User projects and use-cases of BIMserver and spin-offs.

Teaser: BIMserver testimonials 2011

During the last BIMserver Breakfast some people were interviewed about their experience with the open source initiative.
The final 7 minute movie with testimonials will be available in October this year. Some statements were very flattering and we are so proud we want to share them without waiting the final release. This is why we created a 1 minutes ‘teaser‘ with statements about from several different users. Of course the text is completely out of context, to make it sound even better than in the final movie. It is viewable on youtube. Within a few weeks the final version will be online as well.

User feedback from survey

A few months ago we asked users to help us improve. You gave feedback in an  online survey. Today we present the first results. In October we present the full results at the CIB conference.

The survey shows that the spectrum of users spans 15 countries.  Most respondents have learned about the project by word of mouth. A third of the respondents are commercial end-users from architectural, engineering or consultant SMEs, followed by software developers (23%) and academic researchers (16%). Service providers and academic lecturers using the platform for teaching purposes complete the spectrum of users.
The platform is actively used by 5 people on average per server instance, with reported peaks of 60 parallel users during a collaborative pilot test. Additional informal feedback showed the capability of the platform to handle large, diverse models, even though powerful hardware was mandatory and collaboration was often slowed down by mismatching sub model coordinates and other (non technical) management issues. The platform is mostly used in the design development stage of a project (32%) with pre-design (20%) and construction (15%) as the runners up and occasional applications during schematic design, procurement and operation. Revit™ (26%), ArchiCad™ (25%) and Solibri™ (12%) are the dominant applications used as source or target applications by the users, and a majority (57%) of the respondents made earlier use of collaboration platforms, tools and model servers, among which are dedicated IFC model servers (14%) and proprietary model servers (24%).
The model merging capabilities of the platform are both the most used (26%) and the most important (46 % ranked them as “very important”) features indicated by the respondents. Revision management (22%), simple queries and filters (16%) as well as advanced queries and rules (12%) are also frequently used.
Not to our surprise, the biggest obstacles for an effective use of the platform were neither the memory use (18%), nor the operation speed (12%) but the usability of the provided client user interface (24%) and the visualization (18%). Only a small number of respondents were unhappy with the stability of the system. By far, the most important external factor limiting the usefulness of the system is the lacking quality and compliance of IFC models exported from the source applications (42%), followed by the import capabilities of target applications (21%) and the absence of interoperability with specialized domain specific tools (18%). A tighter integration of the overall workflow e.g. by means of IDM or the coupling with document management systems and the capabilities of the IFC model schema itself are considered only minor shortcomings in comparison to the import and export.

We want to thank everybody that gave feedback (either through the survey or other means). The only way for an open source project to become successful is on active participation of the community. Feel free to keep sending us bugs, feedback, ideas and suggestions. Thank you very much.

Why IFC, and why

Why use IFC, and why did we develop Really basis questions that we don’t think about any more after so many years…. During the BIMserver Breakfast Leonardo Manzione from Brazil was kind enough to ask us these questions again and film the result. Below you will find a link to his youtube movie of his ‘interview’ with Léon van Berlo.

2011 BIMserver Breakfast

The 2011 BIMserver Breakfast has past some weeks ago now… Not much attention was given to it on our website. As always the public was huge. This year 120 people registered and attended. There was a variation of users from completely new ones that had to learn about the software and concept from scratch, to advanced users that were curious about the new 1.1 features.

You can ‘re-live’ the BIMserver Breakfast on
The general atmosphere was that this 4th BIMserver Breakfast might be the last one for a while. is now widely known in the AEC industry and the learning curve is very pleasant. Getting to know and using it is pretty easy. With the documentation coming up within a few months, the need to ‘get together’ to introduce this new world isn’t needed anymore.
Of course, as will evolve, new reasons will come up to organize BIMserver Breakfasts again in the future. We also encourage users all over the world to organize their own BIMserver Breakfast. If you plan to do so, please let us help you. Contact us at
At the bottom of this post you’ll find some photos and videos made by participants.

Help us improve by filling in a short survey

Give us 5 minutes of your time, and we will give you an improved BIMserver.

To get an overview of the applications, expectations, perceptions, opinions, shortcomings and your own developments of the open source we created a short survey.
It consists of some 22 questions and should not take longer than 5 min. to fill in. All questions are optional, fill in only as much as you want.
We would very much appreciate your feedback on this project and we are certain that this will help us with regard to future improvements, features and the general direction of this effort.

Link to the survey:

Any other (informal) feedback is also welcome.
Thank you very much for your time,

The team

BIMserver Breakfast + openBIMweek 2011

breakfastlogo After the successes of the previous BIMserver breakfasts we intent to expand this year. The concept is simple: attendees get together to try out the BIMserver software, share ideas, or anything else related to BIM and the open source BIMserver software. There will be breakfast, coffee and some short presentations from advanced users. Last year 130 enthousiasts participated. This year there will be room for (only) 150 people.

This year the BIMserver Breakfast won’t be a single event, but part of the international openBIMweek 2011 in Amsterdam (the Netherlands). is present in multiple events during that week.

More info and registration on…

Slow but stable

Many of you probably know the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. After the 1.0 final release of software this story might appropriate. The 1.0 release was months behind our originally planned releasedate (summer 2010), but it has proven to be a winner in stability. Since the releasedate the download counter is now over 300 downloads. First feedback from users is unanimous: performing slow but stable.
After a release the development team always steps back and has a good look at the core again. Building features is easy, but building them on top of a reliable foundation is the key to stability. After the 1.0 final release we have done the same and created a list of ‘critical’ things for the new core. Until now the performance speed of the software never became an issue, but we cannot ignore this anymore. We even found a sponsor to finance this (name will be public soon…).  That is why ‘lazy loading’ of database objects is on of the first new implementations for the next release. There’s already a lot of work done on that in the source code trunk. Thanks to intensive usage statistics of fanatic users, we also found that alphabetic sorting of projectnames really (yes, really) slowed things down. This kind of userfeedback is very valuable.
The biggest dilemma right now is the choice between releasing a ‘performance update’ that would be 1.0.1 or keep on developing until the 1.1 release is stable. Let us know what you think….

Update: Lots of improvements have been made to speed since this post from 2011!

Release party impression

This morning the BIMserver 1.0 release party took place in Delft (the Netherlands). Almost 60 people came to the old watertower to network with other fans and users of the software. Although the 1.0 stable release isn’t online yet (just a moment, it’s a blink of an eye away) the participants got a nice view on the new features. Léon van Berlo gave a short impression on future thoughts from TNO on the open source BIMserver initiative. Martijn Snel from BIMasaService showed a short impression of his services that makes use the open source BIMserver software. In the end Paul Bos from Z33P architects showed a few examples of their use of the software so far.


January 25th 2011: BIMserver 1.0 release party

To celebrate the release of the 1.0 stable version of the open source BIMserver software, we will organize a small ‘get-together’ which we call ‘release party’. The party will be at ‘de Watertoren’ in Delft (the Netherlands) on January 25th 2011.

During this 2 hour meeting we will show the newest features of the 1.0 release, talk a bit about future plans (as far as that’s possible for an open source project) and give an update on some projects (that we are proud of) that are using the software in real life.

This meeting is sponsored by ‘BIM As A Service’. BIMasaService uses the open source BIMserver software to supply services to their costumers. If you want a BIMserver without the stress of the installation, backups and updates you can ask BIMasaService to manage that for you. BIMasaService will have a short ‘word from the sponsor’ during the release party.

We hope that you will join us on the 25th in Delft (NL). If you like to meet other fans and users of the BIMserver software this is the ideal place to do so!

Please fill out the form to confirm your precence and receive more info.

In short:
Location: ‘de Watertoren‘ in Delft (the Netherlands).
Date: January 25th 2011.
Time: 11.00 – 13.00.
Cost: free (if you fill in the form).
Sponsor: BIMasaService.

Impression of the 2010 BIMserver Breakfast

For those who were not at the latest BIMserver Breakfast an impression is made by ensfilm. You can view it on youtube.