Updating and Upgrading Bentley Substation

 Product(s):Bentley Substation


This document describes how to update Bentley Substation V8i to the latest version.

It was not possible to update Bentley Substation V8i to SELECTseries 3 through 7 via a service pack or patch since these versions are only available as full installs. 

It is possible to update the software to some newer versions from a previous SELECTseries 7 version by installing a patch.  These patches are labeled as updates for particular versions, for example "Bentley Substation V8i Update for (English) x86".  This file will update Bentley Substation version to a newer version without uninstalling  If downloading a patch, be sure to [[How to download the Bentley Substation software|download]] the patch appropriate for the currently installed version (see the Help > About Bentley Substation dialog).

Typically, a patch can only be applied to the same SELECTseries. A patch to upgrade to SELECTseries 8 cannot be applied to SELECTseries 7, for example.

Before performing any update or upgrade, it is always a good idea to [[Backup Your Data|backup your data]], and to make sure the system, platform, and database requirements of the new version are met.  What is [[Compatibility Chart - Bentley Substation|compatible]] for your current version may not be compatible with the new version.

As of this writing, there is no direct update process to update Bentley Substation V8i to CONNECT Edition. Upgrading in that situation is [[Backup Your Data|backing up supporting data and individual projects]], installing Bentley Substation CONNECT, creating a new project database, and restoring the backed up data into the appropriate paths.

Steps to Accomplish

To update the currently installed version of Bentley Substation V8i to the latest version, use the following process:

  1. Open the currently installed Bentley Substation application.

  2. Navigate to the [[Setup]] dialog and make note of the values in the Server Name and Database fields in the Project Database area.  This is the database where the information for all projects currently accessible in Project Manager is stored.  Also make note of the file or connection string used for the parts database, what paths are found in the Catalog Paths and their order, what the Data Folder Path is, etc.

  3. The new version of Bentley Substation will typically ask if the project database should be backed up before it updates the database schema to match the new version.  However, it is still a good idea to make backups of projects using Project Manager > File > Backup, at least for critical projects, before uninstalling the existing version. Projects backed up in this manner can be restored into a new database if this becomes necessary. 
    Alternatively, it is also possible for someone with SQL experience to back up the project data by making a copy of the project folders and

    This method would normally only be used when there are very many projects to preserve that do not have current backups (.PRJ) created by Project Manager.

  4. Make a backup copy of supporting data (catalogs, templates, parts database, etc.).  This data may or may not be limited to the data contained in the [[Substation Data folder]], so check the paths on the [[Setup]] dialog.  Catalogs can also be exported to an archive file using [[Catalog Manager]].

  5. If upgrading via a full install (not a patch or Update file), uninstall the current version of Bentley Substation using the Windows Control Panel.

  6. (Optional) If upgrading via a full install (not a patch or Update file), to force a new "Substation Data" folder with any updated items be created during installation, rename the existing local [[Substation Data folder]].  Alternatively, specify a unique data folder path during installation.  The default path with the new version may be different than the existing data folder.  After installation is complete, customized data can be copied into the new data folder, and for multi-user environments, the new data folder can be copied to a shared location. Note: project folders should not be copied, they should be moved to avoid multiple instances.

  7. Install the new Bentley Substation version or Update to it as the case may be.

  8. Start Bentley Substation and navigate to the [[Setup]] dialog.  Enter the server name and database name noted in step 2 into the Project Database tab.  Click the Apply or OK button.  Note: in most cases, this should be done after all the workstations using this database have been upgraded to the new Bentley Substation version.

  9. If the program returns a "Database version does not match the application" message, update the database noted in step 2. The database can be updated by using methods described in the [[Creating and Updating the Project Database]] article.


In multi-user environments where the users share a common project database, installing the new version of Bentley Substation on each workstation will need to be a coordinated effort because updating the shared database is typically required. When the database schema has changed with the new version of Bentley Substation, an existing database cannot be used by the new version until it is updated, and once the database is updated it cannot be used by the old version. When trying to connect to a database that has not been updated, a [[7843|Database version does not match the application]] message may appear and projects will be inaccessible in Project Manager

A variation on the above process is to create a new project database (compatible with the new version) instead of updating the existing database.  Project backups (made in step 3) would then be restored while Bentley Substation is connected to the new database.  See [[Creating and Updating the Project Database]] for details on creating project databases.  The action for step 8 would be to point Bentley Substation to the new project database on the [[Setup]] dialog.  Having new and old databases may be useful in multi-user environments where coordinating the update process is difficult, or where one workstation is to be updated for testing prior to rolling the software out to all users.

A setup.xml file from the older version of Bentley Substation can typically be put back in place after upgrading to restore the previous configuration without issue. It is recommended that the setup.xml file from the new version be backed up first and its replacement tested before distributing to other users.

See Also

[[Compatibility Chart - Bentley Substation]]

[[How to download the Bentley Substation software]]

[[Creating and Updating the Project Database]]

[[Error - Database version does not match the application]]

[[Project Database Version - Substation]]

[[Moving Projects]]

 Original Author:Matt_P