The next release of MicroStation V8 is called "XM Edition" -- XM short for what? Nothing, it turns out. Kind of like the XR-7 of old Ford Cougars. Maybe we need a name-that-XM contest.
I've mentioned before some of the new features. BE Magazine has new details on the new features:
* Uses DirectX APIs for faster and smoother graphics.
* Every element (object) and level (layer) can be displayed partially transparent
* Relative priority (display order) of elements
* Keyboard mapping (customization?)
* Sheet Set composer
* Task modeling sets up "appropriate tasks and templates" (workspaces) -- essentially a subset of MicroStation's commands are available, depending on what's being done
Other items listed but not detailed: fields, designlinks, element templates, and raster references.
Also announced is ProjectWise XM being integrated with SharePoint. Hot new feature is "distributed work files," described thusly: when a file is marked "shared" then multiple users can edit it; the edits are later merged into a single master file. Another example in BE: multiple field-updated drawings merged back into a single as-built.
Over at AEC Weekly, Susan Smith provides additional details, which include:
* Project table of contents sets up, maintains, and navigates projects with links to project drawings, specs, standards, etc. [sounds more extensive than AutoCAD's Sheet Set Manager].
* XM might not work with your computer, so Bentley will provide a download that checks graphics card compatibility.
* XM will ship by the end of 2005, so a half-year to wait yet.
* DirectionsMag suggests "XM" is short for "extreme makeover."