INVIEWlabs Launches Unifi V1.3 Digital Asset Manager
Building Information Modeling has been around for several years and most architectural, engineering, and contracting firms have implemented different variations of BIM workflow. Many firms are now looking to streamline their workflows and make their teams more efficient. Utilizing complimenting software platforms to augment their BIM workflows and optimize their design process is something every firm, regardless of the size, strives to accomplish in order to stay competitive.
Digital Asset Management or DAM is very popular among AEC firms primarily for cataloging project photos. Previously, there has never been a DAM platform built specifically around BIM content. INVIEWlab’s Unifi is the first ever cloud-based enterprise level DAM platform designed for AEC firms to intelligently optimize their BIM content. No matter the size firm, all companies face the same challenges as they implement various BIM technologies. Typically, firms will amass thousands of pieces of content for the various products used in their models. Most of these content libraries are stored within multiple levels of folder structures located on a shared network drive. The proprietary nature of BIM software platforms such as Autodesk Revit, Trimble Sketchup and the like do not allow the data within these files to be searchable through standard Windows Explorer. This limitation makes it difficult for designers to find the right piece of content when they need it most, at the time of design.
Unifi allows firms to upload their entire content library to the Unifi cloud where the file formats are mined and the metadata is extracted. This enables intelligent indexing for fast and intuitive searching. Furthermore, there are hundreds of building product manufacturers creating BIM models of their products and hosting those files on numerous online repositories. Subsequently, it can be very time consuming for design professionals to find the right content quickly. Unifi solves this problem by allowing users to search both their company approved content and the numerous online repositories in a single search. Think of Unifi as the Google search engine for BIM content!
The ability to have fast and intelligent access to content is only one aspect of workflow that can be optimized with the Unifi platform. There are several areas that are also addressed such as the approval process for newly created content. A Unifi user can create a piece of content, upload it to the Unifi cloud, and the company-designated administrator is instantly alerted of this new content. This gives the administrator the ability to put the content through a QA process and approve or reject it. Once content is approved it is then available for all users in the firm to access. In the event content is rejected, the administrator can create notes as to the reason for the rejection allowing the content author the ability to edit and resubmit.
Revisioning of content is another workflow that is built into the Unifi platform. Unifi will keep the entire history of each piece of content with revision notes so all users can see what was changed from version to version. Administrators also have the ability to roll back to previous versions at any time. Unifi becomes a powerful database with flexibility to maintain backups of all content.
Due to the lack of backwards compatibility of BIM content in platforms like Revit, most firms maintain a complete library of each release year of Revit to ensure that they have content for projects that are still ongoing in older Revit versions. Having to maintain these multiple libraries is time intensive and now with Unifi is no longer necessary. Unifi automatically versions each file uploaded to the cloud to each forward release of Revit. This also eliminates the “upgrade process” each time a user inserts content into a project thus saving time for all Unifi users on every project.
With large libraries it is quite difficult to know which pieces of content are being used and which pieces of content the firms designers actually like to use. Unifi incorporates a 5-star rating system allowing any user the ability to rate content. Ratings are aggregated across the entire firm providing administrators with valuable feedback and the ability to take action when necessary. Unifi keeps track of downloads of each piece of content also giving administrators another metric to analyze the use of their content libraries thus driving intelligent content management decisions through real user feedback and data.
Unifi employs the most intelligent searching algorithm for content on the market. Searching is no more complicated than a simple Google search. Simply type any variation of text into the search bar and Unifi will use advanced searching algorithms to find the right content. Full parameter values, family categories, the combination of user metatags and automatically generated searching terms are used to return exactly what designers are looking for quickly. In addition, the algorithm gets more intelligent the more it’s used. As designers search for content Unifi learns from the search ultimately decreasing search times and increasing the relevant ranking of content firm wide.
Don’t just manage your content, discover a better way to optimize your firm’s productivity, discover Unifi today www.DiscoverUnifi.com.
About Matt Ball
Matt Ball is a former editor and publisher of V1 Media.