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Re: STRAP_Software

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In a message dated 9/2/1999 10:25:44 PM Pacific Daylight Time, 
harshanp(--nospam--at)usa.net writes:

<< I have come across a Structural Analysis Program called STRAP from 
 www.atirsoft.com
 
 I would like to know your openion about that software and the reliability of
 that software.
 
 I have found the STRAP software as a the most userfriendly software which I
 have ever used, compared to STAAD III/STAAD Pro, GTSTRUDL etc.
 
 The software also has a bridge module also. I request you to give your 
openion
 of the software.
 
 With Best Regards
 
 Harshan
 India >>


I have been delayed in my review of STRAP for SEAINT Online but have had the 
fortune of spending time playing with the program. If we assume that the 
results of the program are unquestionable (since I rarely check for accuracy 
in a review and only address a program's features), STRAP is one of the 
nicest programs around. It is certainly a full featured software with 
databases that include structural steel as well as cold-formed sections and 
wood. 
I would say that the menu structure takes some getting used to as do the 
layout of toolbar buttons. For the casual user, there may be a need to 
relearn some of the features each time you use the program since commands are 
embedded in the layers of menus. This is not a bad thing since the menus are 
intuitive and allow the user to complete a series of steps in a productive 
manner (ie, coordinate layouts, member layouts etc.).
The program appears to be in modules so that you first define the model, then 
save your work and use another module to define loads and a final module for 
code checking. The change from one to the next is almost seamless and 
certainly not deterent to the program.
The version I tested was restricted to only 12 nodes so I was not really able 
to put it to the test (and I am not really qualified since the largest frames 
I work with are no more than two bays and two stories on average. 
Technical Support was, in my opinion, very good. This may have been because 
the representative who helped me knew that I was reviewing the product. I 
hope this is not the case and the average tech support is as good as I 
received.

Atir Software hinted to the possiblity that they might come out with a 
limited node program to get the price down and attract smaller and limited 
offices such as mine. They do have a number of student versions and I think a 
smaller package would be easier on the pocketbook than their present 
software. I don't remember what the price was offhand, but do know that it 
was more than RISA3D and less than STAAD.

Another software you might consider is Multiframe from Daystar Software in 
Missouri. It is easier to use than any program (other than the DOS version of 
RISA2d) and rewritten for full Windows support. It is very intuitive and I 
found myself working comfortably within an hour of installing it. As with the 
other packages reviewed, the structure of the menu systems simplifies the 
process of finding the most often used commands. 
The database was not as extensive as STRAP but was easily expandable by the 
user. So far, there is a database for structural steel and wood. I don't 
believe that they have a cold-formed database as yet.

I did have the chance to take a look at the RISA Beta which I can only say 
will be a real winner on the market. RISA Technologies took great pains to 
make the interface as easy to learn as any othe the others mentioned. 
Personally, I believe RISA's to be the most intuitive of the bunch. I can not 
comment further at this point since the first Beta was far from finished but 
showed a tremendous amount of promise.

If you can't wait for RISA you would still do very well with either STRAP or 
MultiFrame.

Dennis S. Wish PE
Editor - SEAINT Online