Civil 3D 2016 Continuous Improvement Strategy

by: Dave Simeone | 06/12/2015
Estimated Reading time: 4 - 6 minutes

Workplace, laptop and notepad on wooden tableWhen 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?

  1. Ship things when they’re ready – Where possible, deliver new functionality when it’s ready vs. waiting for the next major release.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

What’s next?

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.

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9 comments
Jimpoolio
Jimpoolio

If I spot a bug or a gremlin in Civil 3D - who should I advise, is there a wish-list / suggestion box / complaints forum?


BrendanButt
BrendanButt

Any word on the new rail subassemblies? Are you starting with just ballasted track beds first or will they also include embedded and direct fixation track? I'm curious how customizable they will be.

RadLazic
RadLazic

end users can't install anything on their workstations and IT will not install anything without prior planned and coordinated rollout. this does not happen much more frequently than 2years. that is 80%+ of the volume market a problem or an opportunity? depends on which side of the industry you look at it. your good will and efforts will directly benefit a smaller portion of the market and, of course the people running the test environments in IT labs

DSimeone
DSimeone

@RadLazic 

Hi Rad - No doubt that this is more common than not. We've been delivering extensions and service packs for a number of years and organizations have built their own procedures for deployment. To be honest I don't have an industry wide answer as there likely won't be one. As organizations become more comfortable with the approach and see value in these continuous improvements, my hope is that you'll see organizations become more efficient with acceptance and deployment.

DSimeone
DSimeone

@Darius Simkunas 

Hi Darius - There's a bunch going on - some that I can share publicly and some that I can't. The C3D Rail extension is now included in Civil 3D 2016 Productivity Pack 1 and we've added a number of improvements including crossings, switch tables, and more. We're also looking at some incremental spiral types based on regional requirements. There are other things in the works including core product changes that benefit many user types (but will be particularly helpful with the scale of rail projects) as well as content (rail subassemblies). Feel free to contact me directly to discuss requirements...

andmailg
andmailg

hello!

Is there any plans to launch Bridge Module 2016 for Civil 3D and Revit Structure?

DSimeone
DSimeone

@andmailg 

Yes - the Bridge Module(s) for R2016 are in progress. The Civil 3D variant is further along and should be available for download from accounts.autodesk.com VERY soon. The Revit Civil Structures REX is in final testing. I'll message out to everyone when it's released for subscribers.