2011 Be Together: The Bentley User Conference ‘Keynote Report’

Bentley and its Software Users ‘Work Smarter Together for Integrated Projects’ Through the ‘V8i Advantage’

EXTON, Pa.--()--Bentley Systems, Incorporated, the leading company dedicated to providing comprehensive software solutions for sustaining infrastructure, held its annual Be Together: The Bentley User Conference May 23-26, 2011, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.A. This highly interactive conference, whose theme was “Sharpen Your Edge,” gave Bentley users the opportunity to advance their skills, network with their peers, and gain competitive advantage in the marketplace as they attended multidisciplinary sessions and workshops – choosing from among the more than 350 available in nine conference tracks. The tracks included Roads and Bridges, Building, Structural, Water, Geospatial, Utilities and Communications, Plant, AssetWise, and MicroStation and ProjectWise. Guided by Bentley product experts and power users, attendees acquired knowledge crucial to the adoption of information-modeling best practices as they earned Bentley Institute Learning Units (with over 450 available, including some qualifying for AIA CEUs) to maximize return on time invested in professional development. In keynotes, CEO Greg Bentley and SVP Bhupinder Singh highlighted new innovations in the company’s V8i portfolio of software – innovations that empower Bentley and its users to “Work Smarter Together for Integrated Projects.” And the Be Together LIVE Zone provided an interactive exhibit and demonstration area that brought people and technology together in a series of interest-specific zones to test drive software and hardware from Bentley and its growing community of technology partners.

Focusing on the “whys” of Bentley Systems’ Be Together announcements, Greg Bentley addressed the following in his keynote:

  • Bentley Systems’ 2010 performance highlights,
  • enhanced learning,
  • the AECOsim product family, including AECOsim Compliance Manager, AECOsim Building Designer, and AECOsim Energy Simulator,
  • GeoStructural products,
  • the V8i release of gINT geotechnical data management software,
  • ProConcrete software,
  • Raceway and Cable Management V8i software,
  • a joint collaboration with Tekla Corporation furthering interoperability,
  • enhanced cloud provisioning,
  • integrated software delivery and the V8i compatibility commitment,
  • integrated software delivery and Windows 7,
  • Bentley’s support strategy,
  • commercial aspects of working smarter together,
  • the three “C’s” of integrated project delivery – collaboration, context, and continuity,
  • “handovers” from construction to operations that are “hands-on.”

Focusing on the “hows” of Bentley’s Be Together announcements, Bhupinder Singh addressed the following in his keynote:

  • the V8i portfolio’s ongoing SELECTseries releases that prioritize delivering for Bentley users the “V8i advantage” comprising intuitive modeling, immersive design, intrinsic 3D, and incredible performance, along with interoperability supporting workflows that incorporate software from multiple vendors, data reuse, and compatibility across all of Bentley’s discipline-focused applications;
  • new innovations from Bentley that extend the V8i advantage, including design synchronization, building simulation, hypermodels, mobility, markup synchronization, PDF orchestration, point cloud management, transmittals, and scalable terrain models.

Greg Bentley’s Keynote

Said Greg Bentley to the architects, engineers, constructors, geospatial and operations professionals, and CAD managers gathered for the first keynotes of the week, “We don’t think it is possible for you to work harder. Based on our SELECTservers, since the downturn, the number of hours ‘worked’ per week for each of our user licenses has grown almost 50 percent. A better idea for us all would be to work smarter, together. Bentley’s V8i portfolio presents our cumulative investment and opportunity to work smarter. It starts with our MicroStation platform for design and modeling, our ProjectWise platform for project team collaboration and work sharing, and our AssetWise platform for asset operations, which together underlie our information modeling applications for integrated projects across simulation and then construction and operations.”

During his keynote Greg reported on:

  • the company’s market share gain and growth beyond pre-2008 downturn revenues (on a constant currency basis);
  • enhanced anytime, anyplace learning offered through the Bentley LEARN training subscription, which now includes 300 LIVE training courses in the virtual classroom and more than 1,800 OnDemand eLearning courses;
  • the following new products, product enhancements, and products in Bentley’s early adopter programs:
    • AECOsim – This new product family uniquely provides interdisciplinary building design, analysis, and simulation software focused on helping architectural, engineering, and construction professionals deliver high performance, intelligent buildings. AECOsim enables best practices in integrated building systems design and performance simulation, and results in simulations that rigorously benchmark against design intention and accurately predict the performance of the delivered building. Bentley’s AECOsim Compliance Manager software as a service (SaaS) for LEED certification is immediately available. AECOsim Building Designer and AECOsim Energy Simulator are currently in the course of Bentley’s early adopter programs, through which software becomes field-proven and refined based on input from Bentley users; these products will become broadly available during the remainder of the year.
    • GeoStructural Analysis and Advanced GeoStructural Analysis products – With the release of these offerings, Bentley Systems brings a new category of software tools to surface and subsurface project work. The software paves the way for the inclusion of geotechnical and geoenvironmental considerations in integrated project workflows and decision making. The scope includes capabilities for the design and analysis of walls, slope stability, sheeting, piling, footings, abutments, soil pressures, settlement, as well as finite element analysis and tunneling and ground analysis.
    • gINT V8i geotechnical data management software – Enhancements to Bentley’s gINT for subsurface projects afford users the “V8i” advantage, including geospatial context for geotechnical data management within ProjectWise.
    • ProConcrete – Bentley’s ProConcrete is ideally suited for modeling, detailing, and scheduling reinforced cast-in-place and precast concrete structures. It delivers 3D data to seamlessly integrate and connect engineering design data all the way through to fabrication. This, in turn, provides the ability to link all design data to be cohesively shared across CAD platforms and other engineering disciplines.
    • Raceway and Cable Management V8i – Still in Bentley’s early adopter programs, this is the most comprehensive software available for designing, modeling, and documenting raceway and cable systems for large plant and manufacturing facilities and electric utility substations. It provides integrated 2D and 3D design functionality that encompasses all project phases, from the earliest concepts to completion and handover. Built-in intelligence provides automation of manual and error-prone tasks including routing cables, calculating cable lengths and raceway fill, generating accurate material quantities, and providing error-free construction documentation.
  • a joint collaboration to improve interoperability between Tekla Structures BIM software and Bentley’s Integrated Structural Modeling (ISM) methodology;
  • enhanced cloud provisioning capabilities, such as ProjectWise OnLine, now available through Bentley’s Professional Services organization that complement new strategies involving mobile devices for team collaboration and typically include hybrid deployments.

Turning to new innovations from Bentley Systems in integrated software delivery, Greg said, “With so much of our portfolio needing to work together within complete solutions on your projects, it’s important for us to work smarter together in software delivery. Our V8i compatibility commitment is unique in the marketplace and important to you. In particular, we certify compatibility across any and all of the V8i application formats, so you can mix and match any V8i products across our SELECTseries.”

This, he added, allows users to establish independent SELECTseries release pacing for each product, providing them with a ramp of continuity going forward. As a result, a user can employ, for example, MicroStation V8i (SELECTseries 2), InRoads V8i (SELECTseries 1), and ProjectWise V8i (SELECTseries 3) as part of the same solution with complete interoperability. This contrasts with the strategies of vendors that force users to upgrade all of their software across projects every year, requiring them to work harder and to risk incompatibilities, without substantial gains.

Integrated software and its delivery from Bentley Systems are also benefiting from significant new capabilities of Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system. Greg explained that Microsoft Windows 7 has expanded the V8i advantage to include “immersive design,” by way of:

  • a more intelligent and immersive touch experience;
  • enhanced interactive performance in multiscreen monitors, graphics, and authoring (including the use of gestures);
  • intelligent immersive search and exploration of AEC models using Bentley’s new DGN Reader for Windows 7 (now available through Bentley’s no-cost iWare website) for searches, thumbnails, and model previews of DGNs and i-models (containers for open infrastructure information exchange) in Microsoft Outlook and Windows Explorer;
  • broader managed access to project data via Bentley Navigator and ProjectWise web parts, Internet Explorer, and SharePoint;
  • easier, more flexible software deployment through Citrix support and the delivery of software enhancements without disruption to users’ workflows through “patch” and “install over” incremental upgrades.

He then announced a new phased support strategy corresponding to Microsoft’s operating system cycles. Bentley’s Windows 7-specific development and support will be for V8i only, including in the case of forthcoming 64-bit editions of its products. Microsoft has already deprecated Windows XP support and will retire it in 2014. Bentley will not support Bentley software running on retired Microsoft operating systems, and will truncate support for V8/2004 in 2014.

On commercial aspects of working smarter for integrated software delivery, Greg highlighted:

  • Annual Portfolio Balancing that enables Bentley SELECT subscribers to annually exchange underutilized software for needed software of equal value – assuring that their Bentley software investment never depreciates;
  • Bentley’s expanding offerings of Passport Subscriptions, which include a full discipline-specific portfolio of software, training courses, technical support, and manufacturers’ content, for affordably achieving information modeling best practices.

Greg next discussed how Bentley’s integrated software delivery can help users take advantage of opportunities to provide better performance (and return on owners’ investments) through integrated project delivery, in which – irrespective of contractual format – information modeling adds value at each project phase, enabling participants to work smarter, together. Integrated projects, he said, meet three characteristic requirements – collaboration, context, and continuity – and he reviewed respects in which Bentley Systems addresses each by providing:

  • Enhanced collaboration through:
    • the ProjectWise platform for collaboration and work sharing, consisting of servers and services that can be deployed on site, by way of private or public “cloud,” or as a hybrid combination;
    • i-models, containers for open infrastructure information exchange providing precision, provenance, portability, and self-description;
    • innovations in mobility that provide anyone with a browser, anywhere, access to ProjectWise content through Bentley’s Navigator web part; and
    • forthcoming Point Cloud Management in ProjectWise to manage, stream, and share point clouds across distributed teams;
  • Comprehensive context comprising all of the disciplines involved in a project using:
    • software such as Bentley’s 3D city modeling tools that allow users to engineer in a real-world model, integrate the management of assets in the same 2D-3D platform, generate realistic visual renderings, perform more accurate analysis using a 3D model, and more;
    • design synchronization plus consensus models that provide appropriate context from multiple disciplines;
  • Unprecedented continuity in:
    • data reuse facilitated by Bentley’s iWare Apps site, which provides fast and easy access to Bentley’s no-cost iWare Apps for enhanced interoperability; new offerings extend the reach of architectural, engineering, and associated business data within information models for much broader use – through widely deployed business analytical tools and throughout enterprise systems supporting intelligent infrastructure assets – and include i-model drivers for Excel, Access, Crystal Reports, and Visual Studio, the Bentley DGN Reader for Windows 7, Bentley ODBC Driver for Windows 7, Bentley FlexUnits, and the AGS Toolkit;
    • the hand-off from design to construction, transforming it into a hands-on process, empowered by new innovations from Bentley including:
                              --   hypermodels – the revolutionary innovation to interact with required 2D drawings in their appropriate 3D context, navigating callout links to enhance and clarify the 3D model, which serves as a spatial index to all project information;
-- apps for mobile devices (such as the iPad) to immersively access – now from anywhere – design and construction model information, and to provide synchronized feedback of markups and field status;

dynamic collaboration, design synchronization, and iterative project review empowered by ProjectWise for Construction and ProjectWise for Revit Users – packaged offerings that include Bentley Navigator V8i, setup and configuration, training, and support;


construction workface planning with open interfaces to the major plant engineering applications, now fully leveraging ProjectWise V8i and Bentley Navigator V8i, through the newly released ConstructSim V8i;


integrated fabrication workflows enabled by Bentley’s ProConcrete software and Integrated Structural Modeling apps;


real-time standards-based information exchange – including manufacturers’ content from specifications and construction through commissioning – across systems achieving the ISO 15926 requirements of the iRING user community, available through software such as Bentley's OpenPlant V8i;

-- tighter “hands-on” workflows among design, engineering, and construction through new Bentley partner agreements with Norconsult, Motion Computing, SMART Technologies, Synchro Ltd., Tekla Corporation, Vela Systems, and Vico Software, Inc.

Greg concluded by reminding the audience that the ultimate objective of continuity is to produce intelligent assets for owners, which, he said, requires a handover from construction to operations that is hands-on as well. This can be facilitated with services such as Bentley’s eB Insight that are provided by Bentley’s AssetWise platform for asset operations and shared with Bentley’s ProjectWise platform for project team collaboration.

Bhupinder Singh’s Keynote

Bhupinder Singh presented an overview of the innovations that set Bentley apart from other software providers, including enhancements to the V8i product family. Said Bhupinder, “Greg has told you that to deliver integrated projects, you need solutions that enable collaboration, ensure continuity, and provide context. This is exactly what we had in mind when we launched V8i a few years ago. As a coordinated release of products and solutions, V8i was launched with a set of priorities that drive our innovations to provide you with advantages in intuitive modeling to help you move designs from concept to completion.”

He continued, “These innovations let you interact with 2D and 3D in an integrated and immersive manner, taking advantage of new touch screens and other hardware and software advancements. An intrinsic 3D platform-based geo-coordination allows you to take advantage of information from many sources and automatically geo-reference them. These innovations also help improve project performance. For example, the Delta File Transfer technology in ProjectWise V8i allows you to only transfer the part of the design that has changed between editing sessions, giving you a huge performance improvement when working with large files and datasets. And our commitment to interoperability helps your integrated projects exchange information with other tools and project participants seamlessly.”

He added that since the initial launch of V8i, Bentley has introduced SELECTseries releases of its products, each one of which has provided great new functionality and many new advantages. At the same time, each has stayed true to Bentley’s V8i compatibility commitment, which allows users to take advantage of everything Bentley has to offer in V8i. Bentley, he said, is continuing this commitment going forward with new SELECTseries releases.

The remainder of Bhupinder’s presentation focused on the following newly introduced innovations, each of which further extends Bentley’s V8i advantage:

  • Design Synchronization – Design synchronization enables project teams working across disciplines, tools, and geographies to ensure shared design information is up to date, consistent, and meets project standards at all times during the project. The net result is a more fully aligned interdisciplinary design with higher quality and consistent deliverables throughout the process, fewer errors during design review, and superior workflows. This is achieved through a shared repository of common model data for interdisciplinary use, discipline-specific consensus schemas, and common infrastructure elements that are shared across disciplines and design applications. A common interface lets users synchronize their work with the project team to coordinate changes, track revisions, and compare versions from multiple disciplines and applications, while a notification system informs users of changes in real time.
  • Building Simulation – Effective building performance simulation requires rigor and accuracy, beyond the simple notional simulation other tools provide. And delivering better performing buildings requires tradeoffs between decisions made in different disciplines. Therefore, establishing design feedback loops among these disciplines is crucial – but can be difficult, especially if the products used are based on different platforms, or are provided by different vendors. Bentley’s new AECOsim family of interdisciplinary information modeling software facilitates this process. AECOsim Building Designer is a single product that provides comprehensive tools for architectural, structural, mechanical, and electrical modeling and documentation. AECOsim Energy Simulator is built from the same platform, and embeds the industry-standard EnergyPlus engine – so it is able to perform rigorous simulation and analysis of building mechanical systems, environmental conditions, and energy performance. While tightly integrated with AECOsim Building Designer, it also is well suited for other workflows, such as those based on Revit, AutoCAD, and ArchiCAD. AECOsim Compliance Manager is a new project management and collaboration SaaS that automates the United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC’s) LEED certification process. It empowers project teams to achieve the maximum LEED certification level more accurately and quickly, and at a lower cost.
  • Hypermodels – Hypermodels place drawings into a 3D context, disambiguating and enhancing the clarity of the 3D model. Users can employ hypermodels to navigate the links or callouts with the 3D model as a spatial index. Through the extended dynamic view functionality in the MicroStation platform, users can author hypermodels, establish hyperlinks, and publish hypermodels for review in Navigator. Hypermodels are extremely useful in building design, where plans, elevations, and section details are all embedded in, and navigated from, the 3D model. For designing roads, hypermodels enable plans and profile sheets to be oriented in the alignments to visualize the cross section. They provide “hands-on” instant access to all the relevant information, since the links could be a PDF specification or a maintenance record. Hypermodels will be in the forthcoming MicroStation (SELECTseries 3) release and AECOsim Building Designer.
  • Mobility – Growing use of mobile devices has driven demand for effective tools to support mobile workflows. In response to this need, Bentley has introduced its first mobile apps. With the introduction of ProjectWise Explorer for the iPad and Bentley Navigator for the iPad, Bentley enables project participants to package and easily transfer content managed in ProjectWise, including DGN and DWG 3D models and 2D drawings, i-models, specifications in Word, tables in Excel, and photos and PDF files. This capability lets users view, query, and mark up content in a disconnected mode. When users are connected to ProjectWise, the markups are uniquely synchronized to the source content. An associated innovation also shown at Be Together is panoramic navigation, which allows users to navigate models simply by moving an iPad as though it were a window into the model in which the user is virtually immersed. The apps will be available later this year at the Apple App Store, at no cost to ProjectWise Passport holders.
  • Markup Synchronization – During design review, project participants typically communicate what needs to be changed by creating markups or redlines, both on paper and digitally. Managing these markups, tracking them, and ensuring they are implemented can present significant challenges. With markup synchronization, markups are automatically associated with the original source document for both digital and paper-based workflows. Using ProjectWise, project managers can validate that appropriate actions were taken to address these markups, significantly reducing project risks.
  • PDF Orchestration – Creating accurate, consistent, and complete PDF deliverables that conform to project standards is still a manual, time-consuming effort. PDF orchestration enables project teams to reliably produce compliant and accurate PDF documents on demand and on schedule. Through a licensing agreement with Adobe, Bentley has long embedded PDF libraries into its products, including MicroStation and Navigator. Now, with Bentley’s PDF orchestration, users can establish publishing profiles to define rules such as file naming standards and CAD standards. This capability will be available as part of ProjectWise Dynamic Composition Services, scheduled for release by year’s end.
  • Point Cloud Management – Point clouds are now pervasive in information modeling workflows. But working with and sharing point cloud datasets that range from hundreds of megabytes to hundreds of gigabytes can be challenging. Leveraging platform capabilities in raster management, point cloud management in ProjectWise enables teams to take full advantage of point cloud data, eliminating the need for producing and distributing unmanaged copies of large datasets. MicroStation provides the ability to visualize, render, animate, and integrate point cloud data into project documentation, as well as visualize point cloud data in Navigator. Both MicroStation and Navigator can publish point cloud data into i-models. The forthcoming Bentley Descartes V8i (SELECTseries 3) will introduce advanced point cloud workflows including advanced visualization, classification editing, tiled export, and object extraction capabilities.
  • Transmittals – These are official communications, typically containing design content, between project collaborators. To effectively manage project risks from concept through design and engineering to construction, a transmittals management framework needs to provide:
    • the ability to reliably access and include in the transmittal the correct versions of design content from drawings to calculations to specifications;
    • the ability to transform and package this content into formats suitable for downstream use;
    • a transmittals registry that tracks what’s being delivered to whom and by when;
    • a review and approval workflow that tracks all activities related to the transmittal.

    Bentley is delivering these capabilities with ProjectWise Transmittals, offered in both AssetWise and ProjectWise.

  • Scalable Terrain Models – a revolutionary new technology empowering the high-performance, multi-resolution display of digital terrain models (DTMs) that can cover very large areas and contain billions of points. The models also enable high-resolution image draping, and are scalable from the traditional uses in site and highway design to 3D city models. The new technology takes advantage of the platform’s intrinsic geo-coordination functionality to align data from disparate coordinate systems automatically. It also leverages Bentley’s platform capabilities of raster management such as tiling, overviews, and on-demand paging. Bentley Descartes and Bentley Map provide users the ability to author scalable terrain models from a wide variety of source data, and retain provenance so that the model is easily regenerated when that source data changes.

Bhupinder ended his keynote with a look at upcoming innovations in Bentley’s Applied Research group. Among them were Point Clouds from Photographs, Point Clouds in Stereo, Instant Collaboration, Augmented Reality, and Sensor-Driven Generative Design. Attendees test drove these innovations in the LIVE Zone.

The LIVE Zone

The LIVE Zone featured offerings in modeling and analysis, visualization, knowledge resources, technology futures, collaboration, CAD management, intelligent deliverables, and operations. Be Together conference sponsors exhibiting in the LIVE Zone included:

  • Premier Sponsors – HP and Microsoft
  • Conference Sponsors – Cadalyst and ZweigWhite
  • Technology Sponsors – Luxology LLC and Pointools Ltd.,
  • Associate Sponsors – Advance2000 Inc., Altiva Software, Inc.; AMD Graphic Technologies; Axiom; Bluebeam Software; BLUERIDGE Analytics (provider of SITEOPS); CadFaster; CAD Management Resources, Inc.; FARO Technologies,Inc.; FIATECH; John Wiley & Sons Inc.; McGraw-Hill Construction; Motion Computing; SMART Technologies; TEEC; Terrasolid Ltd.; Vela Systems Inc.; and Z Corporation.

For additional information about the products and services noted above, visit the following web pages:

AECOsim: www.bentley.com/AECOsim
AssetWise: www.bentley.com/AssetWise
Bentley Descartes V8i: www.bentley.com/bentleydescartes
Bentley LEARN Training Subscription: www.bentley.com/LEARN
Bentley Map V8i: www.bentley.com/BentleyMap
Bentley Navigator V8i: www.Bentley.com/DynamicCollaboration
Bentley SELECT Subscription: www.bentley.com/SELECT
ConstructSim V8i: www.bentley.com/ConstructSim
eB Insight: www.bentley.com/eBInsight
GeoStructural Analysis and Advanced GeoStructural Analysis: www.bentley.com/geostructural
gINT V8i: www.bentley.com/gint/whatsnew
InRoads V8i: www.Bentley.com/InRoads
Integrated Structural Modeling: www.bentley.com/ISM
iWare Apps: www.bentley.com/iWare
MicroStation V8i: www.bentley.com/MicroStation
ProConcrete: www.bentley.com/ProConcrete
ProjectWise for Construction: www.bentley.com/IntegratedProjectDelivery/specialoffers
ProjectWise for Revit Users: www.bentley.com/IntegratedProjectDelivery/projectwise+revit
ProjectWise V8i: www.Bentley.com/DynamicCollaboration
Professional Services: www.bentley.com/professionalservices
ProjectWise OnLine: www.bentley.com/ProjectWiseOnLine

About Bentley Systems, Incorporated

Bentley is the global leader dedicated to providing architects, engineers, geospatial professionals, constructors, and owner-operators with comprehensive software solutions for sustaining infrastructure. Bentley’s mission is to empower its users to leverage information modeling through integrated projects for high-performing intelligent infrastructure. Its solutions encompass the MicroStation platform for infrastructure design and modeling, the ProjectWise platform for infrastructure project team collaboration and work sharing, and the AssetWise platform for infrastructure asset operations – all supporting a broad portfolio of interoperable applications and complemented by worldwide professional services. Founded in 1984, Bentley has grown to nearly 3,000 colleagues in more than 45 countries and $500 million in annual revenues. Since 2001, the company has invested more than $1 billion in research, development, and acquisitions.

Additional information about Bentley is available at www.bentley.com and in Bentley’s annual report. For Bentley news as it happens, subscribe to an RSS feed of Bentley press releases and news alerts. To view a searchable collection of innovative infrastructure projects from the annual Be Inspired Awards, access Bentley’s Year in Infrastructure publications. To access a professional networking site that enables members of the infrastructure community to connect, communicate, and learn from each other, visit Be Communities.

To download the Bentley Infrastructure 500 Top Owners ranking, a unique global compendium of the top public- and private-sector owners of infrastructure based on the value of their cumulative infrastructure investments, visit www.bentley.com/500.

Bentley, the “B” Bentley logo, Be, Bentley SELECT, SELECT, MicroStation, ProjectWise, InRoads, AECOsim, eB, gINT, Bentley LEARN, ProConcrete, and ConstructSim are either registered or unregistered trademarks or service marks of Bentley Systems, Incorporated or one of its direct or indirect wholly owned subsidiaries. All other brands and product names are trademarks of their respective owners.


Bentley Systems, Incorporated
Press Contact:
Ron Kuhfeld, +1 610-321-6493
Follow us on Twitter: @BentleySystems

Release Summary

Bentley Systems highlights its Be Together: The Bentley User Conference, which took place May 23-26 in Philadelphia. Included are summaries of keynotes by CEO Greg Bentley and SVP Bhupinder Singh.


Bentley Systems, Incorporated
Press Contact:
Ron Kuhfeld, +1 610-321-6493
Follow us on Twitter: @BentleySystems