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Bonava achieves data modernization and cloud migration with FME

Bonava needed to migrate terabytes of files from various legacy systems into a cloud-based sharing platform.

Nothing is more important in data management than ensuring people have access to the data they need. In 2016, Bonava needed to select a new cloud-based platform to manage its BIM models. In seeking a single file storage solution to unify their locations in Sweden, Germany, Finland, Denmark, Norway, St. Petersburg, Estonia and Latvia, they chose Autodesk A360*.

“It is quite unique for a large organization to get an opportunity to create an entirely new ITC infrastructure and BIM platform, so for us, moving our entire business into cloud solutions was a way to make a major leap toward digitalization of the construction industry,” explains Patrik Lindvall, Group Head of Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) at Bonava.

Bonava is a subsidiary of the leading Northern European residential land developer NCC. They worked with Safe Software partner, SWECO, to complete this migration project.

“As we were building on modern and very new solutions, a lot of focus was put on the development companies behind the solutions as well as who we selected to support us. Early on, the team from SWECO established direct connections with both Autodesk who supplied the A360 cloud platform and Safe Software to ensure FME was able to use the APIs correctly,” says Patrik.

Data migration: The 3-step plan

One of Bonava’s largest projects consisted of 100,000 files. To automate the migration of this data, Gabriel Hirsch, Group Manager for IT for Urban Development, and FME Certified Professional at SWECO, identified three steps for FME:

  1. Restructure the various data file systems into a single A360-compatible structure their client had chosen.
  2. Upload this data to the cloud in the correct order for A360 to recognize iterations of the same file.
  3. Verify success of data uploads to provide quality control.
100K
files
76
versions of a single file

How they made it possible – no-code data and application integration

Using FME’s drag-and-drop interface and library of pre-built transformers, SWECO created the workflows they required, all with no code. Using only three transformers, including a custom connector built using the Autodesk Forge API, they were able to move terabytes of data into the cloud.

Restructuring data file systems

First, the project needed to address migrating a variety of files: Autodesk CAD files, Revit, IFC, PDF, Excel, text, and more, from the various systems currently in use: Sharepoint, Windows Explorer, Finnish system Sokopro, and others, into A360.

The data formats didn’t need to be converted, they simply needed to be uploaded to the cloud in a way that preserved their affiliation with their original project and file versioning within A360.

To achieve this, Gabriel created FME workspaces for each legacy system to restructure each file system according to business rules. Today, files from each of the company’s eight locations are structured in the same way within A360, making it easy for staff to access the data they require.

Uploading data to A360 in the cloud

Gabriel then created a simple workspace to upload the data. “It only uses three transformers, and yet moves terabytes of data into the cloud,” Gabriel explains.

“A360 was still a very new technology, and hadn’t been used yet for such large data upload volumes. This is where we worked closely with Autodesk and Safe Software. They were great about hearing what we needed and making adjustments to make this project work.”

Verifying upload success

To ensure the process had gone smoothly and that quality was maintained, Gabriel implemented a workspace to verify upload success. The output is an Excel spreadsheet for each migrated project, with tabs of which files are missing on A360, enabling immediate identification of errors which can then be remediated.

“My colleagues heard ‘data migration’ and immediately thought of FME.”
Gabriel Hirsch
Group Manager for IT for Urban Development, SWECO

Leading the migration to the cloud

As one of the first companies to migrate legacy data completely to A360, Bonava is leading the charge into the cloud.

“Migrating to the cloud has enabled us to standardize and consolidate our entire application portfolio from over 200 different to less than 50, leaving a lot of legacy systems behind,” describes Patrik.

“Having a modern and fully cloud-based IT architecture enables us not only to scale on demand, but most importantly gives us the ability to quickly add new capabilities or change existing ones. With our IT architecture spanning both the Microsoft Azure and the Autodesk Forge platforms, extended with the FME network of partners and already created connectors and interfaces, we can connect new data into our digital workflows in literally minutes.”

“With our new BIM platform we empowered our eight countries to firmly taking the step into one global organization, using cross-border, cross functions, and cross subcontractor access to information when and where it is needed. During our first nine months we have not only standardized on cloud solutions but also aligned processes so we now have our first global center of competence supporting all countries.”

“Our Mobile Collaborative Platform and real-time collaborative BIM solution is only the start. From there we will add strategic capabilities that will make Bonava one of the first residential development and construction companies to truly leverage the possibilities of the fourth industrial revolution.”

*Note: A360 Drive was retired by Autodesk in October 2020 and replaced by Autodesk Drive.

To learn more about our support for web connections, such as the AutodeskBIM360DocsConnector, and other web filesystem connectors, please visit FME Hub.

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