Computer software spotlight
A new generation
Bentley Systems has announced the global, synchronized release of its V8 Generation of products. The move unifies more than 100 products from the company, including MicroStation V8.1, onto a single platform structure so that Building Teams can better manage projects throughout the design/ build/operate lifecycle. For instance, V8 Generation products now support DGN and DWG file formats.
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Online tool for subs
Introducing Constructware for the Subcontractor 5.0, the newest version of the company's client-server application created specifically for specialty subcontractors. The software maintains the company-wide database approach that distinguishes the product from other offerings, but adds significant enhancements for business process customization, flexibility, and ease of use.
Reader Service No. 252
Timberline's Bid Management – offered in Standard and Extended versions – provides the tools needed to save substantial time through every phase of the invitation-to-bid (ITB) process. A password-protected, central online solution allows anyone in an organization to easily create ITB packages in minutes, and then efficiently distribute them to selected subcontractors via e-mail, fax, or the Web.
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Bridging the gap
Project management software from Dexter + Chaney works hand-in-hand with the company's Forefront construction management software to bridge the gap between accounting staff and project managers. The program's "Inbox" provides access to all RFIs, submittals, transmittals, memos, and change request, and allows users to view full details for each item before taking action.
Dexter + Chaney.
Reader Service No. 254
Design a database
ArchiCAD 8 design software features a Building Information Authoring Tool that creates a central database of 3-D model data as the designer creates the building. From this database, users can extract all the information needed to completely describe their design, including plans, sections and elevations, architectural and construction details, bills of material, window/door/finish schedules, renderings, animations, and virtual reality scenes. Changes made in one view are updated in all others.
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Users of Meridian Project Systems' Prolog Manager project management system now have a way of automating the sending and receiving of project-related data contained in faxes, e-mail, or web pages. Prolog Exchange automatically stores incoming faxes, e-mails, and other project information entered via the Web and links it directly to Prolog Manager, streamlining the tracking of responses to invitations to bid, pre-qualifications, RFIs, monthly contract invoices, and other project information.
Meridian Project Systems.
Reader Service No. 256
The latest version of Autodesk Buzzsaw Professional online project collaboration service gives Building Team members the tools to create and assign action items. Automatically tracked in a central log and displayed in reports, these items can be viewed in a variety of ways: by the individual, by item type, or by status. The software also features new "dashboard" architecture that enables users to quickly drill down on action items to respond quickly, navigate to active projects, and access a wide variety of information, including document status (RFIs, for example), project status, and project reports.
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Software allows designers to create highly-compressed 3-D renderings for distribution via the Internet. With o2c_Interactive!, users can edit materials and textures, batch process photorealistic images, and publish the results as an HTML file for presentation. The program utilizes the o2c (short for "objects to see") 3-D file format, optimized for Internet-based communication. o2c files can be sent to clients as e-mail attachments or embedded into Word, PowerPoint, or HTML documents.
Reader Service No. 258
Autodesk Architectural Desktop 2004 is a building information modeling solution within the AutoCAD environment that offers a streamlined user interface, automated file and level management, and integrated photorealistic 3-D rendering and animation. Software also features customizable tool palettes and direct object manipulation.
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Create PDF files
Software allows A/E/C professionals to convert CAD drawings into Adobe Acrobat PDF files for fast and secure e-mailing to clients. Unlike most other PDF file generators, Plot2PDF creates and saves PDFs as vector graphics, which means that the CAD quality of the drawing is retained even when the viewer zooms in or the drawing is plotted out in detail. A trial version of Plot2PDF can be downloaded at www.softcover.com.
Reader Service No. 260
Architectural modeling software for Autodesk's AutoCAD and BricsCad's IntelliCAD allows designers to take advantage of advanced 3-D modeling in a 2-D environment. Using Architecturals, users can quickly create complex 3-D buildings and structures by adding and subtracting volumes and components. All relationships between walls, windows, slabs, roofs, and openings are maintained automatically, and are scale-dependent 2-D drawings. Quantities and cost estimates are instantly updated after a change.
Reader Service No. 261