December 08, 2014 by Paul Wilkinson http://extranetevolution.com/
Less than two weeks after Business Collaborator announced its management buy-out, the Reading, UK-based construction collaboration technology provider has announced the latest release, v6.3, of its core Software-as-a-Service platform, and the first release of its BIM module, including a “state of the art” model viewer.
Business Collaborator is one of the UK’s most mature SaaS construction collaboration platforms, having been launched in the late 1990s, and establishing itself as a strong ‘third force’ in the UK market through its adoption by companies such as Halcrow, Costain, Thames Water and others.
The latest edition of its core document collaboration and workflow management system provides a preview of a new interface based on HTML5, and designed from the ground up to work across desktops, laptops and tablets, being optimised for use with both mouse/keyboard and touch-based control (reminding me of Bentley’s “App-lications” approach; BC hasn’t yet started developing its own native apps, unlike UK rivals 4Projects and Conject, both of whom have acquired mobile expertise this year - post).
The updated BC system can also be configured to show latest news in a project blog, capture photos and display in a fluid grid, and present key dates in a Gantt-style format. In addition to managing confidential project interaction, the new capabilities therefore allow easy creation and presentation of a website giving read-only information.
BC BIM 1.0
BC has been developing its support for building information modelling (BIM) for some years, outlining its BIM roadmap at user conferences in 2012 and 2013 (the MBO interrupted this year’s plans), and briefing customers this this year about delivering the requirements of a ‘Level 2′ common data environment in 2015.
BIM 1.0, a new module for Business Collaborator, is, it says, “the culmination of more than 3 years research and development”. Its BIM Viewer lets anyone on the project team view IFC 3D models and their associated data directly in their web browser, with the viewer experience engineered to access large models (0.5GB) while remaining responsive to user input. Users can navigate using an “Object Tree” or by IFC categories or attributes.
BC CEO Sanjeev Shah says: “Building Information Modelling is the single, largest step change the architecture, construction and engineering industry has faced. At Business Collaborator we have been working hard to deliver the right solutions for our customers who are embracing BIM ahead of the 2016 UK government mandate.”
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