After the previous release we expressed our intention to transform the BIMserver software from one big chunk of code, to a flexible cohesion of core modules and plugins. By doing this, we are lowering the threshold for people to create extensions, plugins and custom builds. In other words: creating a stable, flexible, open infrastructure that everybody can use as a strong base to build something on top. We believe this is important for BIMserver to be able to grow into a movement that will be much bigger than just a couple of programmers.
Because of the involvement of great developers and advanced users during the last couple of months, we are proud to have a BIMserver build with several external plugins. Many thanks and credits go to Chris Bogen (USACE) for their COBie plugin and Thomas Krijnen for the IfcOpenShell render engine plugin. Also many thanks to Catenda for intensely testing the framework. We hope your bimsync application will be a success! We are very thankful for the effort and are convinced it has made today’s release much more stable and reliable. Thanks to Rehno Lindeque for creating a connection between his Open Source WebGL Viewer (bimsurfer.org) and BIMserver. Many more developers are creating plugins that will be released for public (hopefully) very soon. We can’t say too much about it today, but we’ll keep you informed via this website. Finally a warm ‘thank you’ to all people that took the time to test or evaluate the BIMserver software and inform us about issues on http://support.BIMserver.org
We had a great year with lots of great talks with prominent people in the world of (open)BIM. We feel a growing interest for the BIMserver.org project and hope the 1.1.0 release will accelerate the use and appreciation of BIMserver.org.
Although the new, visible features for end-users are not jumping towards you from the screen…. there are some nice ones we would like to note:
- The storing of incoming files: even when IFC files are corrupt (or for some other reason not stored in the database) the server manager can always obtain the original uploaded file.
- Visualization is gone: we removed visualization from BIMserver. We think a server should be a server and not a visualization tool. We are teaming up with bimsurfer.org for visualization. Other visualization tools might also join our team in the future.
- Internal performance updates: we’ve improved a great deal of memory usage in this release.
- Caching of downloads: Both revision and queries are now cached on server after the first download. This means any additional download (by any user) will have very fast retrieval . This speeds things up quite a bit in a multiuser environment where several people need to download a merged model or revision to their own computer.
- Progress bar: lots have asked for it, now it’s there… a progress bar during checkin and download.
Some more technical new features for the people who love nerd-talk:
- Ignore files renamed to ‘objectIDM’ and are now part of the plug-in structure (to be able to link them dynamically to serializers).
- Ability to choose renderEngine and objectIDM for a (de)serializer. Default BIMserver is shipped with the TNO IFC Engine Series Library (closed source as a plugin) and open source IfcOpenShell. It’s up to you which one you use.
- More server settings.
- Low level calls: We’ve added ‘add’, ‘edit’, ‘delete’ calls in IFC objects through the BIMserver service interface. This allows every application to edit the IFC data without upload/download of a file.
- Setup page after first startup: No default admin and password anymore. Just choose your own after first startup.
- Database migrations: In the future, new versions of bimserver will update the database to the new structure (beta).
- Enable and disable external plugins.
- More info of your running server and improved logging
- New protocol buffer interface: In addition to SOAP and REST interface, we now support Protocol Buffers. This is a major step towards real-time (streaming) communication with clients.
- Client Libraries: Allows developers to ‘talk’ to the API of BIMserver very easy and gives access to the cool BIMserver stuff for their own application (both server-, as client-side).
- Improved API, including technical documentation: on http://wiki.bimserver.org and JavaDoc of the interface API.
- Notifications: subscribe your client to notifications on your server. BIMserver events will be published to a special protocol. We even created a ‘Satellite server’ example framework to demonstrate the power of this concept.
A full list of new features, enhancements and bugfixes (the release notes) can be found on our development site: http://dev.bimserver.org/
There are several builds. If you are looking for the ‘old fashioned one-click-and-it-runs-JAR-file’ you should download “bimserver-including_GUI-1.1.0-final.jar”. This is renamed because it is now a combination of the BIMserver and the GUI Interface (the HTML you get on the screen). When you use the BIMserver with GUI, please note that we do not support all webbrowsers. We test on Chrome (for multiple reasons) and know that Firefox and Safari also work pretty good. We do NOT support users with MS InternetExplorer so please do not use IE with BIMserver.
We also supply a WebArchive build, and both a Jar and WAR of BIMserver without the GUI. Examples of the Satellite server, libraries and other downloads are all available on http://download.bimserver.org
Installation and setup instruction can be found in a screencast: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6CjPuDknlc. Please note that the license of most of BIMserver has changed from GNU GPL v3 to GNU Affero GPL v3. More info on http://www.bimserver.org/license/
On every new release people ask us why we do this… We even get question what your hidden business model is and how we rip off people without them noticing. None of this is true. Read our ‘Philosophy’ and guiding principles on http://bimserver.org/about/philosophy/ to understand us a bit more.
We have great plans for the future. We really believe we are at the edge of implementing a mayor change of how the industry uses BIM. If you understand and acknowledge our guiding principles, and want to team up with us, send us your plans and (broadest possible) motivation to firstname.lastname@example.org.