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.