Interoperability is critical for collaboration in the building industry, allowing diverse professionals to use the “best of breed” software applications for their tasks while still being able to exchange project data, stay informed of the work of all the members of the project team, and make faster progress on their individual tasks. With BIM, there is the opportunity for more meaningful collaboration based on actual building entities instead of the geometric-only entities that were the basis of CAD.
Given the importance of interoperability in collaboration, it is extremely beneficial to have more options for it in addition to the consortium-developed, consensus-driven IFC file format. The iModel provides such an alternative. It incorporates the latest in computational technologies by virtue of being more recent, and can evolve a lot faster thanks to its development being driven by a vendor that already has a proven track record in AEC technology. Additionally, the availability of open-source tools and libraries to any developer who wants to work with iModels should help to expand it even further and faster.The white paper can be downloaded here.