ProjectWise 365 + Delta File Transfers?

Great announcement at YII 2019.

I can see PW 365 being very interesting for smaller projects. Hey, even big projects/firms have to start somewhere, right?

The 'instant-on' and Microsoft platform/ecosystem are going to be big selling points... and a great means of (re)opening new doors to Bentley products.

Being Azure-based, does it leverage Azure File Sync? I am hoping that this would allow it to better support CAD/BIM applications in addition to the usual MS Office-type apps.

1. Even with big Bentley engineering clients, I see that only the very largest jobs are on PW due to the costs and management overheads. There is a significant propotion of smaller jobs that do not benefit from PW and just store their CAD files in a server folder. PW 365 would be a great tool to boost productivity for the more numerous projects in the initial stages that are almost always geographically distributed these days and don't need PW DI's bells and whistles... and if the project does go through (usually every tenth) the team can make the switch to big brother PW Design Integration?

2. This also has a big impact on the performance of any Mstn vertical user who will be subject to long waits for the files to be loaded compared to say Revit which has incremental syncs / Delta Transfers built in. AFS and 'instant-on' will also be pretty attractive to second-tier firms like architects and subcontractors that struggle to justify licensing a PW Caching Server (£60k/yr.project...Yup, bigger than the total project fee in a lot of cases) etc on premise(s)... so you end up with a slow fee-burning smell around the use of Bentley products on the shopfloor... which usually ends up with calls for 'Why not BIM 360'? Mstn has a great reputation for speed and flexibility that is currently being eroded by the lack of built-in Delta Transfers.

3. A lot of medium-to-large engineering / architectural firms are also investing in DFS's like Panzura and Nasuni etc. Not cheap. I wonder if AFS would not do the same thing and keep things better connected with MS Sharepoint, Office PW etc etc.. and cheaper at the end of the day.

4. Future pathway to Azure Comos DB...where everything is part of an IoT database / Digital Twin?

  • I'm not seeing a lot of detail on how ProjectWise 365 works. The fact that it's a web client makes me think it will not use any file acceleration (Delta File Transfer only works with ProjectWise Explorer and between PW Servers currently). Azure File Sync seems to be a server to server sync service not really designed for client level (it also doesn't appear to have the positive locking of ProjectWise server). Maybe Teams integration offers some DFT abilities?

    I signed up for the webinar, hopefully they answer these questions.

    Not sure on your ProjectWise pricing, our ProjectWise is paid for per user and the servers are free. Hosting is free under this as well. Signing up for ProjectWise Managed Services for a per user fee gets you unlimited hosting, unlimited cache servers. There is still administrative over head and we provide our own frontline support for ProjectWise, not sure if Managed Services includes that. User counts for fees reset quarterly so when a project finishes you aren't locked into those fees. Honestly, I doubt ProjectWise 365 will be cheaper, my guess it's easier to setup and administer for small firms that don't need the administrative load of full ProjectWise. But I really doubt it'll be cheaper than the hosted (hell it may just be the same user fee with additional services available).


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