Increase your Productivity

Engineering CAD Solutions can build you a custom productive environment to meet your requirements, where all the tools users need are at their fingertips. User productivity is greatly improved by implementing a streamlined working environment that reduces the number of steps to complete a task.

ECS can help you achieve single button printing or implement a print manager or title block manager. We have tools to manage drawing stamps, streamline changing drawings to corporate standards and more. We can help you achieve drafting efficiencies that will improve productivity, for everyone in your team. These advantages start with a custom CAD environment.

A Custom CAD Environment

A MicroStation workspace includes resources, configuration files, configuration variables, menus, toolbars and custom applications that in combination provide a tailored work environment for maximum user productivity. Organisations can deploy a custom CAD environment to provide users with access to corporate standards, client standards and even discipline specific resources. It is a powerful way to manage project data.

Engineering firms may have clients that specify particular standards, or asset owners might use different standards for different divisions within the organisation. A workspace, or MicroStation Configuration as it is renamed in MicroStation CONNECT Edition (CE), is designed to provide the flexibility to meet these varying requirements by defining a hierarchy of Configuration Levels at which Configuration Variables can be defined or augmented.

The MicroStation V8i workspace levels are outlined below.
• System - system level configuration files (Bentley managed)
• Site - standards for your organisation
• Project - a logical grouping of files, examples may include disciplines or departments of an organisation
• User - user level configuration settings which effectively preselected a project and interface

The MicroStation CE configuration levels are outlined below. Note that the V8i 'Workspace' has been renamed a 'Configuration' in MicroStation CE.
• System - system level configuration files (Bentley managed)
• Application - application level configuration files (Bentley managed)
• Organisation - standards for your organisation
• Workspace - container for grouping worksets, a sub-set of an organisation
• Workset - a logical grouping of files, examples may include disciplines or departments of an organisation
• Role - option to override organisation or workset standards based on a particular user's role
• User - personal user configuration file

Deployment of your CAD Environment

There are a number of ways you can deploy your CAD environment. Depending on your site requirements, ECS can create a environment that can be deployed in different ways.
Network based - the CAD environment lives on a network drive and the locally installed CAD application is directed to this location for its configuration files
Custom Installer - let us create an installer to deploy your CAD environment. The installer will locate valid installations of your CAD software and install the CAD environment into the correct location. Also, by using the installer method, administrators can also easily uninstall the workspace
Unzipped - deploy your CAD environment from a zip file directly to a user definable or predefined filesystem location

Environment Migration

In addition to CAD environment creation, ECS can migrate your environment between versions of MicroStation, or between MicroStation and AECOsim or PowerDraft. Each CAD platform has its own nuances which can be addressed through efficient environment management.

Bentley change the workspace folder structure from time to time. Fortunately this does not happen often, it changed from V8 2004 to the V8 XM release, and again from V8i to the CONNECT Edition (about once every 6 years). Bentley implement new environment variables with each new release, so it is important to keep your workspace up to date and structured correctly for each new release.

Many users will be considering the move from MicroStation V8i to the CONNECT Edition and will need to address the folder restructuring to ensure your current workspace will function. Users or administrators can manage the change themselves or choose to use ECS to perform the migration. If you are attempting this yourself, there are some resources that will make it easier for you. Here are some links to resources on the Internet.

There are a number of things to consider if your comtemplating this migration yourself.
Time - do you have the time to research and learn whats changed
Remapping - you will need investigate the folder remapping to decide where to put things
New Configuration Levels - you will learn about and decide how to implement these new items
New environment variables - how and when to use these, which ones are now obsolete
Testing - do you have time to test the new configuration
Changes - what is the impact of the application changes, such as MDL and tags

Our experience using the migration tool shows that it will not handle complex V8i workspaces and manual adjustments are still required for a variety of items.

ECS have extensive experience in managing workspaces, and are well positioned to assist you with workspace migration. We will evaluate your existing workspace and user requirements, suggest improvements and setup a new configuration to suit your needs. We can supply the new MicroStation CE environment to co-exist with the V8i environment so you can compare and migrate your users at a time that fits your current projects.

Environment Customisation

Improve productivity and completeness of deliverables using custom tools enabling users to complete their tasks quickly and efficiently.

Title Block Management - ECS can help you to streamline title block management saving your team precious time by making the mundane and tedious process of updating title blocks easier. Whether you are using text, tags, cells or other methods (spreadsheet or database), ECS can tailor a solution to suit your needs. Edit title blocks using an intuitive dialog reduces errors, improves quality and develops consistency. Using the built-in tags dialog in MicroStation is counter productive through the ordering of entries and lack of editing functionality, and using the text editor only provides access to one title block field at a time.

The dialog can offer functions such as sorting revision entries, automatic entry of next revision (full alpha-numeric support), copy and paste title block data from another drawing, change the border and or scale while retaining all title block data, and more.

Stamp Management - If you are required to use custom stamps on a drawing then ECS can streamline this task. Whether it is placement of a new stamp, replacing one with the next in a workflows sequence, or editing key texts from the stamp cell, ECS can make this task simpler and easier. Updating the date and revision in the stamp can be done with the click of a button, nothing to key in. Contact us for more details.

Print Management - Printing drawings can be a time consuming task, and is often required at the end of a design cycle when the project hours have all been consumed. ECS can provide streamlined tools to automate the printing process, automatic adjustment of drawing settings, automatic identification of print limits, paper size selection based on border size. ECS can also assist you with batch printing - automatically locate drawings in a folder or tree, add them to the list of drawings to print, and build a batch print specification file that matches sheet size and printer specifications.