Original Article Date: May 7, 2002
If you would like to utilze MicroStation V8's powerful new tools but arn't ready to convert to the V8 DGN format, take a look at using the MS_OPENV7=3 varialbe. It's a great way to get up to speed in V8 without changing file formats...just yet.
2004-06-07 Added note for GEOPAK Users.
2004-09-23 Added information regarding MicroStation V8.5.
2006-01-06 Added information regarding InRoads.
(Thank you to Chuck Rheault for pointing out this omission.)
The following blurb was authored by Bentley's Don Hu:
There are many great reasons to upgrade to MicroStation V8 and to use V8's Design File format. Due to various work flows and projects that may be in progress which may prevent a user to fully upgrade to MicroStation V8, a V7 work mode has been created to allow existing projects that may be in a pre-V8 file formats to be used in MicroStation V8. MicroStation V8, version 08.00.01.19 now has the ability to open MicroStation V7 files without having them converted to a MicroStation V8 format by utilizing a V7 DGN workmode.
The V7 work mode is set by a configuration variable called MS_OPENV7, which is located under the Workspace pulldown menu under Configuration. There are 4 different workmodes that MicroStation V8 can have. The default value for this variable is 0. When the MS_OPENV7 is set to 0, MicroStation V8 will prompt the user whether or not the MicroStation V7 or earlier DGN file should be upgraded to a MicroStation V8 file. The file can either be upgraded to a V8 format or it can be opened as read-only without having the V7 file upgraded.
If the variable is set 1, MicroStation V8 will automatically upgrade any pre-V8 DGN file to a MicroStation V8 file format with no alert box notifying the user. When the variable is set to 2, MicroStation V8 will open all V7 files as read-only.
If the MS_OPENV7 variable is set to 3, MicroStation V8 will be locked into a MicroStation V7 workmode allowing write access to the MicroStation V7 DGN files without having to upgrade the file to a MicroStation V8 file format. However, the new features associated with MicroStation V8 will not be available, for example unlimited levels and the use of Models will not be allowed.
With the addition of the V7 work mode, MicroStation V8 makes it easy to transition to MicroStation V8 while allowing the continued use of Pre-V8 files in MicroStation V8.
The following text is snipped from the V8 Readme file:
A configuration variable exists that can give you the ability to edit V7 design files in MicroStation V8 without upgrading them to V8 DGN format. MS_OPENV7 can be set to the following values:
MicroStation V7 file open options (MS_OPENV7):
0 - The current upgrade to V8 DGN or open read-only dialog. This is also true if MS_OPENV7 is undefined or defined as anything other than 1, 2, or 3.
1 - upgrade V7 to V8, no alert dialog
2 - open V7 as read-only, no alert dialog
3 - open V7 for write and set workmode to V7, no alert dialog
The implementation through a configuration variable allows the administrator to enforce a policy for handling pre-V8 DGN files.
This working environment, or workmode, sets a collection of capability mask variables that either add or subtract certain capabilities in MicroStation. The V7 workmode removes a number of capabilities -- you can find a complete list of the capability variables in the delivered ..\Program\MicroStation\config\system\workmode.cfg file.
If MS_OPENV7 is set to 3, you are put in the V7 workmode when a V7 file is opened for editing. This workmode attempts to protect you from making additions or changes to the design which are not backward compatible to V7 (for example, creating models). Note that the V7 format does not allow incremental saves, so you must manually save your changes as there is no autosave feature when editing in V7 workmode.
To set MS_OPENV7=3 in your workspace:
Workspace > Configuration
Category > All (Alphabetical)
On the right side, scroll down until you see MS_OPENV7 and highlight it.
Replace the 0 with a 3 in the New Value field.
Click OK, OK, and YES
To set MS_OPENV7=3 by modifying your shortcut:
Create another MicroStation V8 shortcut on your desktop
Rename it to V8 MSOPENV7 or something similar
Right click the icon and select Properties
Append the following switch to the target: -wsMS_OPENV7=3
Attention GEOPAK users:
Review Section 3.0 of this tech note http://selectservices.bentley.com/technotes/readme/build/new_geopak_v8.1.htm#_Toc32806455 and note that the label style file (.lsf) is not backward compatible. This file keeps track of intelligent labels and label styles that have been placed with GEOPAK labeling tools. Once a design is opened in V8 using MS_OPENV7=3 and the labeling tool is accessed, it scans all the labels in the file and hence they are updated to V8. Because of this they will loose all intelligence when trying to access the file back in MicroSttion V7. The labels are can be migrated to V8 but not back to V7. If MS_OPENV7=2 (read-only) then no adverse affects will occur to the labels and they will continue to work in V7.
Attention MicroStation V8.0 and V8.1 Users:
If Immediately Save Design Changes is ON in your Workspace Preferences, file changes are ONLY saved when the file is closed or when you do a File > Save manually.
PLEASE ensure that you are doing your own incremental saves and that you are diligent in doing backups!
Attention MicroStation V8.5 Users:
The following is snipped from Help:
By default, MicroStation reminds you to save the open file 5 minutes after the first change you make if the open file is a V7 file or a DWG file. Furthermore, if the preference Automatically Save Design Changes, which replaces Immediately Save Design Changes, is turned on, MicroStation automatically saves the file 15 seconds after it displays the reminder prompt. Automatically Save Design Changes is on by default.
There are configuration variables that provide additional flexibility in customizing these aspects of operation. For example, to configure MicroStation to remind you to save a DWG file every two minutes, change the configuration variable MS_DWGAUTOSAVE to 120 (seconds). (The default is 300.)
In addition, you can also set MS_DGNAUTOSAVE, MS_V7AUTOSAVE, MS_V7AUTOSAVE_NODIALOG, and MS_DWGAUTOSAVE_NODIALOG. For information about setting these configuration variables, see their individual descriptions in the Configuration dialog box (Workspace > Configuration).
The preference Automatically Save Design Changes is set in the Operation category of the Preferences dialog box (Workspace > Preferences).
If the open file is a V8 DGN file, MicroStation automatically saves the file when it detects two seconds of user inactivity. To modify this behavior, you can turn off Automatically Save Design Changes or change the value of MS_DGNAUTOSAVE.
Attention MicroStation InRoads Users:
The following notes are from the 2004 Edition read me. The first and last have to do with DWG workmode, but the middle one is spot on for V7 workmode. All of the INI files for InRoads prior to V8 used level numbers. If you use a V7 file with those ini files, it tries to write to levels named 1 through 63 and not Level 1 through Level 63, so all the graphics ends up on default once the file saves.
Known Issues - If you are using InRoads with DWG files in MicroStation then you need to create a variable called MS_DWGSAVEAPPLICATIONDATA and set the value to 1 before creating profiles or cross sections. Without this variable the product will not write the required data to the profile or the sections graphics for InRoads to recognize when the DWG file is reopened.
There are several items to consider when working in V7 Mode. Create a separate user configuration in MicroStation Manager called V7. Enter MicroStation and set the Workspace > Configuration variables as follows:
Open MicroStation and navigate to Workspace > Configuration. Select the variable MS_V7_LEVEL_NAME_PREFIX and edit it to any value such as 1. Select OK. Edit the variable again and remove the value so there is nothing there and select OK again. Pick OK to exit Configuration and save the settings when asked. Exit MicroStation and enter the V7 file and you will have numbers without prefixes and graphics will be placed on the numbered levels correctly.
V7 Workmode will not work correctly with Plan & Profile Generator. Plans are being saved as V8 instead of V7. Create files in normal V8 MicroStation and save as V7.
InRoads cross sections and profiles created in Microstation DWG mode will not be recognized if opened in AutoCAD. Likewise, profiles and cross sections created in AutoCAD will not be recognized for editing in MicroStation DWG mode. It is therefore recommended that users create the profiles and cross sections in the CAD program in which they plan to edit the data.
AskInga Article #105