You may have read the recent AEC magazine article “The CDE Conundrum” which looks at the roles of CDEs and discusses the productivity challenges when authoring environments aren’t directly integrated to project collaboration tools.
To support a seamless transition from “Work in progress” (WIP) to “Shared” status, a CDE should integrate with design authoring tools, to enable a smooth design to distribution workflow. The challenge of interoperability arises with design tools that are proprietary and locked down and only work with file formats native to the application. Significant delays can also be introduced when creating sheet outputs from the model for review by the extended project team. Many of the key decisions and approvals made early on during the design stages are lost when the final output is uploaded into the CDE.
One solution to bridge the gap, that GroupBC integrates with, is Cabinet from Opentree.
Opentree, like GroupBC, are UK based solution providers with a rich pedigree of developing and delivering design/drawing management systems to construction. They developed and launched Cabinet in 2003, helping to deliver and automate information management standards, including more recently, BIM.
BC Enterprise is the cloud based CDE and information management solution used for collaboration across projects and programmes, whereas, Cabinet is an on-premise WIP management solution, focused on managing the WIP data of the design team, consultants and contractors.
Cabinet integrates with various systems such as MicroStation, AutoCAD, Revit, Inventor, MS-Office etc enabling the sharing of the CAD, BIM, and Office files along with their related metadata, ensuring smooth synchronisation between systems. It also automates those repetitive manual tasks such as file naming, version control, updating title blocks, PDF/IFC generation and filing of Shared and Published files reducing the risk of mistakes.
When a file is changed in Revit, for example, it’s status will be automatically changed in BC, saving time with manually revising files and ensuring consistent, accurate and compliant data and streamlining production and delivery processes of data.
Users don’t need to be experts in BS 1192:2007 either as much of it becomes an automated process, significantly reducing the requirement for education and training, and minimising keying mistakes and rework.