Is it time for you to make the switch from InfoSWMM to InfoWorks ICM?

Sophia Buchanan Sophia Buchanan May 10, 2023

6 min read

If you’re a long-time InfoSWMM user, have you considered making the switch to InfoWorks ICM?

InfoWorks ICM is Autodesk’s flagship product for sewer, storm, and flood analysis. It contains all the tools you need today to undertake basic capacity analysis – and the ability to tackle more complex analyses tomorrow.

Now is a good time to upgrade

Beginning May 7, 2023, you can convert InfoSWMM licenses with InfoCare agreements at a discounted price and start working in InfoWorks ICM. Read about the InfoCare to Subscription (I2S) program.

As it has grown in development, InfoWorks ICM, which stands for ‘Integrated Catchment Analysis’, has become an engineering one-stop-shop for modeling everything from wastewater treatment plants to ever-increasing and complex storm events, floodplains, inflow and infiltration – to name a few use cases. 

Some of the key benefits of moving from InfoSWMM to InfoWorks ICM include:

InfoSWMM vs InfoWorks ICM

How do InfoSWMM and InfoWorks ICM compare? This table lays out the core functionality differences.

CapabilitiesInfoSWMMInfoWorks ICM
Methods to model CN and SCH unit hydrograph, SWMM, et al
Model calibration using time series data
Model pumps, siphons, force mains, RTCs
Dry weather flow allocation tools
RDII flow data processing
EPA SWMM5 compatibility
Model management
Scenario manager
Version history tracking
Data flagging 
Multi-user application
Cloud data storage
Multi-threaded simulations 
Cloud distributed simulations 
Standard reporting (reserve capacity, freeboard, etc)
Result theming and labelling 
3D visualization of nodes, links, and ground
Advanced analysis
Riverine, bridge, and culvert analysis
Floodplain analysis with 2D
Shareable themes, custom reports, and templates
Free, self-paced online training
Time series data integration
Support beyond ArcMap retirement in 2026

We want our customers to have access to the best tools available, so we’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for customers to migrate to InfoWorks ICM as their hydraulic modeling needs become more complex. We’ve put together a list of some of the things we’ve done that we think can help existing users make the switch.

We incorporated the EPA SWMM5 engine into InfoWorks ICM

InfoWorks ICM’s hydraulic engine has been widely adopted around the world and is known for its accuracy, stability, and performance. Modelers often choose InfoWorks ICM for its ability to represent large scale networks with complex hydraulic interactions.

Running simulations side by side SWMM and InfoWorks both in the InfoWorks ICM user interface.

The InfoWorks ICM simulation engine is just as suitable for representing smaller, less complex, networks. To support our users who feel more comfortable using their tried-and-true SWMM-based solution, in December 2019 we added the EPA’s SWMM5 engine as an alternative solution directly inside InfoWorks ICM. This gives you the many advantages of working with an InfoWorks database, but with the same feel that you’re used to in InfoSWMM, with common property fields, workflows, and a similar window layout.

A Water Talk that breaks down the differences. 

Comprehensive import/export options to maintain flexibility

We believe that sometimes the best way to get up to speed with a new tool is to work in it with a familiar model, so we’ve paid close attention to the details of importing and exporting. InfoWorks ICM includes a comprehensive InfoSWMM importer which pulls in the network, along with input files such as rainfall and climatology and simulation details so you can get up and running quickly. You can also directly import from SWMM5. We’ve also built an exporter for those needing to deliver projects in the EPA SWMM format.

Need to import your InfoSWMM models into InfoWorks ICM? Here’s a quick how-to video.

Added interoperability with essential Esri data

We understand the strong relationship between GIS data and hydraulic modeling. Hydraulic modelers need to be able to share data with GIS tools such as Esri’s ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro. In April, we added support for file geodatabases within InfoWorks ICM’s powerful Open Data Import/Export Centers. You can easily import/export a selection of data and property fields to build models from GIS quickly or prepare results to share with others. InfoWorks ICM’s scripting tools can even be used to automate these data exchanges when using common property fields in GIS.

What would Bob do? Ask a SWMM guru.

Autodesk Product Sector Leader Robert Dickinson has been working in the water industry for 50 years, 17 of them helping to build Innovyze software. He runs his own website about SWMM, has his own YouTube channel that focuses on SWMM, and has been nurturing SWMM communities for as long as people have been online.

If there is a SWMM tool out there, Bob has worked with it, including XPSSWMM, InfoSWMM, and EPA SWMM. He’s seen a lot of SWMM enthusiasts migrate to InfoWorks ICM, and he regularly answers questions about making the switch in his community. 

“InfoWorks ICM is a more complete solution compared to SWMM5, with more modeling features,” says Dickinson. “It can better model reality without any numerical compromises or workaround and is generally a more advanced and accurate solution for modeling sanitary and stormwater systems compared to InfoSWMM.”

Need a SWMM guru? Robert Dickinson has his own YouTube channel and online community.

“Let’s say you have a model with reality-based parameters for nodes, links, watershed, and 2D meshes, and you want to see how it behaves when you apply rainfall and flow. You need a numerical model or solution to solve for your network over time – otherwise you just have a lot of data. I think InfoWorks ICM is best at solving for these flows and depths. It is also generally more stable and faster compared to SWMM5 and XPSWMM.”

Making the switch when you’re ready

Is it time for you to transition from InfoSWMM to InfoWorks ICM? With climate change, urbanization, aging infrastructure, and regulatory challenges increasing, we think engineers need best-in-class tools to deliver easy-to-understand and accurate, sophisticated results.

If you want to complete your analyses and simulations faster (much faster now that cloud simulations are included) and you want to take advantage of built-in validation tools with more dynamic modeling, so that you don’t have to constantly adjust parameters to ensure model convergence, then it may be time for you to consider upgrading.

When you are ready to make the switch, we have a lot of help content waiting for you. Over the last year, we’ve been making our InfoWorks ICM help resources – from hands-on tutorials, short video courses, and self-paced online trainings – more accessible than ever. No matter if you’re learning basic sanitary capacity modeling or an advanced modeler looking for the latest tips and tricks for challenging simulations, Autodesk has the resources and support personnel to assist you. 

If you are ready, now is a great time. From May 7, 2023, you can take advantage of the InfoCare to Subscription (I2S) program and convert your InfoSWMM licenses with InfoCare agreements at a discounted price and start taking advantage of all the benefits of InfoWorks ICM.

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