AEC Tech News (#248)

15 Apr, 2009

Newforma Project Center Sixth Edition

First Look Review: Project information management software for AEC teams embraces more file types and integrates markups in a simple, e-mail-like interface.

By Robert Green

No matter which CAD system you use, you still need to save your files in a logical way so you can find them later, right? Yet with all the advances in the CAD tools we use, most companies store their files haphazardly and have trouble finding them later. And the plethora of file formats and e-mail attachments used in today's typical projects can make project control vexing.

Newforma Project Center Sixth Edition is the latest update to Newforma's project information management software that addresses these key nuts-and-bolts type of concerns, and it adds some new functionality to provide control in BIM (building information modeling) project environments.

Stronger Content Search
One of Newforma Project Center's greatest strengths is how thoroughly and transparently the software keeps track of the who, what, and when that happens with every file, and it tracks what is in each file as well. Using Newforma Project Center, it would be very easy, for example, to find all AutoCAD DWG files in Project Number 12345 that contain the phrase "Cable Tie" in the body of the drawing. After locating those files, Newforma Project Center could show you the history of the file with any associated action items, their assigned team members, and relevant dates.

When implementing Newforma Project Center, getting all the information into the system simply requires telling the system where the data is -- typically within directories on a server drive -- then letting Newforma Project Center index that information. Although this process could take anywhere from hours to days, depending on the volume of data, it is an unattended process that ultimately allows you to start using the system. After all, what good is a document-control system if it is a huge headache to import the documents into the system in the first place?

These content-management and search functions have become stronger in each edition, and the Sixth Edition continues the trend of mining more data from your files with less effort on your part. Read more »

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Robert Green performs CAD programming and consulting throughout the United States and Canada. He is the author of Expert CAD Management: The Complete Guide.

CAD Manager's Journey into 3D, Part 2

By Robert Green

In the last edition of CAD Manager's Newsletter, I presented some 3D software data from my CAD Manager's Survey 2008 and expounded on a few conclusions. I expected a few emails and perhaps some disagreement, but -- whoa, Nellie! -- I did not expect the firestorm of conflicting responses I received.

I'm going to kick off this issue by sharing and commenting on some of those responses. This way, I can present a variety of opinions, address some relevant questions, and clarify responses. Here goes. Read more


Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events

Webinar: Being BIM Aware
April 27, 2009
You have probably heard the term BIM or building information modeling, but are you sure what it means? Read more »

Improving Your Project Delivery Effectiveness Through IPD and BIM
June 17-19, 2009
Madison, Wisconsin
The University of Wisconsin's workshop covers principles of the integrated project delivery approach and BIM technology procedures. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on


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