Real World BricsCAD – Schrack Seconet Part 5

In this post I continue the interview with CAD guy Martin Harrer and IT guy Germar Tischler from Austrian fire alarm, security and communications systems company Schrack Seconet. In this part I go looking for bugs and discuss installation issues.

See here for Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

BLADE Bugs

Martin: When BLADE came out, I was very happy and it has this pretty-printer code formatting thing that I use sometimes because my coding style is sometimes very… interesting! It had the problem where if you use special characters, German letters, it messed up the code completely. I entered a support ticket and this was answered in eight hours. In the next sub-version it was fixed, of course.

How long was it between you reporting it and you getting the fix?

Martin: Maybe… one week? A very short time. Maybe two weeks, I don’t know. It’s dangerous of course if you do that and save the code without realizing it’s broken. But of course it was fixed.

Germar: Yeah, it’s the best!

I would have thought Torsten would have dealt with German letters OK!

Martin: We don’t use it! It’s not best practice!

Germar: Yes, using German letters makes problems with lots of programs.

Martin: We don’t use German letters for variables and the like, of course not. But we have some text messages displayed to the user in strings, and it didn’t like it.

Other Bugs

Any other problems?

Martin: We had a thing in V9. If you copy a block saved by an AutoCAD® drawing and paste it in, Drawing Explorer didn’t count the block. It was missing. That was one of the funny bugs in the beginning. I made a support request and they fixed it.

The sub-versions are great, it’s very interesting to read the development notes.

Release Notes

The release notes? You like the release notes?

Martin: I like the release notes! I confess!

Yes, there are a few funny things that get put in there, are you OK with that?

Martin: I’m OK with it because it makes me smile. It happens to all of us – the funniest release notes are when they fix some bugs. I get it. I have no problem with it.

I’ll pat Don Strimbu on the back for that!

Installation

How does your install procedure work?

Germar: We copy over all of our files locally, start up the installer, go with all the standard settings, it runs through and we’re pretty much done. We import two registry files with our settings and we have everything we need.

I remember in V12 it was a little more difficult, we’d have to go in and do a few things but that’s all gone now.

How do you do the registry thing now?

Germar: We just use a batch file to inject the registry file and that’s it, we’re sorted.

What do you do when you have a point release? When you send that out to the user, how long are they interrupted for?

Germar: Not very long. I would say a maximum of about five minutes. Maybe a little bit longer but the actual update and install takes almost no time, maybe a minute or so. Most of the time is copying the MSI installer over our network.

It really takes no time at all. I haven’t had to update the installer for two major releases.

Martin: The users could do the updates themselves, but I do it for them because it gives me more confidence.

Installation Comparisons

You’ve got one or two bits of Autodesk software around the place, how does that compare?

Germar: There’s no comparison! There really isn’t. Autodesk software is much more painful. It’s much bigger. Getting the installer into a branch office with a bad network connection is horrific and painful. Sometimes the activation code process is also quite… taxing. First you have to get this put it in that and email that and it just takes forever.

We have none of those problems with the BricsCAD installation. It just works.


In the final part of this interview I ask the guys to sum up their experience with BricsCAD.

Ready to try BricsCAD?

Easy to try, easy to buy, easy to own. That’s BricsCAD. Try all of our products, for free for 30 days at www.bricsys.com. Freedom of choice, plus perpetual (permanent) product licenses that work with all languages, in all places. You’ll love what we’ve built for you with the BricsCAD product family.

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson, owner of cad nauseam, has been a CAD specialist since 1985. His roles have included CAD management, development, consulting and technical writing. Steve has also been a contributing editor for Cadalyst magazine, President of the Western Australian AutoCAD User Group, and a Vice President of CADLock, Inc. He is also an international veteran fencing champion.

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