FLX FILES

Discussion of MicroSurvey CAD related issues and questions.

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Postby kevinnem » Fri Jan 18, 2008 9:16 am

sorry, a bit off topic, but with regards to ms2005 and newer that work with DWG files.

Is all the point number info in the DWG file now, .. or do you still need the "data base" (.msd?) file.

Can I email a DWG file, and that has all the info for another person to do calcs in microsurvey?

Thanks
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Postby rwhatman » Fri Jan 18, 2008 9:29 am

kevinnem wrote:sorry, a bit off topic, but with regards to ms2005 and newer that work with DWG files.

Is all the point number info in the DWG file now, .. or do you still need the "data base" (.msd?) file.

Can I email a DWG file, and that has all the info for another person to do calcs in microsurvey?

Thanks


If you email a 2005 version 2008 reads it just fine.
If you email a 2008 version and change it to 2005 version
2005 version can not read database. You have to send asc file to load.

Still works just more work.
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Postby rwhatman » Fri Jan 18, 2008 9:40 am

B. K. Lemons wrote:Richard, I didn't read your latest post before making my previous post. But I wanted to let you know that you wrote is correct. You are right on target.

It is better to spend the extra money to keep a full license for older versions.


MicroSurvey is changing there full Licence versions, so you might want to buy and save.

You will buy a Subscription for a lenght of time. It will include any Updates
or New releases tha happen in that time.

Which mean you will always have a full Licence.

I may be wrong but I think MicroSurvey would like to end Licence idea
and make it better for the user.
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Postby rwhatman » Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:06 am

I just want to add a Warning. I have just painted a picture that sounds great.

The fact is, I think what going to happen. When the 2009 version is
issued the 2008 will no longer work the moment you use the 2008 USB key to install the 2009 version is installed.

We will lot of users shut down till the 2009 version working.
So for 2 or 3 hours no work goes out.

Why would I dream this up. Well MicroSurvey will not send a New USB
for the new version. User would be then able to have 2 programs working. Thats not going to happen.

If I am wrong sorry, but I now see the dark side of the coin.

Hope I am wrong.
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Postby Glen Cameron » Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:56 pm

A single USB key can be used for many different programs or versions of programs. So what you are suggesting is not correct. When 2009 (or whatever it is called) is released, those that already have a USB key, and have purchased the upgrade, will simply have to install and activate the new program on the USB key they already have. The USB key would then have both programs on it.

I currently have a USB key with two programs active on it to do support from. This is not an issue. I beilve the USB key can hold somewhere around 20 different programs and versions on it at one time.

This all being said - no decission has been made about what will happen or not happen for future versions of MicroSurvey CAD. So lets all not try and second guess and start bad thoughts by putting negative spins on things. Have no fear, we will do what is best for the user, in conjunction with what is best for us. After all - without all of you - there will be none of us!
Glen W. Cameron, C.E.T.
City of North Bay, Ontario
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Postby B. K. Lemons » Fri Jan 18, 2008 2:04 pm

Glen, with respect, it would be helpful if you could clarify this for us, since it seems that you have contradicted yourself.

In an earlier post you stated that when a person upgrades from one version to another, their license to use the first version expires, and they are therefore required to stop using the first version.

But then in your latest post you said the opposite, that a person will be allowed to run both 2008 and the upgrade to 2008.

As for our never fearing, because "the company will do the best for us," I am a believer that one has to look out for himself. To place one's trust in the hands of others to take care of him is the act of a fool. In the end, corporate Canada and corporate U.S. cares only for itself.

A businessman, particularly a self-employed businessman, has to be very careful not to become too dependent on the use of a single software package or other tool, particularly one whose design, production, marketing and support is controlled by such a very small group of people. It's not safe. In such instances, nothing more that a mood swing, illness, divorce or other incident involving a single person in the company can be the source of a major policy change that can prove expensive for the customer businessman.
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Postby rwhatman » Fri Jan 18, 2008 3:41 pm

Glen Cameron wrote:A single USB key can be used for many different programs or versions of programs. So what you are suggesting is not correct. When 2009 (or whatever it is called) is released, those that already have a USB key, and have purchased the upgrade, will simply have to install and activate the new program on the USB key they already have. The USB key would then have both programs on it.

I currently have a USB key with two programs active on it to do support from. This is not an issue. I beilve the USB key can hold somewhere around 20 different programs and versions on it at one time.

This all being said - no decission has been made about what will happen or not happen for future versions of MicroSurvey CAD. So lets all not try and second guess and start bad thoughts by putting negative spins on things. Have no fear, we will do what is best for the user, in conjunction with what is best for us. After all - without all of you - there will be none of us!


This good news I don't like bad thoughts.
Why I bring up a USB key issue. When most users which means me get the new program. It is not useable out of the BOX. We all have changed
the program. Added new button commands and many Short cuts.

All the programs to date can't move or add these new work that was on
old programs.

I was a year before I deleted 2002 program when running the 2005 program. The version of 2005 is my program I changed it so much.

I got a new computer in the spring and it now runs hot with my short cuts.

Now I know 2008 is a better program, but I don't want to start all over again changing 2008.

If users are stopped at looking at the work they have set up , your sales will drop, and we don't want that.
Last edited by rwhatman on Fri Jan 18, 2008 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby ianw2 » Fri Jan 18, 2008 5:30 pm

One of the really cool things about the customization of MSCAD is that the keystrokes, print styles, etc. are all stored in separate text files which can be edited in any text file editor. I have a separate file on my hard drive - backed up to heck and back, of course - with these text files in it. When I do a wipe and reload, as with SP1 for MSCAD 2008, I just grab the files from my folder and slap 'em where they need to be in the new load.

Bob's your uncle! All my lightning. keystrokes are available once again!

People laugh at me when the watch me draft. All the commands I use often are aliased to keystrokes I can enter with one or two taps from my left hand. The keyboard is tilted with the right side pointed away from me to make more room for my mouse in my right hand. Most of the time, I don't even look at the keyboard.

As far as the issue of previous versions, the only real bump in the rood was the switch from FLX format to DWG format. I know that the people at MicroSurvey thought long and hard about that for exactly the reasons that have been thrown around in this thread.

In the end, the superiority of the DWG format, the responsive nature of the people at InteliCAD and the long term viability of MSCAD pretty well dictated that the switch be made. Drawings from 2005 do not have to be converted to be used in 2008. Drawings already in DWG format do not have to be converted. The only files that need converting are the older FLX format files.

After using MSCAD products and working with the people at MicroSurvey for the past 8 years, the one thing I have come to understand is that the people at MicroSurvey have never lost sight of who they really work for. Yes, as the company has grown in size and the number of world-wide users has expanded, they've had to make certain concessions to their growth. It's no longer possible to pick up the phone and get one of the programmers on the line as it was years ago. On the other hand, with this forum and the help desk, MicroSurvey is a heck of a lot more responsive than certain other companies that could be mentioned.

While I understand the dangers of "single sourcing", I'd rather put my trust in someone I've met face to face and spoken with than a faceless megalith. Each to his own, of course, but I've stayed the course and, I think, reaped the benefits of my association with Darcy, Jason, Ed, Glenn, Brian....

Cheers all…have a great weekend!

Ian
Ian Wilson
Ian Wilson Land Surveying, Inc.
Temecula CA 92591
(951) 684-1044
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Postby Darcy Detlor » Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:15 pm

It will take all of us some time to adapt to the flexibility offered by the USB Security Key. For example, we have customers who regularily call up asking for passwords for programs they upgraded. They no longer own the older version because it was upgraded. We have no idea where they are putting it.

With products protected with a USB key WE DON'T CARE!! :)

We will gladly license you a copy of 2008 & 2009 on the same key, because you can only run it on one computer. We no longer need to keep track of all the complexities of multiple users with multiple passwords etc. It is so simple.

We are already building 2009, so you will see how easy this is going to be when we release it. Just run the License Manager to update the key to the next version level and then install 2009. There will be zero down time.

We are targeting end of first quarter or beginning of second quarter release.
Darcy Detlor,
President,
MicroSurvey Software Inc.
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Postby B. K. Lemons » Sat Jan 19, 2008 5:32 pm

Glen Cameron wrote:... lets all not try and second guess and start bad thoughts by putting negative spins on things. Have no fear, we will do what is best for the user, in conjunction with what is best for us. After all - without all of you - there will be none of us!


You say that, but I wonder how genuine it is.

I was thinking about switching to AutoCAD and adding InCAD to it. But then I read over on the in InCAD forum about how those guys can't use InCAD with their AutoCAD 2007 and 2008 packages, because you haven't updated InCAD to run with newer versions of AutoCAD. You said there isn't even anything in the works for updating InCAD to run in newer versions of AutoCAD. Those guys have apparently been more or less abandoned. It looks like if they are going to keep up with AutoCAD, which many of their clients require, then they will have to switch from InCAD to some other software.

What is a customer to do? One tries to be loyal to a company, buy its products and support it so that it can stay in business. But then this is what you get in return.

It is hard to know what to do.
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Postby Darcy Detlor » Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:07 pm

The last thing that you can say is that we abandoned our inCAD customers. We have offered all inCAD customers the option of upgrading their inCAD version to MicroSurvey CAD 2008. Since MicroSurvey CAD can now read and write AutoCAD 2008 drawings, you can use your AutoCAD 2008 and MicroSurvey CAD 2008 side by side.

Since we round trip all proxy objects and custom objects, there is no need to use AutoCAD to work with DWG drawings.

The #1 reason that we stopped improving inCAD is Autodesk Terminated our membership in the Autodesk Developer Network. We joined the ADN in 1986. Why did they teminate us? No reason was given. Probably because we are selling more and more US Surveyors and Engineers our software.

The #2 reason that we have not released a new version is a technical change that Autodesk made to their programming system when they introduced 2007. We will be updating our code to this new system (designed for internationalization) in the next few months. Once that is done we will take another look at building an inCAD version.

The offer to our inCAD customers stands. We will upgrade inCAD straight across to our MicroSurvey CAD program. This gets the AutoCAD Monkey off our customer's backs while at the same time providing our customers with the best software that we can make.
Darcy Detlor,
President,
MicroSurvey Software Inc.
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Postby B. K. Lemons » Sat Jan 19, 2008 7:14 pm

Your inCAD customers on the other board don't seem to know anything about this. At least they didn't say anything about it in their posts. Evidently, Glen didn't know about it either, since he didn't say anything about it in his reply to them. Maybe he couldn't give the reason there because no one had told him the reason.

Maybe your inCAD customers are happy with the stability that AutoCAD offers from year to year, and being fearful of surprises, don't want to switch. Perhaps many of them are large firms that buy AutoCAD licenses in bulk and aren't able to switch. Or maybe they don't want to have to train their people to use two different packages. There could be any number of reasonable reasons.

Anyway, it's not the cost of the software that matters so much. People just want something they can depend on to keep up with the times without the "surprises" that can be so disruptive to business. (Imagine what would happen to ESRI if thousands of ArcMap customers were suddenly told, "Oh, we just decided to discontinue ArcMap. You have to upgrade to ArcInfo.")

AutoDesk and ESRI products are pretty expensive, but their customer bases keep growing in leaps and bounds. I think that's because they continue to evolve and keep up with the times in smooth, easy ways, with no big surprises. If, for example, ESRI decides to phase out a product, it lets customers know far in advance. And when you ask them a question, everyone there is saying the same thing, so you know you can depend on the answer being the answer, not dependent on who you are asking.

So it's still hard to know what to do. But not the end of the world.
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Flx Files

Postby Dave Morris » Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:40 am

Reading the posts leads to believe that current licence holders have a vaild concern when trying to access that old .flx file when needed. From my experience this is something that is needed at the last minute and the information is needed in urgently.

I do not believe that buying a third party software from Powercad shows any support on part of Microsurvey. We have purchased licences to use your products. The interaction between databases and the cad package is critical to productivity.

I still have old civilcad files that I can not access because of changing file formats, and the change to MSCAD software. Our only rescue with this system was that we use to export a dxf and ascii file of the drawing for every file we created, as we use to finish our drawing with Autocad. Our pupose for for moving to MSCAD was that we could create a better final product using one software.

What happens in the future if Microsurvey once again changes drawing format and or database format. Are we once again suppose to convert thousands of files to the new format, purchase third party software or buy a new licence instead of upgrading.

The issue is that the users have been using MSCAD for a long period of time upgrading as new formats arise. This instills customer loyalty to a product. I think that Microsurvey should show the same support. One must remember that with out customers, there is no product.

I beleive that Microsurvey should provide the conversion utility program with all issues of MSCAD released. The utility does not have to work with the drawing. I would think that it should work outide the program similar to the feature list editor.
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