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CMDBuild Newsletter nr. 88

November 2021

Updates on the developments of the new CMDBuild 3.4 version

CMDBuild Newsletter nr. 88

By December we will complete the M2 milestone and thus the development phase of CMDBuild 3.4 will be completed.

We will then dedicate ourselves to the activities of testing, bug-fixing and updating of the technical documentation, in order to release the new version of CMDBuild next January, as planned.

We recall the main innovations of this new version:

  • new types of attributes: links, files, formulas and multivalued lookups;
  • improvements to existing attributes: 1:1 domain reference, Markdown support, encrypted attributes;
  • possibility to configure "inline" widgets on the main data card of the class;
  • GIS extensions: management of permissions for geographic attributes, loading of DWG files from the map, organization of layers in a menu, information on points in the map;
  • new CMDBuild Service BUS called WaterWAY: data and message flows, batch processing, input/output modules, errors and notifications management, webhooks;
  • new IFC viewer (see next news);
  • restoring the history of relationships and other minor activities.

As soon as the new 3.4 version of the CMDBuild platform is released, we will update the CMDBuild READY2USE and openMAINT applications.

We remind that for both these solutions we have just released last month the new 2.2 version: here you will find the news of CMDBuild READY2USE 2.2 and here you will find the news of openMAINT 2.2.

The new IFC BIM viewer

CMDBuild Newsletter nr. 88

CMDBuild has included for some time (since 2014, version 2.2) an internal viewer of IFC BIM 3D models which, together with the IFC file import functions with automatic synchronization of the information of interest, allow to integrate its asset management model with the BIM paradigm.

The limited evolution of the viewer currently in use, based on the open-source BIMSurfer and BIMServer projects, has led us to evaluate alternatives.

Among these was identified the open-source project (Affero GPL 3 license) xeokit, consisting of a SDK for 3D graphics for BIM and AEC, used to display large IFC models in the browser.

We have now integrated the product, and, from CMDBuild 3.4 version, it will be possible to choose whether to use the current tool based on BIMSurfer or the new tool based on xeokit, as IFC viewer.

The main features of the xeokit SDK are:

  • speed of loading and rendering of thousands of objects;
  • double precision rendering that allows the precise visualization of the geometry of a building model;
  • APIs specially designed for BIM/AEC applications;
  • own WebGL engine, specially designed to display high precision BIM models and compatible with most browsers.

The initial implementation of the new viewer in CMDBuild includes the following functionalities:

  • hierarchical navigation of objects;
  • list of the types of objects;
  • display of information about the selected object present on CMDBuild;
  • 3D/2D view change;
  • perspective/orthogonal view change;
  • possibility to select the design and view the interior of the building;
  • navigation cube to help orient the drawing.

The frequency of releases of the xeokit project and the presence of an SDK that can be used to develop additional custom features, will allow us to extend the above list over time.

Performance & Load tests on CMDBuild applications

The CMDBuild READY2USE and openMAINT applications are usually used in medium-large sized Organizations or Companies with a number of operators, respectively of the IT Service or of the Maintenance Service, ranging between tens and a few hundreds.

More and more often we receive requests related to the scalability of the applications, with hypotheses of use in contexts of even thousands of users, of which several hundreds potentially operating in concurrent mode.

In situations of this type, it is very important to understand in quantitative terms the response of the system under intensive use, in order to guarantee good operability and low response times of the application.

For this purpose, we have chosen JMeter as a test execution tool to evaluate the system load level.

To carry out the test, the application delivery architecture must first be appropriately sized, providing a "cluster" configuration with a load balancer and an adequate number of application server nodes in parallel. It is also advisable to distribute the nodes dedicated to the database (possibly with SSD disk), the document system, the Self-Service Portal and possible geo-reference systems, on different virtual servers.

A test plan must then be defined, which includes sequences of operations carried out more frequently, assuming a number of executions and a distance between them.

In the most recently simulated cases, the assumed load peaks were represented by the opening and progress ofIncident Management workflows (tickets), the opening of Incidents through external services and the modification of CI (Configuration Item) data.

The peak of operations to be simulated corresponded to the case of 800 operators who each performed an operation every 1.5 seconds.

Once the scripts were created using the JMeter software, the test was started and kept running for a period of time equal to 10 minutes, analyzing in the meantime the load of the machines and generating graphic outputs showing the minimum and maximum waiting times at each operation.

The test was repeated several times, analyzing the critical points highlighted after each execution and intervening on the system configuration parameters to obtain the best performance and stability of the application.

The results were satisfactory, going to obtain, after the last iterations of the test, a load on the system nodes around 60/70% compared to the maximum resources of the machines.

With about 800 users in a time of 10 minutes, the average response times for the "heaviest" operations were about 4/5 seconds.

CMDBuild Reference & Case Study: Unione della Romagna Faentina (Italy)

faenzaWe approached CMDBuild between 2016 and 2017, to replace a simple solution developed in Microsoft Access and no longer adequate for the growing complexity of management of the newly formed Union.

The open-source version of CMDBuild READY2USE has been immediately usable and we customized the existing classes by adding some accounting/management data typical of the Public Administration and very important to us.

The availability of connectors to Active Directory and VMware and a very professional Help Desk, naturally led us to sign up for the Support Service.

The flexibility of CMDBuild then allowed us to develop solutions also unrelated to the management of IT assets.

The possibility to create classes completely customized and that in any case could be connected to domains already present in the system, the management functions of the history, reporting and documents provided out-of-the-box, have allowed us to quickly create the management system of the GDPR Treatments Registry, and make it accessible to the various levels of the Institution.

At the same time, with the potential of the PostgreSQL database we have integrated some views of the financial accounting system, which is fundamental for us since we deal directly with the purchase of IT goods and services, thus exposing some information even to technical personnel who do not deal directly with the financial accounting.

The workflow engine will be particularly useful to us in the coming months, since we will have to implement some regulatory changes regarding accounting agents relating to the loading/unloading and final accounting of the IT warehouse (Corte dei Conti Emilia Romagna Region - Circular 1/2021).

Alessandro Baldoni
IT Service Manager

Unione della Romagna Faentina (URF - Union of Romagna Faentina) was formed in 2015 and groups together 6 Municipalities in the Province of Ravenna, in the Emilia Romagna Region.
The territory has about 89,000 inhabitants and the Institution has about 500 employees.
The peculiarity of the URF is given by the fact that all the entities have conferred on the Union both their functions and their employees.
The Emilia Romagna Region counts the URF among the Advanced Unions (Territorial Reorganization Program 2021-2023).

Tecnoteca webinars

A webinar to present the CMDBuild READY2USE Asset Lifecycle & Asset Management Module was held on October 14th. The video recording of the webinar is available here.

On November 11th we have then presented an in-depth webinar about the Preventive Maintenance functionality in openMAINT. Here you can find the video recording.

We have then scheduled for Thursday 16th December a webinar entitled: “Data reconciliation in CMDBuild READY2USE", which will explore this functional area.

The recordings of the webinars already held remain available to interested persons, at this page you can find the links to view them.