News about the BIMserver.org initiative
As many of you in the BIM innovation community noticed, Stijn van Schaijk posted a huge amount of public available BIM data on github. Gigabytes of data including IFC data, BCF, pointclouds, schedules, log files, etc. are open available for R&D and educational purposes.
The bimvie.ws GUI has a new feature to automatically import the whole dataset into your BIMserver for demo and testing purposes.
Recents weeks we’ve been using the dataset to perform some optimisations on the usability of bimvie.ws and BIMserver. We’ve noticed that multiple aspect models didn’t perform as we expected and we updated the API of BIMserver to better facilitate this in the viewers.
Testing of the new setup with IfcOpenShell, bimvie.ws and BIMserver show remarkable performances. Loading the whole dataset with all 49 aspect models over a home internet connection fully loads within less than half a minute.
Testing on localhost shows the complete dataset in around 10 seconds which proves the limitation is in the internet connection.
We are excited about this and are looking even more forward to the new version of BIM Surfer. The BIM Surfer V2 is well on its way with a much leaner and stable API, an MIT license and much more features for improved usability.
We are stoked to see more and more open source tools of such high quality complementing each other. The activity on github, the release of the Schependomlaan and the growing use of BIMserver prove that BIM users are still seeking innovation. We are happy to contribute to that 🙂
The 1.5 release came online at github. The 1.5 branch is considered a ‘developers branch’. The internals of BIMserver have drastically changed. The 2.0 version which is upcoming will have changes in the API / ServiceInterface. Developers that use internal plugins in their tools should have a look at this 1.5 release. Developers that connect to BIMserver from a separate application should keep a close watch in the development in the codebase.
The use and development of the BIMserver.org platform is accelerating. The 1.3 release has been downloaded 80.000 times. That is great! Therefore we have several job openings for Java developers. Are you a Java developer that really understands the fundamentals of Java? Are you used to working with Eclipse and the Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF)? And, most important, do you have what it takes to change the world?
Send us your motivation with a list of previous work. When you did something with IFC or BIMserver in the past, please elaborate on that. There are some things that could be improved on BIMserver. When you feel motivated to work on those, please let us know how you would approach them.
E-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t have enterprise Java knowledge but still want to contribute to a game changing development team? We have several short-term freelance jobs to write plug-ins (internal services and serialisers). In this case we do like to see some previous effort. Send your resume to email@example.com
We’ve made the 1.4 release final today. Biggest improvement is the support for both IFC4 and 2×3 in one project (each sub-project can have a different version). Furthermore there are some improvements on memory use and performance.
When you build something on top of BIMserver you have to notice that most of the API calls have changed. Because of the use of multiple IFC schemas it is now necessary to add the schema in most of the API calls.
The IFC4 features have been tested as good as possible. We are used to more intensive testing, but don’t have enough valid IFC4 data to make any guarantees. Any help/data is welcome. The stability of the whole platform, and the usual stability of the IFC2x3 parts are obviously still in there.
We are very happy to announce that this release is in conjunction with bimvie.ws and IfcOpenShell. This means the plugins are already updated to the new version of BIMserver, which creates a very low threshold for users.
Release 1.4.0 final is out. You can find it on https://github.com/opensourceBIM/BIMserver/releases/tag/1.4.0-FINAL-2015-05-14 It is the first release where we are able to combine IFC 2×3 and IFC4 in the same database. Users are now able to have a project with models from different structure. For example the architect in IFC2x3 and the Construction Engineer in IFC4.
We could only test the IFC4 feature very basically. We received a couple ofIFC4 models from users, and found some test models on the internet. Some of these models where not valid IFC4 because they did not comply to the schema. When you have IFC4 files, please send them to us for testing. We will also put up a public demo/test server soon.
Because of the collaboration with bimvie.ws, the bimvie.ws plugin is now shipped with the BIMserver release.
Besides the main new feature of IFC4, there are improvements on performance and stability. We intent to release updates of the 1.4.0 version with a date stamp. So keep watch of those on github.
As we discussed earlier, the database of the 1.4 release of BIMserver will be significantly different from 1.3. We didn’t give priority to create a migration script for the database so you need to start with a fresh install of BIMserver when you use 1.4. To accommodate users that really want their data from a 1.3.x BIMserver into their new 1.4 installation, we created a migration script. What is does is download the data from the old BIMserver and import it in the new 1.4 database. This is only tested once on one of our own projects. It seemed to work, but we cannot guarantee that is works all the time. You need to be some kind of nerd magician to get this working because there are no buttons to push, but actual java classes to run. We have a short guideline on https://github.com/opensourceBIM/BIMserver/wiki/Migrating-1.3-to-1.4 and of course when you really are a nerd, you will find everything you need in the code: https://github.com/opensourceBIM/BIMserver/blob/master/BimServer/src/org/bimserver/TriggerImportDataRemote.java
We call everyone who thinks they need this to test it before the final 1.4 version is coming. We expect this soon now, so please make sure you have your database ready when it comes. Feel free to use http://support.opensourcebim.org for additional support and bug reports. Good luck!
The BIMserver.org team is working in close collaboration with the bimvie.ws project. This is resulting in a massive improved user experience for BIMserver and a big step in performance for bimvie.ws. As soon as BIMserver 1.4 will be released, the bimvie.ws plugin will also be ready for users.
Update april 2: additional screenshots
Just a quick note that we are working hard on the release of BIMserver 1.4. This will be the version with ability to checkin IFC2x3 and IFC4 data in the same database, and even in the same (main)project. This enables project partners that don’t have the ability to tune their IFC versions to still be able to collaborate.
This means the core and database structure of BIMserver will change radically.
At this moment we do not have funding to create an automatic update script. Also the interface will chance. On some calls we had to add a field to define the schema. When you are building tools on top or inside BIMserver 1.3, you will have some work to update to 1.4. So please make yourself acquaintant with the new core and interface of BIMserver 1.4 to make sure updates will go as fluent as possible.
We are trying to create a script to transfer data from 1.3 servers to a 1.4 installation but this will not be incorporated in the release and there will be some manual work evolved. More on this later.
At this moment the biggest setback in releasing the 1.4 version is that we don’t have enough IFC4 models to test the stability of our implementation. We could really use the help of the community to provide IFC4 data to test reliability and stability of the BIMserver framework. Feel free to send your models to firstname.lastname@example.org. As we take much pride in the stability of the platform we don’t feel confident about releasing a product that is not tested thoroughly.
Keep track of the github page https://github.com/opensourceBIM/BIMserver for more info.
It is the end of the year and we are trying to finish all the deadline projects. This really pushes us in the development cycle. We expect to have new beta releases and release candidates in the beginning of next year.
Main new feature is the combined IFC4 and IFC 2×3 capabilities. We could really use some more IFC4 models for extensive testing of our platform. Contact email@example.com when you want to share some. After the large model tests we also improved lots of performance on large models. We are working in close collaboration with bimvie.ws to create combined releases.
We hope to ‘release early, release often‘ this time, so expect many releases with minor changes. Until that time we all wish you a great Christmas and all the best for the new year to come!