Open Roads Designer and OpenSite

Between two offices we have OpenRoads Designer (at mine) and OpenSite (at the other). So far I'm  the only one using the software. The other office wants to check my work. I was able to cobble an SS2 version, but I guess the time has come to ask: If i make a file in OpenRoads, can someone with OpenSite open and/or view it?

I had zero exposure to what OpenRoads Designer was, and less of OpenSite. Does OpenSite have a similar configuration setup as OpenRoads? If so, can I drop in PennDOT's WorkSpace in the same way as OpenRoads? I'm guessing if so, then it should be no problem to easily open an ORD file (he said with a touch of trepidation).

  • Mark,

    There is a lot of nuance in your question here. Both applications use the V8 DGN file format which will permit the opening of files between the two applications. Unfortunately, the manner in which Bentley has programed the applications to store the "intelligent" data generated in the OpenX civil products has left true interoperability unavailable. The storage mechanism is referred to as the Civil schema. This has changed from version to version of the software so you will need to be in compatible versions to open and work on the files within the same product. In addition to the schema, there is a "hierarchy" between the Civil Open products, from "high" to "low" that is OpenRail > OpenRoads > OpenSite. So files created in, or that contain, OpenRoads content will open read only in OpenSite. Files from OpenSite would open and be "upgraded" or branded when opened in OpenRoads, and would open in OpenSite afterwards as read only. 

    Since we are able to open the files in all three applications, including an "inferior" one, someone could conceivably use OpenSite to review your OpenRoads work. I do have, however, some experience that not all the information that may be needed would be available. In broad terms, I would get to see the content that is part of what I call the "digital physical model", that which is actually rendered in to MicroStation elements in the 2D and 3D views. Availability of the data associated with those elements has been a little hit or miss. 

    For the question on the configurations, they are very similar in nature, and can be configured to share resources. There is, however, some of the same limitations that arise with design files here. Previous or "lower" versions will not always read in the configuration resources created in newer / higher versions.

    Sorry the answer isn't more clear cut, but the once nearly universal DGN file format is a thing of the past.

    Hope that helps.


    Steven Litzau, P.E. - Senior Consultant

    ORD - / / /
    Power GEOPAK / Power InRoads -
    Civil 3D - 2021 / 2022

  • You might also want to check the Civil File Manger tool for downgrading, upgrading or aligning dgn files with a given product:

  • Steve,

    Thanks so much for your response!

    I guess I'm a little disappointed, but maybe not too surprised. For the current situation, a file I've created in ORD needs to be checked/reviewed by the other office. They have yet to implement OSD as they are continuing to work existing projects with Power Survey SS2 (which both offices still use). I though I had been able to cobble something workable by export ORD to, I think, a dwg, and then making a new SS2 file so they had something to work with. This time, no matter what export option I used - 2D dgn, v8 dgn, dwg - I couldn't even open the 2D or v8 formats without getting error messages.

    The other thing about the drawing format issue is bothersome. From what I gather Autodesk has one general drawing format - dwg - across the majority of it's product. While Revit and Civil 3D are different, you can, generally open a Civil 3D file with AutoCAD without too much fuss. Revit you may have to save/export to a dwg that's less Revit-y. But the position that the drawing format and product purpose are intertwined such that even MicroStatoin itself couldn't open either ORD or ORS for viewing, or printing, or whatever, is kind of annoying.

    I think you answered the question I had, Steve. Basically we have two very different products, and they are, generally incompatible with each other.  

  • Grzegorz,

    Oh that sounds very interesting! I'll give that a look! 

    Thanks very much!

  • As it happens it's something that comes with ORD (one hopes with OSD).

    It's the little things, Grzegorz! ;)

    Thank you again!