Multiple Versions - Virtual Machine vs. Multi-Install for Testing Purposes


Problem Description

How can I install and run multiple versions of MicroStation on the same PC?


"I am a Cad Administrator and need to provide my company's users with support, including testing in multiple version of MicroStation. For example, I have MicroStation SELECTseries 3 on my machine while my company's users have SELECTseries 2 or 1. Sometimes it is necessary to have the same version as them to determine if an issue is version related."

"EasyMultiInstall.vbs" was delivered with early versions of MicroStation V8 XM ( through MicroStation V8i SELECTseries 3 ( This file is no longer delivered starting in MicroStation V8i SELECTseries 3 Update 1 (

Multi-install was created to address this. It was intended to be used to test a new version of a product before the new version was placed into production. I was never intended to be used to run multiple versions of a product in production. Because of this, the multi-install method was found to be deficient in production for a few reasons:

 1. The product is not registered
 2. Layered applications cannot be installed on it
 3. The multi-installed product cannot be updated , etc.
None of these reasons are trivial and caused problems for users who did use the method to install.  In fact, the last point prior to etc. creates exactly the problem we attempted to solve with SELECTseries releases.  It's not possible to provide the update path and side-by-side installations.


A virtual machine (VM) can be used for testing purposes. It is a very effective, very efficient way to minimize all the issues that result from "side-by-side installations". It is a recommended to be used for testing of new builds before the build is placed into production. Virtual machines are not a certified environment for production purposes only issues that are reproducible in a standard and certified windows environment will be supported. It does work well for testing purposes.

Additional Information

It is understandable that this is a change from previous versions, but we believe for the better.  Suppose a user does a multi-install of MicroStation SELECTseries 3 next to SELECTseries 1.  The SELECTseries 1 components would be used for SELECTseries 3, creating a potentially unstable environment. This would cause problems in both production and testing. Components refers to the non-MicroStation MSIs which are installed when running the EXE.

The decision to produce SELECTseries releases and allow for updates was to support an existing application stack.  For example, if MicroStation SELECTseries 1 and Bentley Descartes are installed and you want to install MicroStation SELECTseries 2; the update method allows you to install MicroStation SELECTseries 2 without disturbing Bentley Descartes. It also allows you to update to a newer release without having to migrate any customization that you have done. Changes to the workspace are automatically incorporated into the updated installation. This could not be done in the past when having to do a full installation of a product to perform an update.

The consequence of this approach is that you cannot have side-by-side installations of SELECTseries releases.  This is not an arbitrary restriction imposed by Bentley Systems, Inc.

See Also

Administration Wiki - MicroStation V8i Virtualization FAQ

MicroStation V8i Forum - Where is the Multi-install.vbs for Ss3 refresh?

 Original Author:Craig Calvin