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Re: STAAD or RISA?

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Bill,

I would recommend RISA.  I have used both RISA and STAAD (although it has
been awhile since I used STAAD, so I have not used the most current
version).  I find RISA to be a much more user friendly/easy to use program
than STAAD.

The biggest reason that I like RISA over STAAD is the customer support.
The STAAD support (at least from my experience in the past) has been
rather bad.  When I have gotten weird results from STAAD that appeared to
be a bug, their response ALWAYS was that I was entering the information in
wrong, thus it was my fault.  Even when it was clearly a bug in their
program, that was ALWAYS their first response.

RISA on the other hands has ALWAYS been very helpful when I called with
questions or problems.  To me, there is absolutely no comparing the two
when it comes to customer service/technical support.

Obvisouly, RISA does have its limitations.  It is useful for general
analysis and some basic design checks.  It is not really the appropriate
program for "heavy-duty" seismic analysis (time history, non-linear, etc.)
but then neither is STAAD.  For that, you will need something like SAP or
ETABS.  RISA fits basically all my needs, however, since I live (and work)
in a low seismic area.

BTW, RISA does now have a Floor module that is a direct competitor to
RAMSteel, but in some ways is more flexible.  The RISAFloor module dumps
lateral frames/design into RISA3D rather than a blackbox program list
RAMLateral (Granted, you can now dump your lateral frames into RAM
Advanse...I believe).  Also, RISA will be adding concrete design checks in
the next version (supposedly...the one downside is that RISA is a little
slow on fulfilling promised new versions with new features, but that
usually means that they are taking the time to get it right the first
time).

HTH,

Scott
Ypsilanti, MI


On Thu, 5 Sep 2002, Bill Allen, S.E. wrote:

> Now that I've upgraded my box to Win XP Pro, my STAAD3 version doesn't run
> and I'm faced with an upgrade.
>
> The upgrade price is the same as buying RISA 3D and I would be interested in
> opinions on which way to go.
>
> Pros and cons as I see it:
>
> Pro for STAAD: Familiarity (I've been using it since version 8). This
> feature is not as strong as it once was since the GUI is totally different
> than what I'm used to. The file structure appears to be similar, though.
>
> Pro for RISA: I know Bruce Bates and I know he is service oriented. I've
> heard bad things in this area regarding STAAD, but, in the years I've run
> STAAD, it's never been an issue for me. I've never needed tech support, etc.
>
> Other issues? I'm certain there are several.
>
> Your comments would be appreciated.
>
> Thanks in advance,
>
> Bill Allen, S.E. (CA #2607)
>
>
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