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Does any single piece of software you currently use meet every need of yours for modeling, analysis, design, drawing, detailing and BIM interoperation? The answer is likely a resounding no, and frankly any software that could claim to do all that would be incredibly complicated to use. If your company is anything like the average structural organization, you will use three or more different structural software packages, along with spreadsheets and other in-house solutions to get your job done efficiently. Each product you use being specialized for specific tasks in your workflow.
The challenge then is getting all these specialized products to interoperate so that the inefficiencies in your process such as: data reentry, manually adapting to changes, tracking files, engineer-drafter redline loops, BIM integration, addressing changes, etc. can be avoided. To meet this challenge Bentley has produced, for the first time in the structural engineering domain, an open platform technology to facilitate and address the major challenges of structural interoperability…The process of which we call Integrated Structural Modeling (ISM).
The process of Integrated Structural Modeling is facilitated through a few important technology pieces. At the core is a component called the Structural Synchronizer. The Synchronizer resides on each user’s desktop and provides the following key capabilities in one application:
· API for applications to access
· Change Management
· Data interrogation
· Store and retrieve consensus data in/from a file.
Each Application that links to ISM Synchronizer must develop and deploy a Product-ISM Synchronizer Link. This key component may be embedded in the application executable or provided as an independent component. Typically these links will be delivered along with the specific product.
Each link will enable four workflows from each application:
There are several product-ISM links already available on the market and NOT just for Bentley products. Links to Revit Architecture and Revit Structure are currently available and more Non-Bentley products will be available in near future. From Bentley RAM Elements, RAM Concept, STAAD(X), ProStructures, Structural Modeler and RAM Structural System are all ISM enabled.
Shipped with ISM is a free state-of-the-art structural viewer to share and distribute to all project participants. The ISM Viewer allows you substantial control for visualization and data interrogation of the ISM database. Here is a short list of capabilities included in the viewer:
· Walk and Fly-Through
· Intelligent data Interrogation of objects
· iModel creation
· Query interface to isolate and find objects
· Multiple layer control to turn off and on large groups of data
· 3D Viewing controls/PDF print capabilities.
A powerful change management tool is provided to manage the changes to data that is coming into and going out of ISM through the project lifespan. This exchange management tool allows the user to easily identify those elements that have been added, deleted or changed since the previous update to or from ISM from the particular product you are working in. Presented with these differences the user has full control to accept or reject those elements which they want to have updated in ISM or in the application they are currently looking to update from ISM. Presented in this screenshot is the exchange management view with the major functional components identified.
The change management window is comprised of several different parts but most significantly the added, changed and deleted objects are displayed and color coded in the Objects Table
The Items listed in the Objects Table are controlled by the Objects Table Filters toolbar
These buttons controls what objects are displayed in the object table by allowing the user to filter based on type of member (linear, surface etc), the state of the object (whether newly added, deleted or modified) or the state you have assigned the object (that is, whether you have accepted or rejected the revisions). Similar property table options are available to filter properties of objects that may have changed between two models.
The visual impact of the changes can also be previewed by setting the state of the object (accept or reject changes) and clicking the preview button. Many other controls similar to those in the viewer are also available to allow data interrogation and to isolate and easily find specific members or groups of members. Data in any project is always changing and ISM was specifically built to handle the dynamic nature of the data rather than working with a static snapshot at a particular point in the project timeline.
Integrated Structural Modeling provides the user the opportunity to tag each update to the ISM file with Major/Minor setting, Date stamp and User Credentials and Description. At any time within the project lifespan each specific change can be identified and interrogated to show exactly what was added, deleted or changed in that session. A rollback capability is also included with ISM to allow the user to return the ISM model to any of the previous states.