Why are there no LEARN MDL training resources?

Why are there no LEARN MDL training resources?

Haven't Bentley held any MDL training courses in the last decade?


I went to a 5 day course back in '92 and a 3 day advanced Course in 96 (held by Koreenreef in hoofdorp?)

Surely there is a enough difference to warrent a MDL Update or another Advanced MDL course where changes in the latest V8i & CONNECT versions can be explained.

In the 90's MDL was openly available and some of the best utilities were created outside of Bentley.   Select By,  matching elements with tentative, exchanging files, Fence from shape, etc.

They are now part of Microstation.

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  • Hi Karsten,

    my (more and more pesimistic) opinion is there are two main reasons: For many years Bentley have no strategy for 3rd party developers and they don't want / are not able / have no person to manage dev community.

    Long time ago developers were important for Bentley and they were partners. It was win-win relationship, because exactly as you wrote, many ideas were transformed into applications. Some were incorporated into MicroStation, some others were developed further into complex solutions. It all led to the situation where MicroStation (and  other products later) were widely accepted because gaps and niches (like local specifics, specifications, rules etc.) were easily solved. This is not true anymore, Bentley actively limited number of developers and don't care about any community development. Because of that, Bentley has lost their position over last several years quickly in favor of more flexible solutions with better local suppor (and the most of 3rd party developers are nothing else than special local support).

    In Bentley there is even nobody brave enough to formulate clearly and publish it what rules, strategy and approach Bentley applies to external developers (I don't count so many "we are listening carefully" posts without any results). Compare it with competing CAD and GIS solutions: They all offer some API for free for everyone and (which is far more important) precisely and openly explain difference bettween free access and formalized partnership. There are some exceptions (just a few) where a partnership is always required, but in such case all information are available on web.

    Today all companies are hunting for developers and their ideas. Not only Autodesk and ESRI, but also such giants like Microsoft or Siemens are motivating everybody to try and use their platforms, API etc. Of course 90% of all code is valuable for an author or company at best, but from the last 10% will be 9% critical to local success (local standards and regulations, transfering of popular tools from competing platforms to preferred one etc.) and the last 1% will develop into international success. Bentley? Visiting a web is disaster, there is zero information, only marketing formulations and "contact us" ... why to bother when other offer more information automatically?

    Unfortunately this problem is multiplied by Bentley's conviction their solution is "complete" and no extension/integration/customization is required (as it was explained to me by several Bentley sales guys I talked with). I remember several big companies that thought the same in a past and today they don't exist (Intergraph is classic example). Others survived, because they changed: Originally very closed Microsoft now supports as many other platforms and technologies as possible, even IBM, HP etc. opens and try to cooperate and intergrates their HW and SW solutions etc.

    Back to your question: When there is no strategy (long term aims), consequently the tactics (how to act locally / how to follow strategy) is naturally missing also. Especially when sales strategy is oriented in opposite direction. The learning materials and workshops etc. are tools how to fulfill long term strategy, so they don't exist in case of Bentley.

    Unfortunately even if you become BDN partner, the situation is not better. If I counting right, 3 persons have been BDN directors in last few years. Nobody (repeat it: nobody) bothered to communicate with BDN member in any way (even anthing like "Ciao, I am new BDN director and you have to listen me" ;-). That's also a proof how important the developers are for Bentley. In time when all other companies have dedicated developers' blog/news channel or twitter and directors and product managers use them to keep developers' interest at their platforms.

    From my perspective Bentley are like a farmer who don't like "just born chickens" (pullet?), because they require too much care and there is no immediate benefit. So he doesn't invest into hens, their feeding etc. But in future he will find less people is interested in his farm, because why to visit it and to buy something (goose, ham...) when there are no eggs and chickens for sale? His wife is not able to cook cakes to make visitor happy and interested in to visit the farm again (remember, no eggs and it's expensive and embarrassing to buy them from other farmers). And because less people is visiting the farm, he will sell every month less and less other products, because people will go to another farms with more complex offering that are able to cover even unusuall local requirements and needs. I am not sure about the end of this tale, but probably I will be somewhere else at a time when the end will be known.

    I apologize for not optimistic comment (I tried to to find something optimistic, but I ended with a growing number of my dev projects not related to MicroStation based on C++, C# and typically some amount of open source platforms, with greener grass, better supported community, more tutorials and shared vision and strategy ... but it's not answer related to MicroStation).

    With regards,

      Jan

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