Hot Topics from Opening Bentley Keynotes

Bentley’s BE 2007 event is going on this week in Los Angeles. Today’s keynotes were from Greg Bentley, Bhupinder Singh, Keith Bentley and Buddy Cleveland. If memory serves these are the same crew that was running the company for the last twelve or so years.

There are about 2000 people here, including some 16 universities. (Is that a small number? I expected it to be higher.)

2/3 of Bentley revenues are coming from subscriptions. The latest company annual report with details is online.

The new product is Projectwise Navigator, which replaces Bentley Navigator. It’s a client to ProjectWise for searching server content, redlining and the like. There’s a full blown version (customizeable and programmable) and a freebie version.

The 2008 release is code-named Athens and will feature enhancements related to conceptual design, dynamic views, and geo-coordination. The latter of course is of interest to us - in short, it’s on-the-fly “dealing” with coordinate reference systems in core MicroStation, ProjectWise and solutions from the other verticals. Styli Comateros intruduced the idea in his unique style and emphasized that it’d be invisible, or what ESRI would call “it just works.” This is a great thing - and I challenge other CAD companies (you know who you are) to put such fuctionality in its CORE platform. There’s also be GPS support - thought it’s not clear what that means just now - I’m sure I’ll hear more tomorrow at the geospatial keynote.

Keith Bentley (who is always worth listening to to get the latest “techie” take on programming hardware, etc.) was firm in his support for 64 bit hardware (don’t bother with 32). He hinted at   future distributed DGNs where the same idea of using mulitple cores to speed up processing will be applied to large DGNs. This comes as DGNs now routinely top out at 1 GB.

The other interesting geospatial tidbits, to my suprise, came from Buddy Cleveland’s discussion of the new Applied Research Group. He noted some licensed technology from I think it was Anoto (corrected) for electronic pen and paper. This is a bit different from solutions I’ve seen before. When you go to print docs out of Microstation you choose an option to make the print electronic. It comes out on paper with extra “dots” that make it appear a bit gray, but otherwise, ok. Now, the cool part, you take a special pen and do your edits/markup/comments on the printout. Then you dock the pen and all the stuff you wrote ends up in ProjectWise as redlining all on the right DGN. I’ll check into this on the floor since I for one would love it simply for editing text - and I suspect mapping folks would like it, too.

The other work involves using ProjectWise to task remote sensors - like video cameras. That made me wonder if Bentley’s work with OGC on OWS-4 and sensor Web is kicking in? No mention of the “how” this was done. The idea is to include real-time assets in ProjectWise’s content management functionality. This is another step I guess toward more facilities management and maybe homeland security markets.

[Disclosure: Bentley covered travel, hotel and meals.]

Published Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

Written by Adena Schutzberg

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