News about the BIMserver.org initiative

Philosophy and guiding principles

Since 2008 there is a small team working on the BIMserver platform. It started as an experiment that failed (multiple times), but turned out to a stable piece of software. The last year BIMserver made a transformation from a single piece of software to an open platform for everybody to build upon. At this point the number of people working on a BIMserver feature, plugin or extension has grown tremendously. The road we traveled might seem a bit unpredictable for a bystander, but was guided by a few principles and a steady mission. Looking back it seemed time that we publish these guiding principles. That is why we created a new page:  http://bimserver.org/about/philosophy/

We see a bright future for the BIMserver movement coming up. The team has some great plans that (like all great plans) could revolutionize the industry. Regardless of the success or failure of these new directions, the guiding principles will always be around. Now you might understand a bit better why we do the things we do (and don’t do!).

Buy the “BIMserver Chalesm book”

After the BIMserver 1.0 release the software has been downloaded over 2000 times. BIMserver.org has gained many enthouasiastic (new and existing) users; there are hundreds of BIMservers running on the net; thousands of users that benefit from the BIMserver features (on average there are 3-5 users per server install); the wiki is growing and also the support forum gets more and more detailed questions of (first time and advanced) users and developers. Really big (huge!) commercial companies have shown serious interest in BIMserver.org; the svn codebase committers have doubled and work on the 1.1 release is on a peak at the moment. This project is growing towards a real open source community project. The founders are of course very happy to see this movement, but also have to face the typical contrast that this kind of progress has to face. Before BIMserver is outgrowing its own success we intent to ride the wave as long as possible. Of course, as every open source project, there has to be some funding for this. Just like every open source project, we have (had) a donation button, but nobody really uses a donation button. Our most fanatic users are employees of organisations that aren’t going to donate. Not to BIMserver, or any other project. Donations are strange things for companies. That’s why we thought of a little trick…. We are selling books. We sell official “BIMserver Chalesm books” for 40,- EUR each. The profit of this book selling goes directly, for 100% to normal business operating expenses like hosting, bandwidth, servers and hardware, legal costs, etc. Like any dignified open source project, the income from this book is explicitly not used to pay developers. Now you probably want to know what’s in the book. We can be short and simple about that: nothing. It’s a sketchbook with all blank pages. You can use it as a notebook, coaster, firelighter or whatever you want. The BIMserver.org logo is on front and it even has an official ISBN number: 978-94-90466-02-2. If you want, you (or your employer) will receive an official invoice with VAT number and everything. So in other words: Buy the book and let your employer pay for it. Your employer probably feels a lot safer on buying an official book (even if it is blank) with invoice and VAT number. It’s up to you if you want to tell him what the book is really about….. You can order your copy here by clicking the ‘buy now’ button. We are very thankful when you do. Payment is processed by iDeal (click the logo) or Paypal (click the ‘Buy Now’).

Edit: migrating to the opensourceBIM shop. Buying the book will be available soon again.

You can also order a copy via e-mail. Just don’t forget to mention your adress, VAT number, etc… For those of you who wonder where to find written documentation about BIMserver.org: there is a constantly evolving wiki and pdf. For direct questions you can use our support forum. Please be aware that all this support is gratis.

Release 1.0 final

After several release candidates, the final 1.0 version is now available for download. The team made some final adjustments on the stability, security and usability. The core team received lots of help from enthusiastic developers all over the world.
Feel free to download it from http://download.bimserver.org and try it yourself.

A small selection of stuff we are proud of:

  • ‘Intelligent’ merging of IFC data;
  • User specific RSS feeds;
  • Geolocate your BIM project using openstreetmap;
  • Easier Google Earth link;
  • More query and filter options;
  • Better and more intuitive ‘early warning system’ (for concurrent engineering);
  • Enhanced user control and authentication;
  • ifcZIP upload and download;
  • Tested for ‘BIM in the Cloud’;
  • More options for fine-tuning the configuration;
  • Lots of improvement on the webservice interfaces;
  • Improved security;
  • WebGL browser based IFC viewer (very beta);
  • Better and more monitoring and logging of the server (for administrators);
  • More BIM and GIS integration (geoBIM);
  • Automatic e-mail on clashdetection of your models;
  • COBie export;

Together with the 1.0 we also release our new services. You can find them on http://bimserver.org/service/ To get more professional support for the open source BIMserver software we now offer masterclasses, training and custom development. These services give you more stability on using and implementing the open source BIMserver software in your daily work.

As you might have noticed the documentation of the open source BIMserver is lacking behind. Therefore we are very pleased to tell you that nine Dutch companies and the Netherlands organisation for applied scientific research TNO have started a ‘BIMserver Documentation’ project. This project will take 5 to 6 months and will deliver documentation as pdf, wiki (wiki.bimserver.org) and screencasts on YouTube. At the end of this documentation effort, BIMserver.org and TNO will organise a 4th BIMserver Breakfast (find inspiration on the 2010 site). This will take place in June this year. We are still looking for a location, it you are interested please contact us at breakfast@bimserver.org.

If you have any questions on the 1.0 release, please subscribe to one of the mailinglists and ask your questions there.

New LinkedIn group (and other ways to keep track)

It might be hard to keep track of all the info surrounding this project. When you want to learn more about this open source project, there are several ways to do so. As every open source project this one also has mailinglists. This is probably the best and fastest way to get an answer on your questions. So please subscribe to one or more of the lists and fire your questions to the community. Please pay attention: you have to be subscribed to the list to post something.

Then there is the wiki: wiki.bimserver.org
As a good wiki should, the documentation is growing. Please feel free to help us fill the wiki! Some basic documentation (the most popular) can be found on the website: www.bimserver.org/documentation

When you find a bug, please report it by using the bugtracker and of course the featurerequest.
Bimserver is under the GPL license. That means you can get the whole sourcecode and build the program yourself. The sourcecode is hosted on e-bouw.org in our own subversion repository. You can browse the sourcecode with your favorite webbrowser directly on the source repository. Use anonymous as the username and you míght have to user anonymous as password to log in.
A new way to keep track of what’s happening is the possibility to join the new LinkedIn group.
And when everything fails you can always e-mail or skype us.

Update: the linkedin group is deprecated.