When I got my new Laptop I went big. Big screen, full keyboard, second hard drive, cup holder. Big. Bigger than my TV at home. Didn’t think about how well that would work out sitting in seat 8A flying from Boston to San Francisco. I apologize in advance for the many typos that you’ll likely struggle through while reading this post.
Now that Civil 3D 2016 has launched I thought it might make sense to talk a bit about how our product release strategy has been slowly transitioning from the “Big R” annual release to something that is more easily consumed (by You).
The goal is pretty straight forward – Deliver productivity improvements that organizations can easily leverage with minimal impact on current production efficiency.
How do you get there?
- Ship things when they’re ready – Where possible, deliver new functionality when it’s ready vs. waiting for the next major release.
- Reduce the learning curve – it’s much easier to learn more targeted improvements that are periodically delivered compared to everything happening in one big release. Think bite size focused tools vs. the traditional “fire hose” approach.
- Eliminate product version as a barrier to adoption – There’s nothing more frustrating as seeing a key improvement come out in a new release but you can’t use it because of deployment schedules within your organization. That’s my favorite thing about the continuous improvement strategy.
Up until now we’ve had 3 primary types of continuous improvement deliverables… The first is what we call regional or niche extensions. These are tools that are needed for customers working in certain countries or with niche production needs. We’ve opted to deliver these tools as extensions in order to more easily react to local needs. The second group includes focused tools for a specific segment or major workflow task. These are generally designated as extensions or modules. For example, the Geotechnical Module adds borehole creation, subsurface creation and drafting that is not otherwise enabled in Civil 3D. Others are for bridge modeling, river and flood analysis and rail track layout.
The final group of tools is best categorized as general productivity enhancements. These tools compliment current Civil 3D workflows with the goal of making you more efficient in your daily tasks. Things like the ability to create a surface from a point cloud, draft basemap and plat geometry, or create solids from a Civil 3D surface are examples of general productivity tools that were launched during the Civil 3D 2016 cycle. We also focused our attention on interoperability and shared workflows via the exchange of project data between Civil 3D and Bentley design software as well as Civil 3D and Autodesk InfraWorks 360.
Civil 3D 2016 is now available and we have a very aggressive plan for adding incremental capabilities over the upcoming year. Beyond improvements and updates to the legacy extensions and modules, we’re focusing on one or more sizable Productivity Packs that will target common production workflows. Our task will be to accelerate our efforts around delivery of continuous improvements. From your side, first confirm that your subscription is active.
From there you can access extensions that are available by visiting your Autodesk Accounts page and logging in with your credentials. Once you are there, just click on Product Enhancements under Quick Links on the Management page and you’ll be up and running. The first wave of Civil 3D 2016 extensions launched last week and many more are planned in the coming months!
If you haven’t yet moved to Civil 3D, now is truly the time to try it. Download a trial now.