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Thread: Common Data Environment

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    Moderator Drew's Avatar
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    Common Data Environment

    Is anyone out there using a common data environment? Basically using and linking data from multiple sources and platforms ie Revit, Asta, Cubit, Costex, .pdf. Excel. Autocad etc etc?

    Basically providing project data for the entire team to use over multiple departments, ie Planning, construction, design, estimating, facilities managers etc.

    Do you export everything to one central database and then push out from that? Do you store all project data on something like SharePoint or cloud or something else?

    If so would you care to share how what you are using or doing?

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    Moderator snowyweston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew View Post
    Is anyone out there using a common data environment?
    If one were to swallow the marketing bilge of certain EDMS providers, then "Yes!" - but (this) one does not.

    I almost got onto a project using Ragic - that (seemingly) promised to offer such - but alas, I never got to see it in action. I've heard wonderful things about ProjectWise, and Autodesk-fans will champion A360 - but both are bound up in their respective owners software-ecosystems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew View Post
    Do you export everything to one central database and then push out from that? Do you store all project data on something like SharePoint or cloud or something else?
    In a sense, that's the concept - ish - but (obviously?) a CDE gets a bit more involved - with multiple inter-connected databases tied via some form of aggregator that facilitates push/pull of data-parts.

    Conceptually speaking a CDE is the "messy data" BIM-Nirvana we should all be striving toward - but with (client-side) connection tools like Flux (and, similarly, Veo) falling by the wayside (I feel slightly smug my laziness-to-learn resulted in me dodging those bullets of disappointment) the real-world reality remains EDMS implementations will continue to sit front and centre of all but the most esoteric projects until a platform/protocol comes along that truly shakes the AECO project-data-compiling landscape up.
    Last edited by snowyweston; March 4th, 2018 at 12:42 PM.

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    Member HansLammerts's Avatar
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    In my world (dutch civil orientated..), most of principals, contractors and advisors share data using some portal based on SharePoint technology. It is document based controlled by metadata. Divided by WIP (confidential, not ready to be shared) and SHARED sections. The most time consuming part is the control over revisions and right tags. If you are lucky pdfs and other sorts of formats can be uploaded in batch. For big projects CDE can be a big waist of time in administration, time not spend designing. My $

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    Moderator snowyweston's Avatar
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    Hans (without the data part) that sounds an awful lot like an EDMS.

    As for the time-waste argument (all too often aimed at both CDE and EDMS use, and I would posit) that's almost always a product of (understandable, but not excusable) self-importance, casual implementation, misunderstood intent and poor resource management.

    Once we (all, collectively) better-automate the exchange of information and delegate no-to-low-cost processes out of "expensive hands" then the (collective) reward (for the common good) are (or will be) evident.

    And yes, I'm speaking from a slightly rose-tinted view, but then that's because I've just finished reading this:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    and (now, more than ever) want to change my job title.

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    Member HansLammerts's Avatar
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    Yes, you are right I suppose. I need to dig deeper in the dutch meaningfor some confirmation. The DMS (why mention its electronic ?) and CDE are more of the same. it is a system for managing data. To provide and filter to get INFORMATION. However, we as designers also have our local CDE in the form of good old networkdrives. The worlds run completely seperate unfortunately. On networkdrives where we store cad/bim data like dwg and rvt. CDE is not a 'working' environment for now, maybe some days.. That how we play it, more or less.

    Is that a good book to read?

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    Moderator snowyweston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HansLammerts View Post
    (why mention its electronic ?)
    ...er... "because" (!) documents are still (?) considered printed form, (i.e. Mail) where the electronic variants (i.e. E-Mail) get the E-prefix... so a (physical) library, or filing cabinet is a DMS, and an electronic one is... um... an EDMS? Semantics for sure, I'm guility of being stuck in pedantry.


    Quote Originally Posted by HansLammerts View Post
    ...CDE are more of the same. it is a system for managing data. To provide and filter to get INFORMATION.
    to that end we agree!

    Quote Originally Posted by HansLammerts View Post
    ...
    CDE is not a 'working' environment for now, maybe some days..
    That's more the reason for my (albeit poor) attempt at distinction between the two terms. Many providers seem to be hijacking the conceptual idea (and defintion of) CDE for their own purposes to sell their (really still rather rudimentary) products as such. It's like calling a very clever Excel spreadsheet a database, you wouldn't necessarily be "wrong" but, well, it's b(l)ending things a little. And there's a risk then that understanding becomes the accepted norm, whilst not being entirely accurate. I.e. "Revit = BIM".

    Quote Originally Posted by HansLammerts View Post
    ...Is that a good book to read?
    Very.

    It touches very lightly - and only occasionally on (the field of) Architecture, but then the other 'case-study' professions (with more leaning to law, medicine and education) don't get particularly deeply dived either... it is more about how the overhaul sentiment (when considered) also rings true for our profession (if one is prepared to read between the lines a little).

    One of the things I like(d) most about how it is written is that the authors openly accept their predictions might not make comfortable reading for some - and then go to some length explaining (to naysayers and converts alike) why that in itself is not reason to dismiss their thinking.

  7. #7
    Member HansLammerts's Avatar
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    We live in an electronic world. Is there any need to adres the difference to the oldage 'tech'? If want to be consequent you will have to get used to naming it the ECDE also ;-). Data is data.
    Last edited by HansLammerts; March 4th, 2018 at 08:10 PM.

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    Technically, yes, I am. But it does not deliver what I think you are chasing.

    Current CDE's work with BIM Level 2 and are glorified document management systems. The tools that are supposed to support Level 3 BIM effectively are not out there yet (and there are some that suggest they never really will be).

    I won't name the package that I have been saddled with, but it is so many kinds of awful to use. I've not actually tried others, but I've canvassed quite a few who have and the consensus is that each of them are awful in different ways.

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    Quote Originally Posted by john.warburton View Post
    I won't name the package that I have been saddled with, but it is so many kinds of awful to use. I've not actually tried others, but I've canvassed quite a few who have and the consensus is that each of them are awful in different ways.
    So I've tried a few different CDE's now, and yep - each of them is awful in many ways. Now I'm working on a project where the Client has stipulated that Google Drive is to be used as the CDE, but apparently it won't be managed. Yeah, that is going to work out fine! I see anarchy ahead...

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    Quote Originally Posted by john.warburton View Post
    I'm working on a project where the Client has stipulated that Google Drive is to be used as the CDE, but apparently* it won't be managed.
    Sending you eHugs, Thoughts & Prayers John!


    I had a sounding out recently for MS Teams for project exchanges! I shot that sheet down fast.


    *I'd suggest you check w/ your PII - gonna hazard using such an uncontrolled platform would invalidate most cover schemes.

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