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IFC Model Server
Development Project

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This project aims to develop IFC Model Server (IMSVR) framework which stores IFC object model within the database system and runs on the internet. The necessity of IFC compatible model server has been increased by the worldwide IFC implementation experiences in recent years. Without this kind of model server functionality, sharing of IFC data by IFC compatible applications would be limited to file base exchanges. If a model server functionality is provided on the internet, IFC compatible applications can communicate with each other via the internet and utilize functions implemented in the model server such as partial model import / export. The model server will import and export IFC model by BLIS-XML and STEP file format. In the future development, it will also provide a wide variety of Web Service functions, i.e. scheduling doors windows, external library data merger into IFC model with property set system, VRML converter, and so on. On top of that, using SOAP for the communication between model server and client software, the model server functionality can be used by many kinds of client software such as web browsers and java applets. To realize this model server, several basic technologies need to be cleared up.
  • Storing IFC model data in a database system. (SQL Server, Oracle, etc)
  • Automatic schema conversion from EXPRESS to database schema by utilizing XML technology
  • XML based SOAP communication between model server and client software
By storing IFC model data in a database, the model server secures the utilization of a large size building model. At present, most of database management systems include XML data storing functions, thus the development of IFC model server will utilize those XML related tools and functions in order to cooperate with BLIS-XML technology.

Project Background:

SECOM Co., Ltd and VTT Building and Construction are main project body. This collaboration project started June 2001, and will finalize in June 2002.
(The project was extended until September 2002.)


The objective of this project is to develop an IFC Model Server prototype. The prototype will be positioned as a basis of the future IFC Model Server products for IFC compliant software applications, and therefore the prototype must have extensibility, scalability and be built on standard technologies. In this development stage, IFC Release 2.0 is focused on, because the first wave of BLIS project products will come up in 2001. Tools and components that will be developed by this development project will be compatible with further IFC releases like IFC 2x.


In this project, following components will be realized:


Figure. Overview of IFC Model Server Framework
EXC DALC WSL IFCsvr ActiveX Component IFC Object Access Module ADO 1 Secondary Meta Model Database Examples 4 5 6 7 8

Technical Documents:



IMSVR Client Projects:


Mail to: Yoshinobu Adachi



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