I must be in the same boat as other ProjectWise admins that need to supply external clients with software so they can access our file. I understand why you need a Select account to download MicroStation, InRoads, etc., but the ProjectWise client software differs in that many organizations without Bentley support use this application.
It would be fantastic if Bentley had a public access page where anyone could download various ProjectWise client versions (and the new Office 2010 add-in) so that many of us wouldn't have to duplicate the same effort.
BTW, could someone add ProjectWise to the spell check???
I understand that there is currently a location for no-cost Bentley software:
This seems like the place for ProjectWise client software.
I believe that Bentley inteneded for Internet Explorer to be the way external clients could access your files at no cost to them. As far as I know, ProjectWise Clients are not a free license currently to anyone. Are you missing some functionality in the Web Explorer that is needed for your external clients?
As good as the latest Web portal is, it still lacks some of the functionality of the ProjectWise client. It doesn't cost external users to use the ProjectWise client since it pulls a license from our server. So even though I give them the option of the Web portal, I don't think many of them use it.
We used to place the client on our FTP server but that gets cleaned off every month so that isn't a permanent solution. When we brought on our latest project (which includes a new group of external clients) we decided to put the client software on our WSDOT resource website. We asked our Bentley account rep for permission and it was granted. I just think it makes more sense to have one global location for access then to have it out on dozens, perhaps hundreds of servers.
Maybe I'm missing something but it seems that it would be to Bentley's advantage to make ProjectWise client software available to anyone that wants to access project information.
The reason you normally don't use the thick (desktop) client for external users is becuase it requres them accessing your internal network. Special rules need to be setup to allow them access to your PW Server and File storage so that the files can be copied directly from your network to theirs. Most companies I have worked with do not like the security risk of linking the two networks together and prefer a thin client without network access.
At WSDOT we use a certificate on the Gateway server that satisfies the security concerns of our IT staff. I don't work directly with the servers but as I understand it, the purpose of the Gateway server is to create a secure link for external clients to access ProjectWise information.
I have to say Dean that I'm surprised by your Gateway server security concerns and I would appreciate it if someone from Bentley could chime in on this.