MicroStation J Workspaces

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Original Article Date: Jan 1, 1999

Understanding the differing workspace variables and new root variables in MicroStation/J will enable you to modify your workspaces more easily and effectively.
1999-01-01 Originally published in The Client Server
2006-03-02 Aquired and posted on AskInga

If you have begun working in MicroStation/J, then you have already noticed that the directory structure has changed from earlier MicroStation editions. Depending on how you wrote your configuration files, it may not be possible for you to simply drop your configuration files on top of MicroStation/J. You may have to do a bit of tweaking before you have your workspaces as you like them. This article should make that process a bit easier.

Your msdebug.txt file can prove invaluable when creating or modifying workspaces. It is basically a snapshot of your configuration, showing which configuration files are being read, which variables are being defined in these files and where these variables are pointing as they are defined. The end of the file contains a summary that shows all the variables and their final definitions.

A quick comparison of debugs from MicroStation/J and any previous editions of MicroStation can show you where your variables were pointing, where they were defined and where to define them now. The debug will also give you the pathname to your configuration files, as well. In MicroStation/J, the information is saved in the ../bentley/program/microstation directory. In MicroStation SE/95/V5, the debug information is saved in the root directory of MicroStation.

After you install MicroStation/J, you should run a debug of MicroStation/J (as well as any previous editions of MicroStation). To do this, you need to append –debug to your command line. On Windows platforms, you can edit the properties of the MicroStation icon by right-clicking on the MicroStation icon.

Go to the shortcut tab and add –debug to the target or command line. For example, if your command line is c:\win32app\ustation.exe, then it should look like this: c:\win32app\ustation.exe –debug. Click OK.

Now double-click the MicroStation icon. A text window will pop up and scroll for a few moments. When the debug is finished, you can press Enter to close the text window. (Remember to remove the –debug from your icon when you are finished.)

If your operating system supports a command line, you can also key this in. Simply add the –debug to the end of your normal keyin.

Note: In MicroStation/J, your configuration files have moved a bit. Your *.ucf files (user configuration files ) are now in ..\bentley\workspace\users. The license.txt file, previously named the site.txt file, is now located in the ..\bentley\workspace\standards\ directory, along with a standards.cfg. This is the new site directory in MicroStation/J. Your *.pcf files (project configuration files) are now located in the ..\bentley\workspace\project\ directory.

Differing variables:
The major difference you will see in MicroStation/J is the absence of the WSMOD, and its associated variables. Previous editions of MicroStation loaded (by default) the following files, and were pointed to by these variables.

Note: This is not a complete listing of MicroStation 95/SE variables—just the main variables partially defined by the WSMOD variable.

MicroStation 95/SE Variable

DefinitionMicroStation 95/SE Directory
MS_WSMODPoints to the main workspace directory\ustation\wsmod\
MS_CELLPoints to the default cell libraries\ustation\wsmod\default\cell\
MS_SEEDFILESThe default seed files\ustation\wsmod\default\seed\
MS_LEVELNAMESThe level name files\ustation\wsmod\default\data\
MS_SETTINGSDIRYour Settings Manager files\ustation\wsmod\default\data\
MS_FKEYMENUYour function key menus\ustation\wsmod\default\data\
MS_GLOSSARYThe files for MicroStation’s glossary\ustation\wsmod\default\data\
MS_SETTINGSYour current settings resource file\ustation\wsmod\default\data\
MS_SYMBRSRCYour font and linestyle resources\ustation\wsmod\default\symb\
MS_SHEETSEEDThe seed files for your sheet files\ustation\wsmod\default\seed\
MS_TRANSEEDThe seed file for DWG, CGM and IGES translations\ustation\wsmod\default\seed\
MS_BATCHPLT_SPECSThe file containing batch plotting specifications\ustation\wsmod\default\data\

Here are the variables in MicroStation /J, along with their definitions.

MicroStation /J Variable

DefinitionMicroStation /J Directory
MS_WSMODNo longer contained in MicroStation 
MS_LEVELNAMES$( _USTN_SYSTEMROOT)data\\bentley\workspace\system\data\
MS_SYMBRSRC $(_USTN_SYSTEMROOT)symb\*.rsc\bentley\workspace\system\symb\

The files formerly contained in the WSMOD directories are now contained in the /bentley/workspace/system directories. These files are the resource files.

New variables:
The new variables defined in MicroStation /J are the *root variables, of which there are several. These variables supercede the WSMOD variables previously used. The *root variables are the foundation of many other MicroStation variables.

Root Variable

DefinitionMicroStation /J Directory
_USTN WORKSPACEROOTThe workspace root directory\bentley\workspace\
_USTN_USERINTROOT Root directory for interface files\bentley\workspace\interfaces\
_USTN_SYSTEMROOT System workspace files\bentley\workspace\system
_USTN_PROJECTSROOTYour project files\bentley\workspace\projects\

The following variables use the *root variables in their definition:

These are the files typically delivered by Bentley. These include DGN files, cell libraries, font and linestyle resource files, Settings Manager resource files, etc.

These directories are delivered empty. This is the location meant to be used as your site files, and should be populated with your data files.

\bentley\workspace\projects\This is the main project directory. When creating a new project from the MicroStation Manager, the project will appear in this directory, complete with subdirectories for your data files.

This is the directory containing your project configuration files.

This is the directory containing your user configuration files (.ucf). When you create a new workspace, a new .ucf file is also created.

This is the root directory containing product specific interfaces.

This is the user interface directory for data, containing the interfaces for the products used.

This directory contains the delivered user command examples.

This is the location of application menus.

This is the location of material files for rendering.

This is the location of the pattern files for rendering.

This is the location of the bump files used for rendering.

This is the location of your data files. Typically color tables, level name files, settings manager resources, etc.

This is the location of your function key menus. This has been broken out into the interface directory.

This is the location of your menu cells.

This is the location of your font resource and linestyle resource files.

This is the location of your translation table files.

This is the default seed file for creating sheet files.

This is the location of your CGM translation tables.

\bentley\workspace\system\cell\; ..\bentley\workspace\standards\cell\
These are the location of your cell libraries.

\bentley\workspace\system\data\; ..\bentley\workspace\standards\data\
These are the location of your settings manager resource files.

\bentley\workspace\standards\macros\; ..\bentley\workspace\system\macros\
These are the location of your MicroStation BASIC macros.

\bentley\workspace\system\seed\; ..\bentley\workspace\standards\seed\
These are the location of your seed files.

Knowing the definition of these variables will greatly ease your updating process. And if you do need to tweak your configuration files a bit, then having a debug and a listing of the variables will help you, as well. And always remember to document your workspaces.

AskInga Article #286