SmartPLOT 3.6

28 Feb, 2001 By: Michael Lennox

5 stars out of 5

SmartPLOT 3.6 from Technesis lets you track plots directly from AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT, and MicroStation. In addition, the SmartPRINT component lets you track all prints from any Windows application. SmartPLOT is easy to set up—made even easier by its ability to link to a variety of standard ODBC-compliant accounting systems. An Explorer-like interface, a step-by-step Quickstart that guides you through the installation, and dialog boxes with built-in hints to help you enter data correctly into key fields also help you get started quickly. SmartPLOT offers a range of powerful reporting options (see figure below). The SmartPLOT console is an easy-to-use Explorer-type interface and provides powerful reporting tools based on Crystal Reports, which is built into the software.

Technesis' SmartPlot 3.6 is versatile—it lets you track plots from AutoCAD, MicroStation, and all Windows applications.

SmartPLOT comprises several modular components. The Console provides administrative access to the system so that you can enter or import company, job, and billing information. Other server-side elements include a built-in Reports component and SmartSYNC, which provides synchronization with popular AEC accounting applications. Information from your accounting systems automatically updates the Console data, eliminating the need to enter data in both places. On the client side are three workstation components: the SmartPLOT CAD plug-in, SmartSPOOL, and SmartPRINT. The CAD plug-in provides direct plot tracking support for AutoCAD using an ObjectARX plug-in. Supported CAD applications are detected automatically during installation. SmartPRINT lets you track all prints sent through the Windows printing system. You can configure it to include or exclude specific applications.

When you plot from AutoCAD, the SmartPlot CAD plug-in component displays a small window with information required for the plot log. It automatically captures information such as sheet size and other plot data. You can easily customize the options available from the window's pull-down lists with the SmartPLOT Console application. SmartPLOT tracks a plot and its cost, separating out original and copy pricing as an option.

The Console provides a tree-structured view of the Smart-PLOT database. From the Console, you can add and modify data to track. SmartPLOT contains a variety of standard reports— more are downloadable from its Web site. The reporting feature lets you export data into any spreadsheet or text format or one of several ODBC-compliant forms. Highly Recommended.


About the Author: Michael Lennox

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