A Managed CAD environment

A Managed CAD environment

Everyone knows that having standards to follow and making them easy to access translates to increased consistency, efficiency, competitiveness, and profitability. In a CAD environment this can be accomplished by utilizing a managed environment. More specifically; MicroStation Workspaces and AutoCAD Profiles.

Workspace Goals

The goal of standardizing with a Workspace is to implement MicroStation such that the end users have the standards they need and a consistent and easy-to-use interface. The results of a MicroStation Workspace are to:

1. Reduce production time
2. Remove inconsistencies
3. Adhere to client standards
4. Increase operator efficiencies
5. Increase market competitiveness
6. Increase your return on investment


Workspace layering

There are a number of ways to setup a workspace in MicroStation. These setups can be layered together to create a robust environment. For example: if you are working with a particular client, a workspace can make certain the end user conforms to that clients standards while at the same time deploying your company standards to facilitate printing, custom applications, and interface modifications.

Corporate Workspace

A corporate workspace would enforce internal standards and configuration settings for how your company operates. The corporate workspace can be layered with a client workspace to ensure company standards are being used in addition to the clients.

Client Workspace

A client workspace would include standards that follow a client’s standards such as a DOT or USACE.

MicroStation Workspace Meeting

Project Workspace

A project workspace can be used in addition to a corporate or client workspace where additional resources or standards are required that are unique for a specific project.

Discipline Workspace

A discipline workspace could be used in addition to any corporate or client workspaces. For example: perhaps you needed to add standards for MEP, ROW, or structural work and don’t care to see or use the resources for the other disciplines.
Whether set at The Client, Project or Discipline level, workspaces define variables that set the individual project or client standards. Some items may be:
• Cell Files
• Text or Dimension Styles
• Resource Files (fonts, linestyles, etc.)
• Seed Files
• Reference Directories
• Levels

Multiple Workspaces can exist on a local machine or a server making it easy to implement your standards or the standards of all of your clients.

Creating a managed environment should not be viewed as an additional expense. It’s simply replacing the money you are losing now by not having users follow standards or at least making it easy for them to follow them. Your ROI will be quickly realized by eliminating the expense of operator inefficiency and unrealized productivity gains. Contact EnvisionCAD to help you get set-up and start realizing the productivity gains now.

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EnvisionCAD Team

Since 1996, EnvisionCAD has been a nationally recognized leader in the configuration, customization, implementation, training & support for CAD software solutions. Our individualized approach has benefited private engineering firms and government agencies alike. We can help you get the most from your CAD technology.

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3 comments on “A Managed CAD environment

  1. Robert Biggar Reply

    I did this type of a workspace environment ~ 10 years ago.
    My goal was to have “a place” for all the random standards and files that “happen” to a workspace environment. Mine “stabilized” at (in order of inclusion): ; ; ; Corporate; Office; Discipline; Misc; ; Client override; Project; .
    the site file implemented “Corporate, Office, Discipline, and Misc”.
    The project file I used as a Client file and I used it to implement both an immediate over ride to the client’s standards and to set up a true “project” configuration.

    This setup allowed me to encapsulate most client workspaces within my own.
    the goal here was to allow me to switch out client workspaces without a lot of effort. If you can “deal” with the client workspace just as it is delivered, it makes upgrading it Vastly easier.

    another huge benefit of this is that resources don’t get “scattered” …if someone provides you with a font for a particular project…you put it in the project area…not the user area, or the client area where it can interfere with other projects.

    The only aspect I was unable to accomplish to my satisfaction was an interface implemented at the client level and the main editable interface at the user level (old interface stuff). (it failed when changing project/client in the file open window) anyway…
    With the introduction of the “new” (not-so-new now) DGNLIBS…I was able to accomplish this last piece.

    The “leveling” set up by the “INCLUDE” statements in the site file helped a great deal in de-bugging. It would have been nice to see which level each variable “stopped at” instead of them all displaying as “SITE”. But I never dabbled in adding processing levels..that didn’t seem wise.

    Biggest problems….
    workspaces that set “_USTN_SITE”, I finally abandoned it in my own setup to keep my workspace from being “hijacked”
    also, workspaces that set variables with “=” when they should be “>”.
    and the “ever-popular” workspaces that set key variables within compiled MDLs.

    This setup also included a standard “set” of folders… nearly identical for each level.

    it works as you are describing it, and it is well worth the effort in the long run.

    that was my experience anyway…

  2. Robert Biggar Reply

    that should read:
    Mine “stabilized” at (in order of inclusion): [System]; [Application]; [site]; Corporate; Office; Discipline; Misc; [Project/Client]; Client override; Project; [user].

    w/out it is even MORE like gibberish!

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