Welcome to 2010
As 2010 gains momentum its greatly satisfying to see the advantages of both our products, AllyCAD and Civil Designer, being put to great use in so many important projects across Africa as the world's focus shifts direction to the Fifa World Cup and various corridor projects throughout the continent. While World Cup construction projects have gained a high profile, 2010 is certainly not all about stadiums and surrounding infrastructure! Although we must say that it is very rewarding to know that AllyCAD has been used there too, such as in the design of Soccer City Stadium for the Fifa World Cup by PDNA.
AllyCAD has clearly become the draughtsperson's choice in such a wide variety of local and international projects. From the design of new golf estates, jazz cafés, night clubs, restaurants, supermarkets, village housing, conference design, to bridges and even such things as telescopes and model trains. Every day we find out more and more disciplines are switching to AllyCAD and we really enjoy hearing about what you are doing with our software. Drop us a note anytime if you have an interesting project you are working on, and we will happily showcase it.
AllyCAD and Civil Designer -
Put to the test and beats the competition
The Development Bank of South Africa, in conjunction with the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE), did an intensive technical evaluation of all the infrastructure design and CAD software available in South Africa. Programs such as Autodesk's Civil 3D and AutoCAD, Microstation and others were involved at various phases. At the end of this process the DBSA/SAICE panel chose AllyCAD and Civil Designer for implementation into 113 local municipalities. The general consensus was that no other program offers the depth of design features that are available in the AllyCAD/Civil Designer system.
Last year we also wrapped up 2 other large deals with the Dept of Roads & Transport for Grahamstown and the Dept of Transport for Pietermaritzburg & Durban who are using AllyCAD and Civil Designer. With even bigger deals in the pipeline, including our biggest to date (unfortunately we can't mention it yet), the Civil Designer/AllyCAD combo is proving to be unbeatable. With approximately 80% market share in South Africa in the civil engineering and infrastructure field, we are finally able to gloat just a little as the facts speak for themselves. As for yourself, you can rest assured that you are using the South African standard!
Growing user base in the UK
The launch of AllyCAD 2010 has also sparked renewed international interest in AllyCAD, particularly as it is now fully compatible with the latest DWG format from Autodesk. The key issue here was to be fully compatible and offer 3D benefits while still maintaining the AllyCAD advantage and not make one have to do things the AutoCAD way. We are glad to see our UK user-base growing substantially since its release. If you have not upgraded yet, it would be in your best interest to do so before the annual yearly price increase on March 1st. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire about this or simply update your support and upgrade contract and you will be eligible to receive AllyCAD 2010.
AllyCAD 2010 - New Features
As previously mentioned, the main challenge in the new 2010 version was maintaining the traditional AllyCAD ease of use while migrating to 3D with full DWG compatibility. We have also included a batch DRG convert function which aids in a fast transition period from AllyCAD3 versions to AllyCAD 2010 for those that want to convert all their previous designs to the new more powerful AllyCAD format. You don't have to do this and can simply open up your old drawings in AllyCAD 2010 as and when you need them. We can't mention all the changes and updates in this newsletter cause the list is too long, but here are a few that we think you will appreciate:
NEW - Full DWG Compatibility
When we mean full DWG compatibility, we are talking about simply opening an existing DWG drawing or easily converting your AllyCAD drawing into the DWG format with no loss of data and with just a few clicks. No "work arounds" are required because the data structures are identical in terms of the design. This includes XRefs, Layouts with viewports and styles.
NEW - 3D Functionality Added
We have added 3D rendering with smooth shading, perspective view and hidden line removal. You can define your own lighting and view your design in a split modelspace or work on any view (top/side/iso) at the same time.
NEW - Advanced Intuitive Features and Functions Added
Here are just a few ways in which we have added more advanced functionality and made AllyCAD's user-interface much more intuitive, consistent and user-friendly.
- NEW - Control Centre;
View and interact with styles, layer and objects in a drawing through a central interface.
- NEW - Visual Editors;
AllyCAD 2010 brings forth superb customizability of the Graphical User Interface (GUI). You can easily edit menus, toolbars, palettes, linestyles, through visual editors. You don't have to edit text files to customize these anymore. Company standards can then easily be enforced by placing standardized pallets, pen mappings, line styles, menus etc on a network drive for all workstations to use seamlessly. Visual indicators, skins, prompt colours, geometry colours and messages can also be customized.
- NEW - Creating new drawings from Templates;
You can create template drawings with your preferred settings, styles and titleblocks and then use them as a starting point when you start a new drawing.
- NEW - Block Browser (Symbols);
To visually browse symbol files and drawings for blocks. Please note that we now refer to Blocks instead of Symbols.
- NEW - Property Bar (for entities), OLE Frame object function, Table and Tolerance Entity function added;
All entities can now be easily edited in the same place through the Properties Bar. One can quickly select a set of entities and then edit properties common to the selected entities in the Properties bar. The new OLE Frame function additionally allows you to embed other documents into your drawing which can always be useful in keeping track of everything you need that relates to the design. The Table and Tolerance entities function makes it a lot faster than drawing tables and tolerances by hand.
- NEW - Style Importer;
Allows you to import styles from external drawings. This is much quicker than trying to recreate the styles by hand.
- IMPROVED - Visual snaps;
While moving the cursor, the program will dynamically indicate where the nearest snap point is. While in Graball snap mode, it will also indicate what type of snap point is the nearest snap point
- IMPROVED - Geometry Lines and Circles;
We have retained the Geometry lines and circles that was in AllyCAD 3.6 but they now give better visual feedback when you are busy drawing them and are more intuitive and easier to use.
- NEW / IMPROVED Dimension drawing routines;
Much more user friendly, intuitive and a lot more powerful!
- NEW - Mouse wheel zooming and panning;
This helps you to quickly get to the part of the design that you need to work on.
- NEW - Visual Basic Scripting;
Built in Visual Basic scripting makes AllyCAD programmable and allows you to write customized routines.
- IMPROVED Image Handling Ability and Speed;
Easily rotate, clip, georeference your images with brightness/contrast control. AllyCAD is known for its lightening speed of handling huge images. We currently support JPEG (jpg), JPEG2000 (jp2), Windows Bitmap (bmp), LizardTech MrSID (sid), ERMapper ECW (ecw), Portable Network Graphics (png), Graphic Interchange Format (gif), Tagged Image Format (tif), TrueVision Targa (tga) and Personal Computer Exchange (pcx), which should cover just about any image you may have.
To begin benefitting from AllyCAD 2010 now, contact email@example.com to upgrade or purchase new and additional copies. Alternatively you can
purchase AllyCAD online.
Civil Designer 2010 - Important Note
For all our Civil Designer users, we are happy to announce that Civil Designer 2010 is on track to be released in the first half of this year. We are very excited about its imminent release and look forward to giving you a quantum leap in design functionality. With approximately 80% market share in South Africa and with a growing client base through Africa and increased international recognition, Civil Designer 2010 is the platform for us to reach heights that we never would have thought possible 21 years ago.
We would however like to ask all Civil Designer users to wait before switching to AllyCAD 2010. We know you want to, but feel it would be in your best interests to simultaneously upgrade both AllyCAD and Civil Designer to the 2010 versions as both will then be fully .dwg compatible and offer 3D functionality amongst other things.
Customising AllyCAD (Part 2)
This Tech Tip explains how to customise various personal preferences in AllyCAD.
View this Tech Tip.
Not sure about a function in AllyCAD - SIMPLY HIT 'F1' when using the function to get detailed information on it!
AllyCAD clients can access the AllyCAD support forum which allows interaction with other users and also provides discussion with the software developers. The platform allows you to share valuable macros, post new topics, reply to topics, edit and delete posts, and attach and download files.
Free registration allows immediate access. Register here
You can now own AllyCAD via a 'Lease to Own' payment option over a 12, 24 or 36 month plan.
This option is available to South African clients only and is linked to the prime lending rate. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Access the Support Forum here.
Email the Support Centre.
Tel: 086 0101 999 (South Africa only)
Tel: +27 21 7011850 (International)
The Outsourcing Centre offers a dedicated engineering support team who handle infrastructural
design tasks ranging from data capture and drafting through to GIS related assignments. The team is
available to assist with project deadlines and data can be presented in any format required.
Contact email@example.com for further details.
MHP Geomatics, Durban
"The program is user friendly because it has been written to suit the engineering environment. The program has just gone from strength to strength and we couldn't imagine using anything else.."