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Development of an Industry Foundation Classes Assembly Viewer
journal contributionposted on 02.08.2010, 14:56 by Abidemi Owolabi, Chimay J. Anumba, Ashraf El-Hamalawi, Colin Harper
The construction industry has invested considerable effort into integration of project information in the last decade. One such effort is the definition of Industry Foundation Classes IFCs to facilitate data sharing across applications through a shared project model. In order to achieve the integration objectives, the industry software vendors need to commit to the implementation of IFC in their products. IFC is defined in EXPRESS, which is a platform-independent, object-flavored, data modeling language. The EXPRESS-based models must be translated into some programming language model for specific implementation. To achieve this, developers need to evaluate and select a suitable model and programming language for their implementation. Developers therefore need to understand both EXPRESS and a host of programming languages. This initial knowledge requirement may hinder the take-off or adoption of IFC-based implementation. This paper describes a software solution that reduces this initial knowledge requirement considerably by providing a .NET class library translation and an implementation view of the IFC model, based on the EXPRESS definitions. Complemented by the online documentation provided with the IFC definitions, the software provides a hierarchical view of the IFC-based programming objects with drill-down facility for developers to capture and appreciate the information requirement for specific objects.
- Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering