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There are a number of specifications, guidelines, examples and tools that support the development of IFC enabled software solutions. In addition the IAI has established the Implementers Support Group ISG to coordinate implementation support.

IFC Developers should know the following things:

  • Specification and supporting documents
    • A full documentation of all IFC versions is available from the offical IAI website
    • The current IFC2x3 EXPRESS schema can be found there as well
    • Implementer agreements for IFC2x3 (starting with 2006) are available here
    • Sample IFC files for testing are available from different sources, see Examples
  • Toolboxes and other development software
    • There is a number of development tools, including commercial and non commercial software, these tools comprise e.g.,
      • IFC Toolboxes, a generic toolbox compiles the IFC (or any other) EXPRESS data model into executable code that provides basic functionality such as reading and writing the IFC file structure (identical with the STEP physical file structure following ISO 10303-21). In addition it provides an API to the developer for one or more programming languages (like C++, Java, VB). Other functionality may include persistent database storage, support of ifcXML reading and writing, or others.
      • IFC Model Server, a database or model server applications that provide a multi-user database management system and allow to used the IFC schema as the underlying database structure. In addition model servers often offer support for web services, check-in and check-out, thin clients, etc.