforms. We were using some MicroStation and AutoCAD with some InRoads products. Additionally, we had some PowerCivil products. Since Bentley's Civil group had been unable or unwilling to continue supporting AutoCAD as an InRoads platform, we needed to add seats for those products originally bought to run with AutoCAD.
The PowerCivil products we had ran on a PowerDraft platform. We have been using the same workspaces for all Bentley products without major issues since I joined the firm over 6 years ago. We make sure that certain files and folders remain segregated - for example, the interfaces folders which we network so we can easily add customization to all users.
The portfolio process seems very fair. Bentley evaluates the value of your current software and insists that you leave very little on the table, if at all, when it comes to comparable replacement software value. We actually had to take more seats than we anticipated before they would finalized the deal.
We now use PowerSurvey and Power InRoads. Power InRoads runs an a MicroStation platform, PowerSurvey runs on a PowerDraft platform. We have one client supplied InRoads add-on that only runs under Power InRoads. This is due to it using a DLL and Bentley has made the use of add-ons that use a DLL something that they tightly regulate.
You might want to look at PowerMap, too. I don't know if it is PowerDraft based or MicroStation based but it might prove to be the ideal platform. Or look at some of the new Civil platform tools. I believe they have water distribution tools and may have a Power platform version.
Charles (Chuck) Rheault CADD Manager
MDOT State Highway Administration