Robert Green’s “An Open Letter to CAD Software Companies” and a Response from IntelliCAD

If you’re one of the many folks out there who don’t believe that the developers of your CAD software are listening to you… you’re not alone and you should take the time to read Robert Green’s “An Open Letter to CAD Software Companies” in Cadalyst. And, as to the part about feeling like you’re all alone, here is Robert’s follow up describing the overwhelming response to his open letter.

I receive email versions of Robert’s bi-weekly CAD Manager newsletters but had fallen behind and didn’t see the original post until yesterday. If I’d read it when it was first released, my response would have been, “Amen brother!”.

Just yesterday morning I had a conversation with a colleague whose company does Landscape Architecture, Civil Design and Land Planning. They are fully invested in Civil 3d (including much blood, sweat and tears in addition to money, money, money) but they’re as productive as any company I know of with the program. Their main complaint? They feel like Autodesk is pushing them toward Revit and they have no need for the software.

In my own experience, I see the push toward NavisWorks and 3ds Max. I had two seats of Civil 3d until I downgraded one of them to Map last year – only to be “rewarded” with an upgrade to Infrastructure Design Suite (and more money for Subscription) this year. This was supposedly something that owners of a Civil 3d and a Map license were able to opt-in to. I didn’t opt-in. So, it took me several days to get them to un-opt-me-in and revert my licenses back to what I’d purchased. Is it any wonder I’m suspicious of any “bonuses” that come my way because of this?

I don’t know how much Robert intended to point the finger at Autodesk in the original column but, with my experiences described above, the references to BIM (which we’ve long argued was a way for Autodesk to avoid talking about Esri and GIS) and Cloud and other buzzwords, that’s certainly the connection I made in my mind.

Because the Carlson Software I sell now includes IntelliCAD, an alternative to AutoCAD, I passed links to the open letter and the responses to a few folks to get their reaction. Dave Lorenzo, the Development Director for the ITC (IntelliCAD Technology Consortium) took the feedback to heart and, considering the interest in the future of IntelliCAD the past few years, I asked his permission to post his response. I very much appreciate his willingness to let me do so…

I agree that the features mentioned are focused on AutoCAD, but the article is not so much about features as it’s really about the user’s perception if someone is listening. While Autodesk is moving too fast providing features that users don’t want or need, we are not moving fast enough to provide the basic productivity features users are requesting, so it appears we both are not listening to our users. That is the perception we need to fix too.

Our next release has several user requested productivity features and I hope our users will see we are listening. Actually we have always been listening but our rewrite of IntelliCAD 7 took so many resources that there was little time for new features – that situation is finally changing. I believe that there are a lot of unhappy AutoCAD users who want IntelliCAD to be successful, we just need to listen and add those remaining productivity features that are keeping them from making the switch.

Carlson 2013 Has Been Released

Carlson released the 2013 version of their desktop products today. This includes: Civil Suite, Civil, Survey, Hydrology, GIS, Takeoff, Construction, Point Cloud, Geology, Surface/Underground Mining and Natural Regrade.

The 2013 embedded-AutoCAD versions of Takeoff and Survey have not yet been released.

Unlike previous versions of Carlson that support running on top of IntelliCAD or AutoCAD products 2000-2012, Carlson 2013 can only be run on IntelliCAD or AutoCAD products 2004-2013. This includes AutoCAD, Map, Land Desktop and Civil 3d. Also, anyone using the FREE IntelliCAD that comes with Carlson is eligible for a FREE GIS Starter Kit from Esri which includes ArcMap.

You can download Carlson 2013 here.

If you are using 2012 and are current on your annual maintenance contract, you can click here to look up your new 2013 serial number online. You will need to enter your contact information and your 2012 serial number in order to generate the 2013 serial number. You can find your serial number by opening Carlson Software and going to Help > About Carlson Software > Change Registration.

If you have trouble finding your serial number or would like to know the cost to upgrade to 2013, please email me with your request.

Click here for the full list of improvements to Carlson 2013

Click here for improvements to the General commands in 2013

Click here for the additional data file & conversion support in Carlson 2013

Click here for improvements to Survey commands in 2013

Click here for improvements to Civil commands in 2013

Click here for improvements to Hydrology commands in 2013

Click here for improvements to GIS commands in 2013

Click here for improvements to Takeoff commands in 2013

Click here for improvements to Point Cloud commands in 2013

Click here for improvements to Geology commands in 2013

Click here for improvements to Surface/Underground Mining commands in 2013

Click here for improvements to Natural Regrade commands in 2013

Software Review: AutoCAD and IntelliCAD

The May 2012 issue of Professional Surveyor magazine has been published. This month they are featuring a software review I submitted: AutoCAD and IntelliCAD.

You can order your FREE subscription to the print version of Professional Surveyor here.

You can click here to learn more about Carlson Software‘s offerings that include IntelliCAD.