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By networking your workspaces, standardization and maintenance can become a reality faster than you may think. Let’s take a look at how quickly and easily workspace components can be networked. First, an understanding of the key components is necessary. MicroStation Workspace: A MicroStation workspace, by definition, is a custom MicroStation environment or configuration. A workspace consists of a project, a user interface and a style: Project - Customized data files such as cell libraries, seed files and linestyle libraries. The data files of delivered MicroStation workspaces are located in modules, subdirectory trees under MicroStation's workspace module (wsmod) directory. User Interface - Defined in modification resource files in subdirectories under MicroStation's workspace user interface (wsui) directory. Style - Style is either a Status Bar or a Command Window. Configuration Variables: By using configuration variables, MicroStation can locate various workspace components, allowing you to move them almost anywhere you wish - even to a network drive. Configuration variables are defined in ASCII files called configuration files. Variables being defined in these configuration files are set only when the MicroStation executable is run. Configuration files can also contain logical operators such as %ifdef, %ifndef and %endif to test conditions. There are three configuration files to consider when networking workspaces: Site configuration file - This file is used to define configuration variables that everyone will use. Any variable definitions within this file will take precedence over MicroStation’s default configuration. This file (and there can be only one site configuration file) is located, by default, in the ..ustation\config\site directory and will follow the naming convention of AnyName.cfg. We will move this file to a network drive. Project configuration file - These are used to define configuration variables particular to certain projects on which a site may be working. Any variable definitions within this file will take precedence over MicroStation’s default variable definitions, as well as any variable definitions contained in the site configuration file. Project configuration files (there can be more than one) are located, by default, in the ..ustation\config\project directory and follow the naming convention of ProjectName.pcf. We will move these files to a network drive. User configuration file - These are used to define configuration variables specific to any particular user. Any variable definitions within this file will take precedence over MicroStation’s default configuration, site configuration definitions and project configuration definitions. User configurations files are located, by default, in the ..ustation\config\user directory and will follow the naming convention of WorkspaceName.ucf. This file remains with the user and will not be located on the network drive. Environment variables: An environment variable (for the purposes of this article) is a configuration variable that is set at the operating system level. To set environment variables, use the procedure inherent to each operating system. For example, on Windows NT, use the System icon located in the Windows Control Panel. The following MicroStation configuration variables should be set at the system level: _USTN_ SITE - Defines the directory containing the site configuration file. _USTN_ PROJECT - Defines the directory containing the project configuration files. _USTN _USERINT - Defines the base user interface data directory. Getting started: Given this knowledge of configuration variables (and how to make them environment variables), you will see how simple it is to begin networking your workspaces. The definitions of our three key environment variables are: _USTN _SITE = H:\ws\config\site\ - This tells MicroStation to look on the network location of H:\ws\config\site\ and read the site configuration file. The site configuration file will, as described earlier, contain all MicroStation configuration variable definitions that you want as standard for your entire site. There is only one site configuration file. Create it with a text editor and move it to this location. _USTN _PROJECT = H:\ws\config\project\ - This tells MicroStation to look on the network location of H:\ws\config\project\ and read the project configuration file. The project configuration file will, as described earlier, contain all MicroStation configuration variable definitions that you want as standard for use within a particular project. Create one for each project using a text editor and move them to this location. Note: The filenames of the project configuration files contained here will appear on the Project option menu located on MicroStation Manager. This is the method used to change projects before entering MicroStation. _USTN_ USERINT = H:\ws\wsui\ - This tells MicroStation to look on the network location of H:\ws\wsui\ and load the user interface modification resource files. Create several new user interfaces locally and move the local wsui subdirectories to this location. Note: The wsui directory contains subdirectories for each available user interface. The names of these subdirectories appear on the Interface option menu located on MicroStation Manager. This method is used to enter into different interfaces when entering MicroStation. Reaping the benefits: As you can see, networking workspaces need not be complicated. With this setup, you can: - Access different interfaces that are accessible to any user, with permissions, on the network. - Change projects that can be accessed by anyone, with permissions, on the network. - Enjoy all of this flexibility, while easily maintaining standards by having the site configuration file on the network. Tip: Take a look at the delivered workspaces and create your own. The workspace modules delivered with MicroStation can be modified and moved to the network drive. Most of the hard work is already done. Simply set your three key environment variables, create or modify everything else locally and then move the modules to the network location. Tip:To protect your invested time, make your network directories read-only. MicroStation does not require the ability to write to any of these areas to run properly. With just enough understanding of MicroStation’s startup procedure, the possibilities are endless.
AskInga Article #285