In the middle of February Terrasolid released the v016 products. This is in line with their usual modus operandi of releasing a major version update which corresponds with the current calendar year. The calendar year is the maintenance period on Terrasolid products, save for a few unique user situations. This process should be familiar for long standing users of the product line who have renewed maintenance each year, granting them access to the latest versions plus ongoing support for the products. The release of the v016 products is, for all intents and purposes, simply a part of the maintenance licensing process, as Terrasolid releases continual updates to their software over the course of the year.
In the past year, by far the biggest update has been the release of the Terrasolid products for the MicroStation CONNECT Edition (CE). CONNECT is Bentley’s 64-bit version of MicroStation which was released at the beginning of September. The port of the Terrasolid programs to the new edition was a huge undertaking that began back in 2013. The 64-bit version is not inherently faster, though programmatically some things can be done. The biggest advantage of moving to CE is that it allows for programs to have access to more RAM on a system than is permitted by 32-bit programs (i.e. all of the other supported Bentley products). Gaining access to more memory allows TerraScan to handle larger blocks of point data and provides greater stability to all of the packages. For more information see New Features: 64-Bit Terrasolid Applications Feb 2016.
The Terrasolid development plan is to include most new features only in the CONNECT edition since the implementation, in most cases, must be quite different than the 32-bit versions. Hence, it does not make sense to limit the scope of what can be done in new feature development by trying to implement them in both versions. The MicroStation v8 and v8i editions can be expected to be around for some time to come, however, updates will be limited to major bug fixes. As such, we encourage users to begin testing and moving their workflows to the CONNECT edition to take advantage of the new features, while maintaining their current v8i versions should they become necessary. Note that the Terrasolid licensing allows for any of the supported editions to be run with the same license on the same machine. See the note on our support knowledge base on how to configure a machine to facilitate multiple editions on a single machine.
Of great importance to our North American client base, and I’m sure a few others, starting in v016.002 for CE, TerraScan now supports the LAS v1.4 file format for reading, writing, and project file format. The current support has some limitations, but allows users to start with LAS v1.4 from the generation of LAS files directly out of the sensor manufacturer’s software through to the deliverable LAS files, as requested by the USGS, without having to jump through some of the hoops of the past. For the end users this will help in allowing for production of data containing some of the beneficial additional information, such as more returns per pulse, greater scan angle resolution, etc., than previous LAS formats.
For more information on the various incremental updates that have been introduced please see the What’s New in Terrasolid – Feb 2016 post on our support knowledge base. There is a link at the bottom of that post to a recent webinar which highlighted some of the new features that have been introduced over the past year.
If you have renewed your support (we wish to thank you for your continued business) all you need to do at this point, if you have not already done so, is request your v016 licenses from Terrasolid by contacting email@example.com. You may copy firstname.lastname@example.org so that we will also know when you’ve made the request. If you have not yet renewed maintenance then you will want to do so today by contacting Terri Lewis, email@example.com, before your current v015 pool licenses expire at the end of March. Recall that pool licenses are provided with this overlap time to allow sufficient time for the major version release, testing, and subsequent production changeover. Should you have any questions feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.