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MicroStation J

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Dan, there is no longer a version number associated with MicroStation
effective with your latest copy of SE.  The "latest and greatest" version is
J which utilizes Java script in the code and allows the incorporation of web
based tools and publishing of documents to the web.  It was rolled out
sometime around third quarter 1998 if my memory serves correctly.
The incorporation of Java script (my understanding) is that it is applicable
to the vector/raster modeling technique enabling multiple users in various
locations (read: offices) to work on/in the same file concurrently.  I could
be adding foundation schedules while someone else in another office is
drawing foundations, etc. This is also essential to providing the future
ability of tele-commuting since I could perform the same work from my home
computer.  Now I require the servers to work (reference files etc.).
Eventually we will be able to log on from home to our corporate system
supposedly and work away (Our office is a Beta site for MicroStation and are
anxiously awaiting the ability to utilize all of the features offered in
version "J").
The DWG translation in and out program works fine, however, we have
encountered difficulty at times depending on the "blocks"/"cells", tags,
attributes, shading, scripts, levels, etc and often use the dxf file which
our computer department develops on a job specific basis.
Vince, for your usage, Bentley provides free of charge additional versions
for home usage (they are full versions) once you have it at work so
employees may utilize it for work at home or additional training.  Several
in our office have these latest "J" versions at home (including myself).
The home versions will only be as up to date as what your office uses and do
not receive upgrades, but an additional home use version of $4000 software
is quickly appreciated.  MicroStation may offer you various options which
you may not have had before including add-in packages such as In-roads,
TriForma, GeoPak, PDS and numerous other items.  The future is becoming more
and more 3-D and with multiple disciplines using the same software, it is
now easier than ever to perform conceptual and design "walk-thru's" and
visually check for interference's.
Information regarding free versions is available from the website at <> 
Good luck in your decision!
Dennis B. Decator P.E.
dbdecator(--nospam--at) <mailto:dbdecator(--nospam--at)> 
Harley Ellington Design
Structural Department