First Look Review: AutoVue 1931 Oct, 2005 By: Ron LaFon Cadalyst
Viewing and collaboration software
Cimmetry Systems Released AutoVue 19, its first major release since its purchase by Agile Software early in 2005. AutoVue is Cimmetry's flagship application for viewing, markup and collaboration. It supports more than 450 file formats, including 2D/3D CAD, EDA, raster, vector, hybrid, office and graphics files.
New in this release is support for AutoCAD 2006, MicroStation V8 and Adobe Acrobat 7 files. For a full list of supported file formats, see Cimmetry's Web page. Simply as a viewer, AutoVue 19 is superb, but it goes well beyond that to provide collaboration capabilities across the Web, workgroup and enterprise.
AutoVue 19 now includes full collaboration and visualization support for several manufacturing formats, including Gerber, ODB++ and EDIF. High-tech companies can now provide their outside manufacturers with the same capabilities as their design teams. New minimum distance measurement tools, improved board-entity viewing functionality and multi-page BOM generation capabilities further enhance EDA (electronics design automation) usability.
Each release of AutoVue that we've reviewed has offered significant new features. Among the new features in AutoVue 19 are 3D Compare, which compares two versions of a 3D assembly to determine what parts have been added, removed and changed. This feature detects nongraphical file attributes at the part and assembly level. Users can view changes between design iterations, verify the integrity of a converted design and share these results with others.
Also new in AutoVue 19 is 3D Explode. Drag a slide bar to explode and implode an entire assembly or selected parts and subassemblies and save the view for future reference. With 3D Entity Search, users can search and filter for parts in a 3D assembly based on a variety of native file attributes such as selection status, type (body, part, assembly, etc), manufacturing information, location and more. Users can then inspect, transform and export results.
Native file property support is enhanced in this release—users can access native camera positions and views saved in SolidWorks, CATIA V5, Pro/ENGINEER and Unigraphics CAD systems. Product manufacturing information is supported for Pro/ENGINEER, CATIA V5, Unigraphics and DirectModel JT.
AutoVue 19 includes a new 3D Compare feature that lets users compare 3D assemblies to determine what parts have been added, removed and changed.
AutoVue is available in a desktop edition, evaluated here, and a client-server edition that can be deployed on Windows and UNIX servers. Cimmetry's collaborative visualization products are designed to integrate with document management, workflow, product lifecycle management, product data management, enterprise resource planning, ASPs and e-business portals directly or via the Web.
AutoVue 19 pricing varies because of the many versions that are available from Cimmetry Systems. Maintenance customers have access to periodic service packs and updates to AutoVue, which often include new file format support. The first service pack with updated file support was released just as this review went to press.
Even with all the new features found in this release, AutoVue 19 remains nimble and adept at what it does, making it ideal for a broad range of users. Highly Recommended.
Ron LaFon, a contributing editor for Cadalyst, is a writer, editor and computer graphics and electronic publishing specialist from Atlanta, Georgia. He is a principal at 3Bear Productions in Atlanta.