Folks who have known me for a long time understand that I am perhaps as much a database applications geek as a Civil 3D expert. SQL is an old friend. The truth be told, I initially learned AutoCAD back in the day in part to build parts of a location-based web sales engine. Nuts. There was no web then as we know it. My old Autodesk Reseller business had Visual Information Systems and nothing about CAD in its name for an important and mission critical reason.
Cadpilot and/or Datadude?
MoreCompetency Inc today produces codeless content as useful product for civil engineers and survey folk. Yet, I certainly preach (rant) systems and information data management too often in this blog. By the way this site is published and maintained from a pretty state of the art database engine that currently lives in an IBM Cloud and uses AWS and Microsoft Cloud tech too. Silly me. I continue to meddle or muddle as it were.
I contend the model-based software sometimes requires more Datadude skill than the traditional CAD skill. This will do nothing but increase in the future at some usage levels.
Whine in the Pipes
For example: A couple of weeks ago a customer complained about some of the obvious lack of built-in capability in Pressure Pipe Systems in Civil 3D. You have one pretty basic catalog that actually lacks parts and systems common in the real world. In addition there is no real recognition that Pipes change frequently from Type to Type and Standard to Standard as it were. Dam to meter to sprinkler it ain’t.
Yet, for most civil engineers and surveyors the tools can be successfully employed in production to publish and document much of their essential work in Plan, Profile, and Section.
Heck. The Framework for Civil 3D even includes Styles and Label Styles to represent Power, Street Lighting, and other infrastructures with it. Say What?
Autodesk could and perhaps will eventually fix this. This will involve a data up-thrust.
Let’s put that in another context:
Do still you prefer Civil 3D COGO points over Survey Points held in one or even multiple Survey Dbs?
Are we as Civil 3D users willing to live with a more sophisticated level of external database integration?
Are we willing to pay attention to the technical details of installing and maintaining that?
Are we willing to both train ourselves and/or pay others to do the backend?
My guess is Autodesk hopes you will live with a future cloud-based solution provided as a service.
Yes. You should understand what Autodesk Forge is and what Forge may become.
Big Air in the Half Pipe?
Funny thing. Autodesk and the programming groups are all attempting to clarify the benefits of their parts of the AEC Collection products. Case in point this recent overview of Autodesk PNID and Plant 3D targeted at Waste Water Treatment Plant projects.
What Deeper DB Integration Can Do
Don’t get me started. I live in California where we really can’t build these in less than 20 years or a new dam in the better part of a lifetime. If we have the Big One in the wrong place or the 100+ year flood that destroys the 150 year old levees in the Delta, the folks in SoCal will be glad for their swimming pool water storage system for a couple of years. At that point Mexamerica may migrate to points north.