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Slow but stable

Many of you probably know the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. After the 1.0 final release of BIMserver.org 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 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.

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.

 

Release candidate 5

Exactly one week before the release party the RC5 is now publicly available. The bugs from the RC4 were fixed and in that process we found a few more enhancements could be made to some features. Feel free to testdrive the RC5. Download it at download.bimserver.org or on our development site.

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.

Release 1.0 Candidate 4

People keep asking how many release candidates will come before the stable release is there. At RC3 we really didn’t know. Today we say that RC4 will probably be the latest. We have everything in there we want in a 1.0 release. In RC3 there were still a few bugs that are solved now. If no bugs will be found in the RC4 it will be the stable release somewhere next week. We even made a 1.0 branche in the SVN repository to start working on the new backbone for the 1.1 or even 2.0 release. Only bugs and minor changes on this RC4 will be fixed before the stable release. Feel free to test it via http://download.bimserver.org/

Second candidate for the 1.0 release

Some users found a few bugs in the first release candidate for version 1.0 of the open source BIMserver software. We fixed these issues and also did some additional work on the ‘intelligent merging’. You can test this new merging feature by selecting ‘intelligent merging’ in the settings screen. The merged models (project with subprojects) are now better merged than before. Feel free to try this version and send us feedback. Download it from http://download.bimserver.org

First Release Candidate 1.0

Today we released the first candidate for the 1.0 release of the open source BIMserver software. As you know a lot has changed since the 0.8.1. We made a huge leap in speed, performance and stability again. Under the hood the IFC Engine Library has fixed a caching bug. This makes the export to non-IFC formats (Google Earth, KML, CityGML, Collada) much more stable. Most important new feature is the clash detection. There are still a few issues that we would like to resolve before the 1.0 stable release, but think you should have a look at this stage. Feel free to try this version and send us feedback.

Preparing the BIMserver Breakfast and 1.0 release

For those of you who think we fell asleep: we didn’t. We are working hard on the first 1.0 release candidate. Last week a group of our most valued users have received a private beta of the 1.0 release. They gave us some great feedback on which we are working right now. We plan to publish a first release candidate by the end of August. During the BIMserver Breakfast 2010 on September 1st a group of over 100 people (115 registered until today; and they keep coming) will test the very latest version of the code that day. We hope they do not find too much bugs and give some valuable feedback. If everything goes well the 1.0 stable release will be public in September. We focused on stability in the core and performance of the kernel; but of course there are a lot of new features as well. We even changed (attention: changed may not mean it’s improved….) the GUI. Find a sneak preview below.

Sneak preview on 1.0

We plan the new BIMserver software release as the 1.0 version. We hope to get this 1.0 version before the summer. Some of you already saw some new features in the demo-server or the source code. For other users, just some new features that will be in 1.0:

  • Advanced queries and rules (‘get me all doors on the first floor wider than 800mm’)
  • Log for administrators (see what’s happening on your server)
  • Branching a model (variant studies)
  • O3D visualisation in the browser
  • Clashdetection on IFC
  • More speed with less memory use
  • and maybe even workflow….

We’ll keep you posted on the progress!