RefManager avoids time-consuming pitfalls on your path to V8.

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CLEARWATER, FLORIDA, USA — Axiom wants to help you migrate your projects to MicroStation V8.

The world’s most experienced developer of time-saving MicroStation software solutions, has devoted the past four years to the resolution of V8 migration barriers for MicroStation sites around the globe — and Axiom wants to share its hard-won corporate experience with its clients and all MicroStation Today readers.

Read on to learn (painlessly) what Axiom and other MicroStation users had to learn from the “school of hard knocks”. In particular, this article reveals some lessons learned about V8 reference files and how you can use RefManager, one of the most popular components of Axiom’s MicroStation Productivity Toolkit, to smoothly migrate your project files to V8.

Where is V8’s “Save Full Path” check box?

MicroStation V8 no longer offers the “Save Full Path” checkbox in its “Attach Reference File” dialog box. By default, a reference file’s full path is always saved by MicroStation V8. To override this default, set the new V8 configuration variable MS_DISALLOWREFFULLPATH = 1, but note that this changes MicroStation V8’s behavior globally and only for future attachments you create. To remove the full path from existing attachments in one or 1,000 master files, your solution is RefManager for V8.

You could become quite attached to RefManager.
RefManager for V8 seamlessly accommodates the underlying differences between reference files in MicroStation/J and MicroStation V8. For example:

  • V7 attachments consist of a link between a master file and a reference file. V8 attachments consist of a link between one model and another model. The referenced model might be in the same file! Of course RefManager for V8 accommodates models attached to models — allowing users to manipulate more than 70 reference file settings in multiple master files, multiple models and multiple attachments.
  • MicroStation/J offers 63 numbered levels. MicroStation V8 offers one or more named levels. RefManager for V8 allows selection and manipulation of attachment levels by name — for example, users can control any aspect of V8 reference file level display and reference file level symbology by level name.
  • Despite these (and numerous other) differences, the V7 and V8 versions of RefManager have consistent user interfaces — those users familiar with the V7 version of RefManager should be able to immediately use RefManager for V8 without retraining (once familiar with MicroStation V8 itself).

The Path of Least Resistance
V8 projects often start with V7 files copied to a new V8 project directory. CAD managers often report that their reference file links are broken after saving their newly upgraded V8 files to a new server drive or directory. MicroStation V8 can’t find a reference file if the saved full path points to an obsolete V7 location.

There are several ways to solve this problem with RefManager for V8 — even after project files have been upgraded to V8. You can use RefManager for V8 to:

  1. Replace an obsolete V7 full path with a new V8-specific full path. For example, replace the reference file path c:projectv7border.dgn with n:projectv8border.dgn. Do this if you want to continue using full paths in V8.
  2. Remove the full path from all reference file attachments. For example, replace the full path c:projectv7border.dgn with border.dgn. Do this if all of your project files reside in the same directory or if the definition of the configuration variable MS_RFDIR includes the directory containing your V8 reference files.
  3. Replace the obsolete full path with a relative path. For example, replace the reference file path c:projectv7border.dgn with v8border.dgn. Relative paths are new in V8 — do this to take advantage of this new capability.
  4. Replace the obsolete full path with a configuration variable. For example, replace the full path c:projectv7border.dgn with MYPROJECT:border.dgn. Do this if you want the flexibility of a user-defined configuration variable to define the location of your reference files.

Regardless of your preferences or project conventions, RefManager can update your reference file paths in any conceivable way and can perform multiple modifications in a single batch processing run — bulk manipulations which are not supported by MicroStation alone. For tips on how to painlessly migrate your projects to MicroStation V8, contact an Axiom MicroStation Consultant today.

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