Specialized Google-Like Desktop Search Engine for DWG Formats

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Industry News
Specialized Google-Like Desktop Search Engine for DWG Formats
by Susan Smith

At first, Everest Professional desktop solution for professional AutoCAD users sounds like any other document or project management system, but what makes it stand out is it’s Google-like search capability.

It does appear like ProjectWise, SQL manager and other collaboration systems, yet it is not yet designed for collaboration, explained CEO Vinay Gandhi. Its specialized search is design for DWG drawing formats and has a built in desktop search inside AutoCAD “so people don’t have to leave their working environment and go to Explorer or Google Search or any search tool and try to find their data. That’s one advantage.”

click to enlarge [ Click to Enlarge ]
Select the document to view the revision in any view of the Desktop panel. Right-click on the document and select the option 'View Revisions...'

The other great advantage a compare functionality built into Everest Professional so it allows you to compare visually drawing files. The revision capability allows you to turn the operating system into a revision system. “Users don’t have to have a separate copy to make revisions, they can actually create revisions with a single click. The benefit of creating revisions on the desktop is that most people create versions of their drawings based on using file save. They make one drawing and create a version and back it up and create another one after making changes, and another after making some changes. At some point you lose track of which drawing or document you should be using, and that’s a very common scenario these days.”

The revision system on the operating system is like a virtual desktop that allows you to have only one copy of your file in your Explorer tree, called Everest Navigator, inside AutoCAD. Since it is only one copy with one name, numerous revisions of this file can be saved on top of one another yet you can view them merged as only one view, and view only the data you want to see. You can also see what exactly has been changed.

The revisions can be compared, and once you know what changes have been made in the drawings, you can use “external compare” so you can configure for text, Word, Excel, and PDF documents.

Instead of modifying the original files, in Everest, a third file is created that is only a compare file. All the objects are highlighted by Everest Navigator allowing users to actually go and pick the object. There is a bidirectional relationship between the object and Navigator, making it possible for users to see the properties and the changes made inside. Navigator also makes it possible for designers to find files anywhere in the system.

“We bundle compare programs for Open Source communities and we allow them to download from our website so they can actually have compare functionality for Word, PDF, Excel, images, altogether, there’s no charge for that. We bundle and customize it for AutoCAD users,” said Gandhi.

How the search works is that you can find CAD data quickly searching through documents using Altima’s own indexing service running in the background. At the beginning, it will take time to scan files and index them depending upon how much data you have. Once it’s done, Gandhi said that the data is searched through Altima’s own UI inside AutoCAD.

“Then you just type in whatever text you’d like to find, go through the index and it will just search it,” Gandhi explained. “Our search not only finds the name of the file itself, it also, once you select the file you want, you click on it, has a complete report of exactly where the data is found. It actually navigates you to the object where the data is found.”

Currently Everest Professional is only supported for AutoCAD 2007 and 2008 and verticals such as Autodesk Map, Architectural Desktop, Civil 3D and more. Gandhi said that Altima plans to add a number of search features to Everest Professional in the future, and will be releasing another product that will have collaboration features.

click to enlarge [ Click to Enlarge ]
Select the document to view the revision in any view of the Desktop panel. In the main menu, Select the option 'Everest' 'Desktop' 'File' 'Show Revisions'

Currently Everest Professional is priced at US$259 as a special offer for two months, thereafter priced at approximately US$299.

Top News of the Week

Bentley’s RAM International Solutions Center has released Version 11.3 of the RAM Structural System – Bentley’s modeling, analysis, and design software for structural engineers involved in the design of building structures of all types. The software provides powerful automated and integrated tools that enhance structural engineers’ productivity, allowing them to be more profitable and to more quickly produce economical designs.

In 2008, OFCDesk will begin the first U.S. rollout of their IDC (interior design CAD) software product. In accordance, the company has announced dates for product demonstrations to be held in Indianapolis, Chicago, and Cincinnati. The demonstration in Indianapolis, IN will take place on January 31. The second tour date is scheduled for February 19, in Chicago, IL. The software will then be introduced in Cincinnati, OH on March, 20. Professionals in the interior design and architecture industries are invited to attend free of charge. For additional details on each event, visit the website.

Axium announced a 95% growth in new product revenue for the fourth quarter of 2007, an increase of 330 firms to Axium’s client base. The record fourth quarter was also the third consecutive quarter with record-breaking new product sales.

“Q4 of 2007 was an outstanding finish to the greatest revenue year Axium has ever had,” said Dan Laun, Axium Sales Manager. “New product revenue growth of 95% also reflects our ability to develop innovative products and provide software support that truly meets the needs of firms in the A/E industry.”


Bentley Systems, Incorporated announced that it has acquired Hevacomp, Ltd., a Sheffield, England-based leading provider of building services design software dedicated to improving the performance of buildings. Included in its portfolio is software for energy analysis, heating and cooling load calculations, pipe and duct sizing, and electrical system design and product catalogs. Hevacomp is at the forefront of simulation for building energy analyses, incorporating in its offerings the EnergyPlus engine, developed by the U.S. Department of Energy, and software certified to perform CO2 emissions calculations required under Part L of the U.K. building regulations. Market demand for these energy analysis products is growing rapidly in the United Kingdom due to highly aggressive government regulations designed to reduce the country's carbon consumption.

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