Axiom reveals the secrets of FileFixer.

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CLEARWATER, FLORIDA, USA — Because Axiom’s FileFixer has distinguished itself worldwide as the solution for automatic analysis and repair of MicroStation V7 and V8 design file corruption, there’s really no reason not to reveal how we do it. Companies often protect their proprietary data and trade secrets but, what the heck, let’s see what I can get past the editor.

“Mommy, where do FileFixer enhancements comefrom?”

Where do FileFixer enhancements come from?

  1. Nearly all Axiom personnel, not just the Support and Development teams, are in regular communication with MicroStation sites around the globe, monitoring the most frequently reported forms of file corruption on a daily basis (for over 19 years). It is routine for MicroStation users to report misbehaving design files to Axiom — Axiom welcomes such reports and carefully analyzes and tabulates all corruptions found.
  2. Axiom’s Support and Development teams identify the forms of file corruption which most severely impact MicroStation users.
  3. Axiom’s Development team implements new Search and Repair capabilities which remedy the most severe forms of corruption which FileFixer doesn’t already handle. The team goes beyond merely tweaking bits and bytes to salvage a corrupted element in one customer file — repair algorithms are devised which generalize the solution to benefit all FileFixer owners.
  4. Axiom’s Development team polishes the user interface so FileFixer remains as easy as possible to use, despite the underlying complexity of design file analysis and repair.
  5. Axiom’s Certification team performs thousands of tests to ensure enhancements do not impact the reliability and effectiveness of existing FileFixer features.
  6. Go to step 1 and repeat.

Sounds pretty simple. Maybe I shouldn’t have revealed these secrets…

How V8 design file repair differs from V7
To facilitate migration from MicroStation/J to MicroStation V8, the Bentleys ensured the look and feel of V8 was not drastically different from MicroStation/J. The similarities between the V7 and V8 user interfaces belie the significant differences in the V7 and V8 file formats.

Some MicroStation users have expressed the idea that FileFixer for V8 is an upgrade from the V7 version of FileFixer. It is more accurate to say FileFixer for V8 is an entirely new application that specializes in the analysis and repair of MicroStation V8 design files.
Let’s highlight the similarities and differences between the V7 and V8 file formats.

V7 and V8 elements are similar, but…
Specific information is required to represent a line or rectangle or other shape in a design file. For example, to store a line you need coordinates for the two endpoints. To store a rectangle, you need coordinates for the corners.

V7 and V8 elements are similar.

The illustrated V8 element is wider because more storage is required for V8’s increased coordinate precision. Otherwise, the information required to represent a line or rectangle did not change dramatically from V7 to V8 (lines still have endpoints, rectangles still have corners, etc.).

That’s where the similarity between V7 and V8 design files end.

V8 elements are compressed to reduce size, much like .zip files. Elements in V7 files are not compressed.

However, unlike V7, V8 elements are compressed.

V8 design file organization is new.
MicroStation V8’s compressed elements are organized internally into subfolders and subfiles. There are no subfolders or subfiles in V7 design files.

V8 elements are compressed and then stored in subfolders and subfiles within the DGN file itself.

FileFixer for V8 — new search and repair breakthroughs
You might begin to see why structured storage errors are so serious for V8 files. When the structured storage framework of a file is damaged, there is no way to access the elements within.

Similarly, when the compressed portions of a V8 file are damaged, there is no way to access the elements within.

V8’s structured storage file organization and element compression normally work fine, but when one or the other or both become corrupted, there is no way to access the elements nestled within. Analysis of customer files reveals these are the most common categories of file corruption unique to V8.

FileFixer for V8 includes the element analysis and repair capabilities of FileFixer for V7 — plus completely new analysis and repair features to handle these V8-specific categories of corruption.

In fact, FileFixer for V8 is the only application available anywhere which can automatically repair these new categories of V8 corruption.

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