MicroStation V8 corruption epidemic

New types of V8 corruption are being discovered at an unprecedented rate.

By Steve Palmer

Clearwater, Florida, USA — The FileFixer development team is discovering new forms of V8 design file corruption as fast as new Search and Repair options can be added. Even working seven days per week, the FileFixer team barely keeps up with the new varieties of V8 design file corruption continuously presented to Axiom by MicroStation users.

The FileFixer team meticulously prioritizes the carefully compiled list of new Search and Repair options (planned for future implementation) to maximize the number of additional design files which can be automatically recovered by each new version of FileFixer. Axiom’s goal is to invent a “cure” – before your projects are impacted, before new variations of corruption crash MicroStation, before MicroStation project data is lost and before your models, levels and elements become unselectable (or worse).

FileFixer makes house calls around the world every day.

If a FileFixer owner is impacted by a new variant of corruption – a variant that FileFixer cannot yet automatically handle – the FileFixer team uses file recovery tools (independently created by and available exclusively from Axiom) to resurrect the incapacitated design files. This Axiom-only service is available at no additional charge to FileFixer owners with active maintenance.

The objective for each fresh release of FileFixer for V8 is to attack the most frequently occurring, newly identified forms of V8 file corruption. Each new release is designed to salvage corrupted design files for the greatest possible number of MicroStation users. Since the first commercial release of MicroStation V8, in October 2001, it’s been a never-ending battle.

The diversity of V8 corruption is unprecedented – nothing like V7. This should not be a surprise since the V8 file structure is much more sophisticated than V7. The new complexity in V8 design files provides a greater number of new things that can go wrong.
In fact, Axiom had to develop a new technical language to describe the new categories of damage found in V8 design files. New terms like “structured storage damage” (the file’s internal skeleton is damaged) or “internal compression damage” (V8 elements are compressed [like Zip files] to save space – when compressed data is damaged, MicroStation cannot extract your drawing elements) have been introduced into the MicroStation community out of necessity. [Of course, Axiom's V8 corruption vocabulary is defined in FileFixer's user guide.]

The V8 file format introduced new categories of design file corruption which never existed in V7 files.

More than six years ago (long before most MicroStation Today readers started to migrate their projects from MicroStation/J to V8) the FileFixer development team had already begun implementation of V8-specific Search and Repair features to handle corrupted V8 design files. And it is a very good thing Axiom got an early start tackling the problem of V8 file corruption – if Axiom had waited for the ultimate widespread customer reports about V8 file corruption, far too many MicroStation projects would have been delayed and too much profit lost.

The quantity, diversity and severity of V8 design file corruption continues to impact MicroStation users around the globe and is clearly here to stay.

Since 1985, Axiom has provided the Intergraph and (later) the MicroStation communities with independent and objective file analysis and repair. Axiom’s tradition continues with FileFixer for V8. The FileFixer development team is currently preparing FileFixer for certification with MicroStation “Athens”.

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