ProjectWise Review
June 01, 2021

ProjectWise Review

Johnathon Page | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 1 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Bentley ProjectWise

There is no doubt that ProjectWise (PW) is powerful, it is probably one of the oldest and most developed file management tools out there.

Pros

  • It works for collaboration
  • The backend is customisable to do work that other document management systems just cannot do.

Cons

  • It's worse than a virus, it WILL get into every part of your system, with the only way to get rid of it is to do a full system format.
  • Integration is dependent on if Bentley wishes to support your software.
  • DMS system, it just makes it incompatible with native programs unless you have integration, which is at Bentley's discretion for support, exporting to your system is a work around, though this takes significant time to export and to re-teach PW linked file locations when you reimport it.
  • Clunky user interface, if you want to work on more than 1 file at a time expect to be at least 50-80% slower.
  • a Labyrinth of forms that are prone to user error.
  • Interface straight out of Windows 2000, and that's generous.
  • Inability to delete or even "Recycle bin" files, this is more an admin issue but most PW instance lock out deleting files, which makes it impractical for general use.
  • Encourages unnecessary and convoluted workflows, This comes down to the Pro of "The backend is customisable," it may be customisable but this encourages system admins to write convoluted and time consuming workflows just because they can.
  • Seems to require an IT team to manage it - this probably relates to the highly customisable component.
  • Provides a central place for people to store files.
  • Incredibly long time to fill out forms to initialise a file. 4 hours to update files instead of about 10mins.
  • Significantly longer to open drawings. up to 1.5mins to open vs about 10seconds.
  • Can't easily batch script over files, thus making this workflow either ineffective or redundant. Scripts can take 10mins to do an hours worth of repetitive tasks.
  • Restricts you to 1 file at a time, so rather than in the morning opening 10-15 files at once and doing other work while they open you have to site their and open via dialogue boxes each and every file. This can take 10-15mins of your morning run.
  • People seem to email more documents unofficially now, which kind of defeats the first point.
Bentley ProjectWise from a user perspective just does not stack up to even something as simple as Dropbox. ProjectWise is powerful, it is capable, it has a ton of features. The best implementation I have seen from Projectwise is where the admins unlocked everything and let the users do as they please defeating everything it stood for and using it as a big Dropbox account, though even then the user interface couldn't be improved still causing significant workflow delays. I would reluctantly leave a good company if they implement ProjectWise, I respect that it's powerful for system admins but it sucks for users. This means 2-10% of what it is used for is well designed while the other 98-90% of its functions are just bogged down by a lack of development in its user interface and I say this as someone who has periodically used it over the last 10 years and seen no effective improvement in usability. Bentley ProjectWise was one of the first I believe to do this type of system, but as is common with being the first is you don't keep up with the times and bring a lot of baggage with you.

Do you think Bentley ProjectWise delivers good value for the price?

No

Are you happy with Bentley ProjectWise's feature set?

No

Did Bentley ProjectWise live up to sales and marketing promises?

I wasn't involved with the selection/purchase process

Did implementation of Bentley ProjectWise go as expected?

I wasn't involved with the implementation phase

Would you buy Bentley ProjectWise again?

No

If you need something more than just a file server, my advice: try it, if you like it use it, if you find it is slowing you down try ANY of the many other products out there.

It is capable, it is highly developed, it is better than a file server, but it is not streamlined and is in need of a major overhaul for an acceptable 21st century user experience. I personally have threatened to quit my job if we changed from our current document management system to ProjectWise, this is not because ProjectWise is not a good product, it is because I just want to be able to do my job without wasting time fighting the system.

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