New Year’s resolutions

Before the ending of the year, it is time to think about New Year’s resolutions. The last year was a good one: many new applications have been build on top of BIMserver and a significant number of commercial suppliers provide services for BIMserver. Large and small BIM products use BIMserver at their backend to deal with the IFC data.

Because of this increasing usage type, the type of demands for BIMserver change. Everyone knows BIMserver needs a lot of memory. This is due to the use of the EMF metamodel in the core. There was a constant evaluation between the positive sides of EMF (developer friendly) and the downsides (performance).   One of the new year’s resolutions for 2016 is to experiment with a serializer that does not use EMF. This might lead to a new generation of BIMserver releases that do not use EMF anymore.

Another increasing demand we get is the need for a rich and stable query language. BimQL seems to be the most common BIM Query language (and is supported by BIMserver) but has limitations. The commercial use and increasing complexity of applications that use BIMserver as their base, demand query capabilities beyond the current plugins. We’ve always waited for the industry (or academic world) to develop a rich BIM Query language, but time is running out. That is why we decided to remove the Query-plugin type and build one new query language. This will be implemented (native) in the interface as well. Some work on this has already been done (look at the codebase) and we plan to gradually migrate the current API to a new one.

Last but not least: Maven arrives at the scene. We get way too many errors in the support forum caused by incompatible versions of BIMserver and plugins like or IFC Engine. It is time to use Maven to deal with this in an effective way.

So far our biggest plans for 2016 (and beyond). There are also intentions with smaller implications (remove deprecated code; create database indices; etc.). Have a look at the list on

We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a great New Year! See you in 2016.


Developers release 1.2.0 (beta release)

Today we released a beta version of 1.2.0. To get things clear right away: it has bugs. Please do not download this if you are an end-user. The main reason to release this new version is to inform developers of changes and, again, a new concept.

The new concept we would like to introduce is still a bit fuzzy. We are developing at it every day and it is changing every day. This is also the reason why we will keep updating the beta releases of 1.2.0 the coming weeks. The most important change you will notice is the ability to add ‘extended data schemas’ to projects and a new plugin type for queries (including the new BimQL plugin). More detailed info and documentation will follow soon.

When you are a developer, things will probably make sense when you dive into the code. When you are a user, a demo that we are preparing will say more than a thousand words. So please be patient for another little while.

After looking at the new release, please send your feedback through

New query language BimQL

Recently Wiet Mazairac from Eindhoven University of Technology has presented his new developed ‘open Building Information Model Query Language’ BimQL. Wiet used the open source BIMserver core to test and develop his query language and expressed the wish to integrate the BimQL work into In a close collaboration the core team at TNO created a new plugin type for Query Languages. Wiet used that to create the first Query plugin for It will be in the next (beta) release available for testing. We like to urge that this is a first result of a new initiative. Interested participants are welcome to join this effort. More information can be found in the white paper, on the website (including examples), or the source code for the plugin on github.