I first encountered Bentley ProjectWise when writing a case study about its use by London-based DLG Architects in 1999, and the product has been in my peripheral vision almost ever since. While my main focus over the past decade has been on Software-as-a-Service, I know ProjectWise has been widely used as a locally-hosted solution for AEC document collaboration, particularly on infrastructure projects, and it was exhibited at last week’s COMIT MobiBIM event (post).
One of the Bentley representatives told me ProjectWise is available as a Bentley hosted service (“Online”), but its suite of collaboration servers and services remains most widely deployed in-house (“Onsite”). As part of the Bentley portfolio, it is, of course, well integrated with other Bentley projects, as well as other standard industry applications (Revit, AutoCAD, Microsoft Office, etc), offering a range of different views of data and easy content reuse.
At the COMIT event, the former ProjectWise Navigator (essentially its design viewing, analysis and markup tool – now rebranded Bentley Navigator) seemed to attract a lot of attention, particularly as it was easily demonstrated on an iPad (ProjectWise Explorer and Bentley Navigator are both iPad-specific apps – Android or other OS solutions are still in the pipeline apparently). Reviewers can open a range of 2D files, 3D i-models (Bentley’s proprietary approach to sharing containers of information) and PDFs, and make comments or add mark-ups, which are then automatically synchronised with the files, communicated to other team members and saved as part of the audit trail.
Lachmi Khemlani attended Bentley’s recent BE Inspired event in Amsterdam, and heard a business update on ProjectWise (AECbytes article). She reported on the detail within a recent announcement that this “workhorse for worksharing” will soon be supported by a new cloud storage and sharing service:
Bentley will be complementing ProjectWise with a brand-new cloud software service called Bentley Connect, which will provide every Bentley user with an individual “Bentley Connections” space to store files and other data securely and share them easily. This data will also have the benefits of audit trails, versioning, data file transfer, and so on.