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Bentley Systems has announced new interoperability offerings on the Iware Apps site it launched in March.

The site provides fast and easy access to Bentley’s no-cost Iware Apps for enhanced interoperability, along with links to free training in their use and in-depth reference documentation.

The 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.

They 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.

These Iware Apps join those already available, including Bentley View for interacting with AEC models and drawings, apps for Autodesk Revit users and apps supporting Integrated Structural Modelling (ISM).

I-models are containers for open AEC information exchange, which provide particular advantages for this purpose such as ‘provenance’ and self-description.

They can be published by all Bentley applications and Bentley’s Iware site provides plug-in apps to publish I-models from other AEC applications.

I-models interpret, ‘normalise’ and expose the disparate data schema from any varied source, so the AEC information that any I-model contains can be programmatically accessed in a standard way.

New I-model drivers on the Iware Apps site broaden direct access to this project information for business tool users.

These drivers include: I-model Driver for Excel; I-model Driver for Access; I-model Driver for Crystal Reports; and I-model Driver for Visual Studio.

Users of these tools now can simply specify an i-model as an information source for their applications, immediately discover the ‘database’ structure and richness of content, and fully leverage this information in their familiar analytical processes and data flows.

Bentley DGN Reader for Windows 7 equips Windows 7 users to fully and easily navigate DGNs and i-models.

The new reader incorporates the functionality of two previous Iware Apps (Bentley DGN Thumbnail Provider and Bentley DGN IFilter) and adds model and document previewing for immersive exploration by project stakeholders.

The Bentley DGN Reader for Windows 7 features: a previewer – an immersive viewer for DGNs and I-models directly within Windows Explorer and Microsoft Outlook for models and drawings without the need to open them in an application; text search – allowing the contents of DGNs and i-models to be indexed, making this content searchable within Windows Search and Google Desktop; thumbnail display – enabling applications such as Windows Explorer to display the thumbnails embedded in DGNs and I-models.

Bentley ODBC Driver for Windows 7 provides direct ODBC access to data within DGNs and I-models.

It’s for use by any Windows 7 application that utilises Windows ODBC.

Bentley Flexunits allows users to easily perform conversions for virtually any type of unit, including flow, length, velocity, viscosity, area, volume, torque, temperature and more.

It also provides the ability to create custom units and dimensions that can be shared with colleagues.

The Iware Apps site also includes a new tool dedicated to the interoperability needs of the geotechnical and geoenvironmental user community.

AGS Toolkit equips users to validate files in the AGS 3.1 and 4 formats, as defined by the American Geotechnical Society, in order to ensure data quality.

It also provides the ability to exchange AGS files with Excel to facilitate their analysis and editing.

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