What is the Right BIM Content Management Platform for My Firm?

BIM content management is an essential tool that saves AEC firms and Owners/Operators both time and money. While the benefits of implementing a system are straightforward, deciding which system is right for your firm’s needs is more complicated There are several BIM content management providers on the market and several key factors to consider while evaluating the right solution for you. Obviously features are important, as not all BIM content management providers have the same capabilities. Additionally, cost as well as training and implementation of a BIM content management platform are also critical attributes  to consider.

In this post, we will discuss the features of the leading BIM content management providers to give a brief overview of how they compare. To download a comprehensive, third party competitive analysis of the leading content management platforms, please click here.

CTC HIVE

HIVE is “…an industry leading content management system developed specifically for the AEC industry. Firms can organize, manage, set permissions and ensure the latest content is kept up to date and available for all project participants…”

HIVE has many features that are appealing to help with managing content:

•Dual Cloud based/Locally hosted system

•Interoperability with Revit

•Supports Multiple File Types and Libraries

•Support Type Catalogs

•Loading Individual Types

•Content Rating

•Manages System Families, Drafting Views, Schedules, Model/Detail Groups and Sheets

•View Parameters Directly in Application

•Custom Preview Images

•Meta tags

•Favorites per user

•Load Content in Batch

•See Active Project Content

•Permissions for Administrators and Libraries

•One-click / drag-and-drop loading

•BIM Data Review of families loaded/placed/purged with each sync

•Search by Type Name and Parameter

There are a few features that are lacking:

•Does not Manage Legends, Materials and Fill Patterns

•No automatic Meta Tagging

•Can contain duplicate content (same name)

•No manufacturer-provided content available

•Cannot modify Parameters in Families

•Does not provide automated Revit Version upgrades

•Self-serve Account Setup

•Backup & Restore Data

•Open API

•Interoperability with AutoCAD, Civil 3D and Microstation

•Free Version

Overall, HIVE is a robust BIM content management solution with many features that allow its users to be proficient in their work.

Avail

Avail allows your company to, “…bridge content silos so your design teams can search and access massive amounts of information quickly.”

Some of their key features:

•Dual Cloud based/Locally hosted system

•Interoperability with Revit

•Supports multiple file types and libraries

•Support Type Catalogs

•Loading Individual Types

•Manages System Families, Drafting Views, Schedules, Model/Detail Groups and Sheets

•View Parameters Directly in Application

Search by Type Name and Parameter

•Meta tags

•Favorites per user

•Can contain duplicate content (same name)

•Permissions

•Administrator and Library-specific Permissions

•Self-serve Account setup

•Free Version

•One-click / drag-and-drop loading

•Dockable UI

•Project Health Analytics

•Automatic Meta Tag from Subfolders and Parameters

Some things that could be improved:

•Content Rating

•Manages Legends and Fill Patterns

•Change Management / Versioning

•Saved search results / shared search results

•Modify Parameters in Families

•Content Request Management / Workflow

•Automated Revit Version upgrades

•Content Approval Process

•Backup & Restore

•Open API – Content and Projects

•Interoperability with AutoCAD, Civil 3D and MicroStation

•Review families loaded/placed/purged with each sync

AVAIL provides many ways to search out and find content for improved workflow.

Content Studio

Content Studio’s “…vision has always been to create a platform that turns BIM object management into a quick and seamless process. With Content Studio, our vision is now a reality.”

Here are a few of their key features:

•Locally Hosted

•Interoperability with Revit

•Multiple libraries

•Support Type Catalogs

•View Parameters Directly in Application

•Search by Type Name and Parameter

•Custom Preview Image

•Meta tags

•Saved search results / shared search results

•Loading Individual Types

•Content Rating

•Manages System Families

•Manages Model/Detail Groups

•Permissions for Content Approval Process, Administrators and Libraries

•Self-serve Account setup

•One-click / drag-and-drop loading

•Load Content in Batch

•See Active Project Content

A few things that could make it better:

•Does not manage Legends, Materials and Fill Patterns

•Does not manage Shared Parameters Text File

•Change Management / Versioning

•Automatic Meta Tag from Subfolders and Parameters

•Favorites per user

•Support manufacturer-provided content

•Modify Parameters in Families

•Automated Revit Version upgrades

•Generic content available through platform

•Backup & Restore

•Open API – Content and Projects

•Free Version

•Dockable UI

•Interoperability with AutoCAD, Civil 3D and MicroStation

•Project Health Analytics

•Review families loaded/placed/purged with each sync

Kinship

Kinship says they provide “…everything you need to manage your content, projects and team in Revit.”

Here are a few features that stand out:

•Cloud based

•Interoperability with Revit

•Multiple libraries

•Support Type Catalogs

•Loading Individual Types

•Manages System Families, Drafting Views, Model/Detail Groups and Sheets

•View Parameters Directly in Application

•Search by Type Name and Parameter

•Custom Preview Image

•Meta tags

•Automated Revit Version upgrades

•Active Project Content (able to browse content in current project)

•Content Approval Process

•Administrator and Library-specific Permissions

•Technology / Administration

•Application Interoperability

•One-click / drag-and-drop loading

•Dockable UI

•Interoperability with AutoCAD, Civil 3D and MicroStation

•Project Health Analytics

•Load Content in Batch

Some features that could improve the platform:

•Support multiple filetypes

•Content Rating

•Manage Legends, Materials, Fill Patterns and Schedules

•Manage Shared Parameters Text File

•Automatic Meta Tag from Subfolders and Parameters

•Favorites per user

Support manufacturer-provided content

•Saved search results / shared search results

•Modify Parameters in Families

•Content Request Management / Workflow

•Generic content available through platform

•Can contain duplicate content (same name)

Modify Parameters in Families

Content Request Management / Workflow

Generic content available through platform

Can contain duplicate content (same name)

Self-serve Account setup

•Open API – Content and Projects

•Free Version

•Dockable UI

•Interoperability with AutoCAD, Civil 3D and MicroStation

Self-serve Account setup

•Open API – Content and Projects

•Free Version

•Dockable UI

•Interoperability with AutoCAD, Civil 3D and MicroStation

UNIFI Labs

“UNIFI Labs is a software company focused on providing the most comprehensive BIM content life cycle solutions for the building industry.”

UNIFI provides three main offerings for their customers. Along with content management (UNIFI Pro), they also provide high quality manufacturer content (UNIFI Connect), and health insights into Revit projects and files (Project Analytics).

UNIFI has many features that improve workflow:

•Cloud based – Can access content anywhere there is internet

•Interoperability with Revit, CAD,  and MicroStation

•Supports multiple filetypes

•Multiple libraries

•Support Type Catalogs

•Content Rating

•Manages System Families, Drafting Views, Legends, Materials, Fill Patterns, Schedules, Model/Detail Groups and Sheets

•Manages Shared Parameters Text File

•View Parameters Directly in Application

•Search by File Name, Type Name, Parameter, Category, Material Class and Tags

•Change Management / Versioning

•Custom Preview Images

•Meta tags with automatic Tagging from Subfolders

•Favorites per user

•Support manufacturer-provided content

•Saved search results / shared search results

•Content Request Management / Workflow

•Content Analytics

•Automated Revit Version upgrades

•Load Content in Batch

•Permissions for Content Approval Process, Administrators and Libraries

Backup & Restore data

•Open API

•One-click / drag-and-drop loading

•Interoperability with AutoCAD, Civil 3D and MicroStation

•Project Health Analytics

•Review families loaded/placed/purged with each sync

There are a few features that could be included for improvement:

•Cloud based – Cannot access content when internet is down

•Lacks automatic Meta Tagging from Parameters

•No ability to see Active Project Content

•No ability to view original source of content in Cloud

•No Free Version

UNIFI really packs a punch when it comes to overall features and functionality. There are very little drawbacks considering the endless ways UNIFI helps firms gain efficiency.

“UNIFI is the gold standard for managing Revit families.”
Marcello Sgambelluri 

With all of the options available, choosing the right Content Management System can be stressful and committing to something without understanding what features matter to your use case and how each provider’s functionality compares  can be a difficult decision. Seeing each content management provider for what they can and can’t provide should be a helpful start to adopting a Content Management System. For a downloadable chart of how features among the leading BIM content management platforms compare,  click here.

For more information on how BIM content management systems compare, check out this webinar detailing Marcello Sgambelluri’s objective, third party competitive analysis on leading BIM content management platforms.

 To get started with UNIFI, the industry leading content and data management solution and platform of choice for Interior Architects, Stantec, Katerra, HDR,  CannonDesign, and 40,000 other users, contact us for a demo today.

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