Blogpost moved to blog.bimsync.com
Blogpost moved to blog.bimsync.com
The upcoming version of bimserver will bring many improvements over the existing 1.0 release. While many of the improvements are bug-fixes and optimization there are also a range of new features introduced. Catenda has been following the project for quite some while as we develop most of our tools on top of the latest development of bimserver. We are very exited about the changes and have great expertiaion for the project. There have been many changes and improvements since version 1.0. Some of the major changes are:
Removal of major bottlenecks
Bimserver now uses internal streaming rather than the creation of temporary files for parsing by the geometry kernel. This was one of the biggest performance bottlenecks in version 1.0.
Gives you access to plugins and the EMF core from a client. As a result this gives you the same advanced possibilities on the client as you had on the server in version 1.0.
New protocol buffer interface.
In addition to SOAP and REST bimserver now supports Protocol buffers. This will bring a great deal of speed increase in the communication between bimserver and clients as it replaces encoded XML and SOAP messages with a more light-weigh binary format. There is a figure of the communication interfaces of bimserver at the bimserver wiki.
A new lazy loading feature delays the in-memory instantiation of data from the database until it is needed. This keeps the initial and overall memory footprint on the server side small since only data that has to be operated upon has to be loaded.
Automatic unit conversion
Allows for correct mering of models even when different units is used in the sub-models. The merged model follows the unit conversion for the project while each unit setting is preserved in the original file. This did already exist in version 1.0 but is improved in the new version.
Caching of models and queries
Revision og models are now cashed on server for faster retrival. This speeds things up quite a bit in a mulitiuser environment where several people need to download a merged model or revision to their own machine.
Much improved plugin structure
Bimsever has made it much easier to create plugins to the platform by seperation the core functionality from the server itself. There are already several plugins being developed like a COBIe plugin, several webGL viwers (as the threeJS viewer partly developed by Catenda), an upcoming IFD tagger (also by Catenda) that saves semantic information from IFD onto IFC models etc.
All in all bimserver 1.1 will is a completely revamped version of bimserver and could easily deserve a larger version number to better reflect all the improvements made. Catenda has been using the new server for our product development and are very pleased with the improvements. We are therefore confident to offer a complete setup and maintenance for anyone interested in using the new version for their projects.
For anyone interested in a more deep insight into the latest development I recommend reading the paper “ADVANCES IN THE DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATION OF AN OPEN SOURCE MODEL SERVER FOR BUILDING INFORMATION” by Jakob Beetz, Léon van Berlo, Ruben de Laat and Peter Bonsma.
As a Ubuntu user I’m not spoiled with good IFC viewers. To be honest there are hardly anyone out there. One decent alternative is the Solibri Model Viewer downloadable from here: http://www.solibri.com/solibri-model-viewer.html For a long time I was using the viewer happily on my 32 bit notebook but when I upgradet to a 64bit version of Ubuntu, the joy was suddenly over. I could no longer get the viewer to start. It stopped with the message “Unable to launch the application”.
After a bit of fiddling with various Java settings and versions I digged into the “SolibriModelViewer_LargeModels.jnlp” file where I found this section:
<resources os="Linux" arch="i386"> <extension href="http://download.java.net/media/java3d/ webstart/release/java3d-latest.jnlp"/> </resources>
<resources os="Linux"> <extension href="http://download.java.net/media/java3d/ webstart/release/java3d-latest.jnlp"/></resources>
For the moment I’m using “Sun Java 6 web start” to launch the application. I have not been able to get it working using “OpenJDK 6 web start” yet.
The world just lost one of the most important contributors of technical expertise and vision for the building and construction industry. For more than 20 years Jeffrey Wix (Jeff among friends) has been developing and managing standards, methodologies and tools for our industry. Jeff project-managed the major releases of the IFC standard and was a key developer of the IFD (ISO 12006-3) standard. Jeff was also the original author of the Information Delivery Manual (IDM).
Jeff was a person with the capability to understand both the need of the building industry and the possibilities that the information technology could offer. He could see where the building industry overlapped and interacted with other industries and he used his knowledge to form or inspire projects like IFG (Building information models and the connection to GIS), IFC for roads, and IFD among others. Jeff was one of the few people I know with the ability to make complex problems understandable for anyone. He was also a brilliant diplomat, and an inspiring person with a great sense of humour.
For the 10 years I have known and worked with Jeff, he has always been a source of inspiration and he has thought me much of what I know about information modelling. I often met Jeff in both professional and social settings on international conferences and when working on the various buildingSMART standards and projects. For one year I also had the privilege to share a lot of thoughts and ideas when Jeff had his office at SINTEF while working on his many Norwegian projects.
My colleagues in Catenda, SINTEF and I, has not only lost a mentor, but also a dear friend. For many days and years to come when we will be reminded of Jeff’s massive contribution to buildingSMART when seeing his name in papers, reports and tools we use for our daily work. We will miss his funny comments, his kind guidance and his extensive knowledge.
Our deepest feelings goes to Jeff’s wife Jan, his kids and family and to his colleagues in AEC3.
This is a milestone! IFD Library Group financed the set of tools, SINTEF Building and Infrastructure developed them, and MSG in buildingSMART International will now start using them.
Our own Jan Erik Askjellrud used AJAX technology to create a set of smooth web based applications, that will enable multilanguage capability for Ifc PSets and easier maintenance.
The set of tools were officially handed over to buildingSMART International at the ITM meeting taking place in Stockholm today.
Update: This tools is now maintained by Catenda by it’s original developers.
Wednesday April 23rd 2008, the Japan Chapter of buildingSMART International (former IAI), together with Japan Construction Information Center, gathered over 100 people representing the bulk of the AEC/FM industry in Japan, for a one day successful buildingSMART Forum. We were also there, presenting our work so far in Japanese.
Since I started working on IFD and buildingSMART related matters 10 years ago I have made many attempts to communicate the ideas behind IFD and IFC for anyone willing to listen. Some presentations are best forgotten but others as the one containing the “building information circle” (sometimes referred to as the “Holy Grail”) was a success and has been gone through multiple modifications and been used by me and other at many occasions. As we like the idea of sharing here at SINTEF, we have decided to make some of our presentations available under the “Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License”. The first presentation out is one I wrote together with my colleague Håvard Bell. It’s an introduction to IFD and includes the “BIM circle” and several other illustations.
You can remove and modify any of the slides but you must credit the source somewhere in your presentation. [Read more…]
This is a report sponsored by Erabuild, and written by a collaborative group from SINTEF (Ole Jørgen Karud and Håvard Bell), VTT (Arto Kiviniemi), Rambøll (Jan Karlshøj) and Eurostep (Väino Tarandi). We (SINTEF) had the lead of the project, but it was a very productive team effort, and shows the strength the Nordic countries represent in this field. The report provides current status on buildingSMART technology and usage, gives an overview of all the lessons learned so far, and list all recommended steps for future development and further usage of buildingSMART.
McGraw-Hill Construction has published at report about BIM usage in the US.
While individual adopters may be enjoying av variety of benefits from these “point solutions”, the industry as a whole is being held back from a quantum advance because the tools, powerful as they are in thir own right, don’t pass information seamlessly among themselves. This situation is made even less tolerable because out industry is also rapidly adopting principles and practices of integrated project delivery which strive to elimenate long-standing inefficiencies and avoid oft-repeated problems by sharing knowledge and collaborating earliger in the process with all members of the design, construction and operations lifestyles. As people are learning to work and communicate more effectively for the overall benefit of both their companies and their projects, their IT tools need to evolve to support this new way of doing business.
The report tries to identify the main reasons why not all participants are using BIMs. The top five(ordered from most cited reason and down) are:
1. Too few firms are using it
2. Cost associated with implementing necessary tools
3. Training time associated with implementing necessary tools
4. Cost of software
5. Lack of interoperability
The first reason is a classical “catch 22” situation.. but fortunately the report shows that BIM usage is accelerating.
It’s now nearly three year since I fist contacted @Last Software about the possibilities to see IFC support in SketchUP. At that point the reply was that they didn’t have any plans about implementing it but the question was brought to the developers. After that I’ve seen the same questions being raised several times in various SketchUP forums before and after SketchUP became a Google product. As SketchUP have a pretty active community developing additional features and import / export filters based on the Ruby interface I knew that it was only a matter of time before someone would start experimenting with the IFC format as well. This time is now!
SECOM Intelligent System Laboratory, a Japanese security-, insurance- and medical services company, have developed a SketchUP plug-in for importing IFC files. The plug-in “IFC2SKP” consist of a SketchUP ruby script and a ruby interface to the IFCsvr ActiveX component. The ruby interface and script is developed by Toshihiko Sakurai while the IFCsvr ActiveX component is developed by Yoshinobu Adati, both working at SECOM.