General Software

Utilities to keep tabs on plotting costs

1 Mar, 2001 By: Michael Lennox


Plot tracking software has grown more sophisticated in data handling, reporting, and tracking prints and plots since our review last year (February 2000). The four applications reviewed here range from those that work only with AutoCAD to those that work with all applications. Each program is solid and worth further investigation. The best application for you depends on your specific needs and the accounting systems and processes that you already have in place.

All of the applications comprise at least two components: a client interface that captures data at plot time and an administrative interface that provides access to the database. In general, the client interface prompts users to enter or select information about the plot. They must provide the information before they can plot. Users can't dismiss or circumvent the client interface, which ensures that you capture every plot. The administrative interface components configure the system to meet your company's specific needs. You can enter your customers, jobs, media, and costs. All of the applications let you print reports directly and export the data for use with a spreadsheet or accounting software. Once you export the data, you can create custom reports using Excel or reporting applications.

Most of the applications require creating and configuring a database at installation. For use over a network, locate the database on a network accessible by all users. If you want to track plots on only one computer, you can install the database locally.

All of the tools provided help to get you up and running quickly. They also all have fully functional, time-limited trial versions available online.

 
Importance Factor Perfor-
mance
(x5)
Price
(x3)
Warranty
(x1)
Extra Credit
Star rating
CAD fx Plot Minder 2.1.5, B B B+ B 4
Infinity Squared Technologies Print Suite 2.0.4 A A A A 5
Sepialine Argos 3.5 A- A B+ A 5
Technesis Smart Plot 3.6 A A A A

5

*Pricing grades based on five-user price.
 

Plot-tracking software pricing details 
 
 
One
user
Three
users

Five
users

Ten
users
Fifty
users
CAD fx Plot Minder 2.1.5,
$195
$385
$575
$1,050
$4,050
Infinity Squared Technologies Print Suite 2.0.4
$79
$237
$375
$711
$3,160
Sepialine Argos 3.5
$545
$545
$545
$545
$545
Technesis Smart Plot 3.6
$75
$225
$375
$750
$3,750
 

About the Author: Michael Lennox


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