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SpecLink-E participates in the building information modeling (BIM) process through integration with CAD environments such as Revit Architecture 2009 and 2010 via LinkMan-E, which acts as a communications conduit and an integration manager.
With LinkMan-E and SpecLink-E in place on the same computer or the same network, relevant project data can be transferred in both directions between the CAD environment and the specifications environment. LinkMan-E is designed for use by a project manager to review and coordinate data on the same project from all connected applications.
Dashboard views show the status of objects in each of the linked applications, and LME can also be set to "turn on" any missing products in the SpecLink-E application, based on data from Revit.
In addition to its BIM linking ability, SpecLink-E has been equipped with many new features that build on the success of its predecessor, BSD SpecLink+. For example, its database can be collapsed or expanded to produce outline, short form, and full construction specs without the need to maintain separate documents for various phases of a project. It has also been designed to allow real-time updating of its master database over the Internet at any convenient time. Updates to the individual user's client software take advantage of Microsoft technology called ClickOnce installation. This allows the client software on each user's computer to update itself automatically from a central location on the network once the site manager decides to make the update available to users at that site. As with the previous generation SpecLink+ software, data updates to SLE will not overwrite user modifications in any existing projects, including so-called "office master" projects, because of SLE's unique database structure. Project-specific information entered by a user is stored in separate project overlay tables that are automatically merged with the master database content when a project is viewed or printed.
SLE is now available to new customers and can be installed by current BSD SpecLink+ subscribers at no additional cost.
The LME software is available to current customers who wish to participate in the beta test. Initial general release of BSD LinkMan-E is scheduled for March 2010.
About BSD: Building Systems Design offers innovative software tools for the architecture, engineering, and construction markets of North America. Founded in 1983, the company creates, maintains, and supports advanced cost estimating and specification writing products used for thousands of projects annually.