8 OpenRoads Myths expelled!

SELECTseries 2 to SS3, what’s the big deal?

At EnvisionCAD we hear some things being thrown around about OpenRoads that may not be completely accurate. Here are just a few expelled myths that might get you to the correct understanding.


1) It’s a new software platform

Nope! It’s a common technology incorporated in existing Bentley Civil offerings.  If you use InRoads, GEOPAK, or MXROAD you can take advantage of a common technology that’s been incorporated into all three platforms.

2) It’s all in or nothing.

Wrong. OpenRoads (SS3) does not require MicroStation SS3 as the CAD platform. The good news is that SS2 civil products also run on MicroStation SS3 and co-exist with SS2 civil products.

3) I can’t go back.

Nope. In fact, you almost have to. OpenRoads is a set of technology incorporated in your existing platform. It does not replace everything you have done in the past. You will have to utilize previous versions of your software to generate ‘hard copies’ of profile views (dynamic in SS3) and use historical commands for tasks such as a plan set generation, drafting notes, etc.

4) SS2 to SS3, it must be a minor delta update.

No, no, no. It is a profound change.  While some of the functionality has been offered in previous SELECTseries releases (Civil Geometry, Element Templates, etc.), you need to understand these and implemenet new technology. What you ask? Surfaces, geometry, corridor definitions and super-elevation (and more) are now stored in the MicroStation dgn file.

5) Just install it and the users can figure it out. 

Maybe the uber-users… over time. With MicroStation becoming the repository for design intent and the design elements themselves, you have to determine the best way to leverage this new capability.

6) My workflows will not change.

They will change, for the better.  The interface is more intuitive with heads-up displays, input, and edits (no dialogs). With engineering data being stored in the dgn file, data sharing (references) is more accessible to the masses, which requires changes to data management practices. Speaking of data, did we mention that designs are now dynamic? Changes to horizontal of vertical geometry, templates, or corridor definitions automatically update the CAD file profiles, cross sections and design model.

7) It does not retain my investment in past project data.

Wrong. In fact, it’s easier to process survey data, import, export, and synchronize with existing geometry, surfaces and drafting/design standards.  This includes the sharing of engineering design criteria and output between the 3 Bentley civil products.  Okay, full disclosure… InRoads IRD files and GEOPAK criteria files do not translate to SS3. Plans are in the works to allow historical IRD files to be incorporated in SS4. Template libraries remain unchanged.

8) Geometry, surfaces and corridors are stored in the DGN file. Files must be huge!

It’s really the opposite. MicroStation is very efficient. An SS3 MicroStation file containing topographic mapping and a terrain element (surface) is about 1/3 smaller than the combined DGN & DTM file size stored separately in SS2.


People also read – How not to implement OpenRoads.

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Ron Brys

Ron is the founder and president of EnvisionCAD and is an experienced land surveyor, designer, and CADD system administrator. Ron has specialized in MicroStation & InRoads software from Bentley Systems, Inc. and provides configuration, development, implementation and instruction. 

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