SAP’s for 2011

No, it is not some poor sap, or even some new connection to SAP. SAP is short for Subscription Advantage Pack. Typically, each major application will get such a pack. In our case, AutoCAD, Map 3D and Civil 3D will all get one.

In years past, you only downloaded the SAP for your vertical, meaning any supporting applications SAP would be rolled into your vertical SAP. This year is different. If you want the SAP functionality for AutoCAD in Civil 3D, then you to get that SAP; and so on for Map 3D and Civil 3D.

Lastly, since you’re a subscription customer, each seat can get access to the subscription center. If you’ve configured AutoCAD to login to the Center, the individual will get notified when they are available. Otherwise, as a CAD manager, download it to your network repository and send a link for everyone to install from. (Wow, my college English teacher is screaming his head off if he read this – ending a sentence with a preposition?)

OK, enough with the formalities; what exactly is in these “Packs?”

Simply put, functionality that is added to the application that may not have been ready for the version launch back in the spring but is ready NOW and holding it until the next release would just burn a hole in the old Autodesk pocket. Or what’s more likely the case, giving the kids a slurpee to tide us over until we get dinner, I mean the next release.

All right, so that is my version of how it works. J

Anyway, the content of these packs….

The James and Dana show took us through each pack as it relates to Civil 3D both early Monday morning, the 27th and later during the lunchtime webcast. [Disclaimer –Autodesk supported my attendance at this live event held at their headquarters in Waltham, MA]

The quick and dirty summary starts now.

AutoCAD SAP – Three major tools/features are included in the SAP; DWG conversion tool, IGES import/export and AutoCAD WS plug-in. Actually, the WS plug-in will be available to everyone, but for simplicity, is rolled into the SAP for the convenience of subscription customers.

  • DWG conversion tool – this is very similar to the batch conversion tool included in Civil 3D. It’s essentially the same thing, just cleaned up for the big dance and included in AutoCAD now.
  • IGES Import/Export – being an AutoCAD desired feature, it appears that the mechanical crowd screamed for this which allows solid models in AutoCAD a method to go between apps like Inventor or Solidworks. I’ll leave the rest to the zen master evans…
  • AutoCAD WS plug-in – So the labs has thing called Project Butterfly that allows you to “edit & collaborate on AutoCAD DWG” files through a browser. WS is (about to be, not quite out yet I think?) a mobile app for the ipad/iphone to also edit those same DWGs. The plug-in for AutoCAD simply extends the collaboration down to the care AutoCAD platform. So, essentially you can edit your DWGs, which live in the cloud, from either AutoCAD, a browser or through a mobile app. Choose your weapon. [Edit – How loud and long do i need to scream to get an android version?]

Map 3D SAP – The key takeaway here was a new FDO provider for ArcGIS, either personal geodatabase OR server instance. This allows direct connection to read and edit like any other FDO provider, except now to the native ArcGIS databases. Of course, that does NOT imply that the owners of said data will grant you edit access just because you can. You may have to enlighten said owners over a round or two of your favorite beverage. [9/30/10 – the fdo provider is only 32 bit, so it won’t install for users on 64 bits machines; which is a majority of us.]

Civil 3D SAP – There were 5 or so main features on display on Monday. For me, two of them stood out the most; Style Management tool and a COGO editor.

  • Style Management tool – this tool expands on those un-documented commands to get styles OR styles and settings from a dwt/dwg into another drawing. With the initial 2011 release, these commands were completely driven by the command prompt. With this tool it now has a UI to browse for your styles/settings source file. AND, this would be great CAD manager’s tool presuming styles modified in production files can be quickly updated BACK to the default standards; Big time saver for dealing with those rogue designers…
  • COGO editor – is primarily a tool for surveyors to create a traverse from either a polyline or direct entry into the dialog box. This allows for easy outbound parcel creation from a deed, for instance. Rule adjustments are included as well as vary the accuracy based on the input data.

There you have it.

The SAP’s will be announced on the 29th (today by the time I post this) with RSS notification in the Information Center so you can download the feature packs.

Lots more to talk about – must go to sleep though…

[9/29/10 Last edit i promise..]

So where can someone find out more information? Check out the links below. They’re active as of 3pm on the 29th, but should be at some point today.

Works now

Seems broken

[9/30/10] Installation:

The AutoCAD sap creates 2 ribbon tabs (Online & Subscription) and 2 toolbars (of the same name). Although the civil 3d download still is not available, i seem to recall from Mondays demonstration that the new features will install to the “Toolbox” on the Toolspace palette.


About Kevin
Hi… I am a husband, father, brother and neighbor. I am employed as a Civil Engineer and have enjoyed playing the drums for the last 30+ years.

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