Tekla develops model-based software products for the architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) market, for local government use and for power companies. These products provide users with state-of-the-art features and functionality for creating, analyzing, and changing model-based information. Feasible implementation of the products is made possible by Tekla’s own technology platform and architecture.
Tekla applications manage large amounts of complex information. This information has a multi-dimensional geometric or locational component. It is not, however, managed through a drawing or map or 3D visual approach; instead, the information is stored in a data model.
The advantages of a data model approach are obvious: data model evolution, multi-user access, availability in other applications, and other important requirements are easy to fulfill. Since sufficient support for the geometry or location component of the information is not readily available in data model tools, Tekla has gone through a great deal of its own development in this area.
How model-based information is used
One way to demonstrate the advantages of the model-based approach is to look at the evolution of a data model. As an example, during the last decade it has become increasingly necessary to support the time dimension in the 3D model for construction design. Due to the flexible nature of data models, adding the fourth dimension was very straight forward. Another trend is the growing role of cost information as the 'fifth dimension'.
Advances in communication technologies have made collaboration between people and companies working on a same project first of all possible and secondly necessary. The model-based approach readily supports this source of improved productivity through the natural ability to create new models from the combined information of multiple data sources. Sharing a model or the exchange of changes to a model are all built-in services in model-based systems.
Finally, the integration of different information systems is impossible without clean interfaces for access to information and related services. For a data model, these requirements are fulfilled through standard functionality.
Tekla software architecture
Implementing a model-based system that manages financial data or customer information is relatively easy, since there are many tools for creating these horizontal applications. For many vertical markets, such as those that Tekla works with, there are no tools available or they provide insufficient performance or feature sets.
To be able to support all the needed functionality at the required performance level also with large models, Tekla has designed a software architecture that combines available technologies with custom-built ones.
The underlying foundation is Microsoft’s .NET technology and its development tools. The .NET provides a vast amount of basic software development services and offers the highest available level of productivity for Tekla and its partners. .NET is also the industry standard in interconnecting desktop applications.
Tekla’s technology platform, Tekla Technology, provides the tools required for the model-based approach. The data model needs to work in an intelligent way and maintain full integrity at all times, and changes to it need to be visualized immediately. For example, when the profile of a beam in a structural model is modified, changes need to propagate to a number of connections and other parts in the model.
Making sure that the model always behaves as needed without delay is what customers expect of Tekla. Keeping this promise allows our customers to reach the levels of productivity and quality they need to remain competitive in their own fields.