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Re: CAD Programs

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In article <971106105351_193441863(--nospam--at)emout06.mail.aol.com>,
SWJanitor(--nospam--at)aol.com wrote:
>The larger the structural firm, the more likely
>they are to use MicroStation... the smaller the firm, the more Autocad is
>used.
>
>Can you all please comment on why this is?
>
>JBarr
>Intergraph Developer

I've answered this question numerous times (and you oughta know it 
yourself, Jim!)

Intergraph's IGDS was the hands-down popular system back in the late-70s to
early-80s era, before PCs became anywhere NEAR powerful enough to be 
considered serious contenders.  Large firms, including the big 
multi-discipline "Engineering Contractors" such as Brown and Root, 
Foster-Wheeler, M. W. Kellogg, Fluor, etc., bought Intergraph systems to 
the tune of millions of dollars worth of investment.  They developed an 
impressive legacy of cell libraries, custom design automation routines, 
etc., that represented an additional capital outlay as well.

When PCs became the NEW workstation, and as they've replaced the old UNIX 
(or CLIX, in this case) workstations, Microstation came to the fore in 
these types of companies because of these facts.  The gradual evolution of 
Microstation's interface and capabilities took the Intergraph users right 
along with them.

As an illustration of just why legacy of applications, user training (and 
thereby, preference) and automation are so important to Microstation's user
base, consider that another arena where you'll find Microstation dominant, 
is in the Civil Engineering firm, even the smaller ones.  They also used 
Intergraph early on, because THEIR clients, notably public entities such as
state DOTs and the Corps of Engineers, had settled on Intergraph as their 
CAD standard, and the Civil consultants HAD to cough up the investment 
bucks for those systems.

I work for a civil firm, in which we have a small structural group, and 
Microstation is used in about 90% of our projects for this reason.  Only 
when the occasional client, particularly private or industrial clients, 
insist on AutoCad, do we use that platform, most often by bringing in 
contract folks (because it is not worthwhile for us to keep people on staff
just to use AutoCad occasionally, and you MUST "use it or lose it" when it 
comes to CAD skills).