What does OpenRoads mean to me?

If you’re using any of Bentley’s civil software, then you’ve probably been hearing all the buzz about OpenRoads or OpenRoads Technology. You may be thinking “that doesn’t apply to me. I use [insert InRoads, GEOPAK or MXRoads]”. Well, think again! OpenRoads, despite how it’s perceived at the moment, is not a separate product nor is it a replacement product for any Bentley highway design software. OpenRoads is the new shared technology being implemented in all three products. The latest release of each product, V8i SS3, is based on this new technology. Put more simply: while Bentley has not combined the products, a large portion of each is now identical. True, each (at least for now) has its own ‘native’ data structure that you can go back to for surfaces, geometry, and use for plan production, etc., but templates and modeling are now shared by all three products.

OpenRoads pictureWhat does ‘new technology’ mean? It means fewer dialog boxes and real-time updates of design graphics. It means terrain models and geometry stored in the DGN. It means saying goodbye to Roadway Designer. It means a much more interactive and efficient design process. Bottom line: to take advantage of all that OpenRoads has to offer, there’s a learning curve ahead when you upgrade to SS3. And one you shouldn’t take lightly.

Not only does the software itself require re-training and re-thinking at least a portion of your workflows, but your configuration should be evaluated as well. The XIN is still used, for example, but not to the extent is has been in the past. More settings are stored in DGNLIBs and accessed through Project Explorer. Again, it’s much more flexible and efficient but it will take some adjustments.

Here at CAD Productivity, we’ve been delving into OpenRoads for a while now, and we’re here to help you achieve a higher level of efficiency as you migrate to SS3. Whether you need full training in InRoads or just an upgrade to SS3, you’ve come to the right place!

Check out Bentley’s overview video on OpenRoads:

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