With the announcement that Bentley’s latest release of eB Insight (That’s SELECTSeries 3) brought Department of Defense 5015.02 Records Management certification, one might ask when will Bentley get around to certifying ProjectWise for records management? Well the answer is both “never” and “just did”.
ProjectWise is aimed at work in progress, collaborative design workflows and the processes managed there do spinoff documents that are deliverables and/or a legal record. So let’s look at the definition of Records Management per Wikipedia:
In the past, ‘records management’ was sometimes used to refer only to the management of records which were no longer in everyday use but still needed to be kept – ‘semi-current’ or ‘inactive’ records, often stored in basements or offsite. More modern usage tends to refer to the entire ‘lifecycle‘ of records – from the point of creation right through until their eventual disposal.
It should be noted that the format and media of records is generally irrelevant for the purposes of records management. The ISO considers management of both physical and electronic records. Also, section DL1.105 of the United States Department of Defense standard DoD 5015.02-STD (2007) defines Records Management as “[t]he planning, controlling, directing, organizing, training, promoting, and other managerial activities involving the life cycle of information, including creation, maintenance (use, storage, retrieval), and disposal, regardless of media.”
The issue for the work-in-progress EIM system is that a “document” may be representing a single file or many. Those files, and their various versions may have interdependencies with other files/documents. So, typically, when multiple files are overlaid together to represent something that’s perceived as a single drawing, then the complex engineering content is typically distilled down to a single, ubiquitous file such as a PDF so it can be used and managed downstream.
Well…ProjectWise does that part (PDF creation) very well through both ad hoc and scheduled jobs. So why not just add records management functions to ProjectWise? As we’ve seen in the above definition, there are concepts in records management that just aren’t applicable for design collaboration. So I’m advocating that the work-in-progress system process the design information into a form that can constitute a legal record, then that record should be pushed or pulled in the RM system.
Bentley does this via a connector between ProjectWise and eB Insight, the latter of which now has DoD 5015.02 records management certification. Ah…but now there are two information management systems, and you’re thinking there’s a problem with that. Not in my view…we’re talking about two VERY different functions that are performed by different people/departments for a reason. So it’s only sensible that each department would want to use the tool that best meets the needs of the job. With this approach they can. (You’ll find in other posts here that I’m not a believer in the “mother of all databases/systems”, but prefer a “horses for courses” approach for this reason)
Don’t be fooled by the fact that eB Insight is frequently referenced as part of the “AssetWise” brand and doesn’t have “ProjectWise” in its name. The pair work well together and you’ll find them paired this way in the field.
The NET?…the way I see it, Bentley just shipped a DoD 5015.02 certified add-on to ProjectWise.
Thanks for that Al. I like the idea of melding the two (“replacing” is not the right term, sorry…).
I understand some of the business drivers such as existing client base. I guess after having a look at eB and dealing with trying to bring an engineering firm into the fold with ProjectWise, I see eB as having much more potential long-term. That is not to say that it fits the bill right now (it doesn’t) but with a bit more capability….. Wow.
Yeah…overstating this a little, but ProjectWise does one thing (manages design work-in-progress…and that very well) eB is a real chameleon and can provide a wide variety of roles across the whole asset lifecycle. I’ve seen many orgs deploy eB for one thing, then begin to systematically replace system after system.
The two systems do fill two very different needs, for now.
eB overlaps ProjectWise in many areas, and far surpasses it in other key areas that I consider to be shortcomings of ProjectWise on today’s engineering projects.
What is the long-term plan for the two systems? Given the age of ProjectWise and the capability of eB, it would not be a stretch in my mind to see the end of ProjectWise in favor of eB alone.
Both have capabilities that the other doesn’t so deprecating one over the other isn’t a great option. Keep in mind that thousands of orgs use ProjectWise, while hundreds use eB. You’re already starting to see the approach to melding the two together with the availability of Bentley Transmittal Service. Note the “Bentley” in the name. While it works with ProjectWise, underlying it is the document control engine of eB. Interestingly, eB doesn’t yet use it, but that’s the plan. Then you’ll have single transmittal service regardless of which you have…ProjectWise or eB.
If you extend that, you can imagine other “services” like workflow, project, CADD integration, markup, data management, etc. At some point you have a presentation layer to a set of services, and one that has to be far more role-based in it’s configurability than either is today.
Since I deal with both, I don’t have a dog in the hunt. So I vote…neither…and both. Both evolve into a platform that is leveraged by a wide range of Bentley (and other) products…for a wide range of use cases.
And I’ll thrown in another…Bentley Connect…watch this space to see how we can leverage the same modular concepts in a SaaS environment that connects with the OnPremise services.