Frequently Asked Helix Migration Questions

This section is devoted to information that may be of special interest to our Japanese market. Today we have questions and answers that are most related to Japan. If you have any questions you would like to submit, please send them to our webmaster.

What announcement was made about Helix and MICRO CADAM in the U.S. and Europe?

MICROCADAM Inc. (MI), a wholly owned subsidiary of CADAM Systems Co. (CSC), announced it would discontinue marketing Helix in the U.S. and in Europe. MI also announced support for Helix would stop on June 30, 2001.

What is the agreement between MI and Dassault Systemes of America (DSA)?

MI and DSA agreed that to maintain a high level of satisfaction for MIs customers, it would be best to migrate MIs customers to Dassault Systemes (DS) products including CADAM Drafting (CCD). To help meet this mutual goal, the remaining MI staff including the Technical Support Center and executive management will move into DSAs U.S. office.

What is the CAA interface and what is a CAA partner?

The CATIA-CADAM Application Architecture (CAA) open-architecture framework enables users or independent software developers to develop and integrate their own proprietary applications into the CATIA-CADAM Solutions environment.

CAA is an object-oriented platform on which all the different CATIA-CADAM Applications Solutions are built. Both integrated and modular, it provides an optimized solution to cover all industrial processes from end-to-end or simply specific products for specific tasks. Its openness is key to maximize CATIA-CADAM richness. Its scalability enables customer growth.

CAA partners, including CSC are building special applications on top of the CAA platform. CSC is developing a HELIX-like application on top of the CAA platform with all data being saved and retrieved in CATIA format.

What is the future for CCD? Will CCD be desupported?

The CADAM products for Dassault Systemes accumulated very significant revenue in 1999. CCD is very profitable. As long as it makes good business sense, CCD will be enhanced and maintained. With the departure of MICRO CADAM and HELIX in the U.S. and Europe, we should expect future sales of CCD to increase. It is difficult to predict how long CCD will be viable, but it is very healthy today, and the future looks even better.

Mainframe CADAM, created in the 1960s, is still maintained by DSA. In fact, mainframe CADAM was recently updated to be Y2K ready and enhanced to accommodate a change IBM made to its OS/390 operating system. It is important to note that the first CADAM drawings ever created can still be used by CCD and filed in CATIA format if desired. There is no other CAD vendor who has preserved the value of their customers data so completely for so many years. Many CAD vendors make promises. The makers of CADAM and CCD keep them.

CCD continues to be enhanced and maintained. It will always maintain the traditional CADAM user interface that advocates require. It will also be enhanced to take advantage of the latest techniques and technologies. Within the next few weeks, several important productivity improvements will be introduced maintaining the steady flow of appreciating value of our customers investments in CCD.

Why not buy AutoCAD?

If you want to preserve the value of your data and the proven productivity of the CADAM user interface, AutoCAD is not a good alternative. It is not possible to have the highest degree of data translation if the data is translated between two very different systems such as MC and AutoCAD. For example AutoCAD does not have views or overlays. The complex relationship between scale and rotation at the ditto, symbol, view, and element level cannot be preserved unless both systems have the same constructs. Many translated items between MC and AutoCAD will either look visually different, or if visually similar, may not act the same. Dimensions or arrows could be decomposed into lines and text, for example.

If you are not concerned about issues such as semantically correct dimensions, mathematically connected orthographic projection views, overlays, associated dimensions, and many more, and you are not concerned about peak productivity, and the flexibility to grow to the best 3D system in the world, you may want to consider a system other than CCD.

What is the recommendation of IBM-J?

DS and DSAC have a close relationship with IBM and IBM-J. However, it is best to ask IBM-J directly about what their recommendations are. We believe IBM-J tries to provide the best solution for the customer. In many cases, if the user is very satisfied with Helix, the user might be best served by staying with Helix.

CCD has the clearest, consistent, and long-lasting strategy. DS continues the over 30-year history of supporting CCD and CADAM customers. DS clearly controls its own strategy, and you can trust DS to continuously provide the best support to all of its customers.

What is CCD?

There are several CAD products that share a common origin with Host CADAM (RCADAM). The common products include MICRO CADAM, MCX, Helix (2D), and CATIA-CADAM Drafting (CCD). All of these products also share very similar user interfaces. The functions are nearly equivalent, and the data can generally be transferred without loss between the systems. Only CCD is developed and maintained by Dassault Systemes, the premier software solutions organization.

You might ask why so many similar products were created? The history behind such similar products being developed is somewhat complicated. What is important is that CCD has the best support record and a far better growth path than the others. CCD users are able to upgrade to CATIA in a seamless way. Of course, this is only natural, because CCD is in fact part of the CATIA portfolio and CATIA supports CCD as completely as it supports all other products in its portfolio. Also, CCD is a global solution that continues to be sold, supported, and enhanced, in all geographies of the world, including Japan.

Both V4 and V5 CCD (CADAM Drafting) are available worldwide including Japan. The Windows version of V5 has been upgraded to have an interface that is similar to V5 CATIA. Also, V5 CCD bundles IUE and the MCX translator. The MCX translator reads and writes MC data directly. V5 CCD prereqs a CATIA configuration, but pricing is very attractive for either V4 or V5 CCD. The drafting portion of V4 and V5 CCD, with the exception of a cosmetic user interface difference in the Windows version is identical.

How popular is CCD in the worldwide market?

CCD is used by many of the largest companies in the world including large companies in Japan. Because CCD is one product in the more than 100 products making up the full CATIA suite, the use of CCD by customers is sometimes hidden. Also, some people may be unaware that there are two drafting solutions in CATIA, Interactive Drafting and CCD. CCD provides the true CADAM function and user interface. Interactive Drafting is for users who do not prefer the CADAM user interface. Both products are complete drafting solutions. However, CCD is very popular because of its highly productive CADAM methods, and its popularity continues to grow. For example, Airbus recently decided to install several hundred seats of CCD to use in their design process.

Please do not be confused by the many products that try to copy the CADAM interface, because it is so productive: Only CCD, CADAM Drafting is the true CADAM on a workstation. Only CCD is developed, maintained, and supported by Dassault Systemes, the same Dassault Systemes that develops, maintains and supports CATIA. Only CCD can be trusted to continue the CADAM tradition and the CADAM track record of always supporting their users.

CCD is the only product that was created by the same developers who developed and still maintain RCADAM. CCD is the only true CADAM product that is available worldwide, and is actively supported and enhanced worldwide. CCD will continue to be sold and supported worldwide far into the future. CCD is truly a global solution. Furthermore, CCD has a dedicated development staff that focuses on CCD only and the availability of the technical resources of the full Dassault Systemes development team of more than 1000 engineers.

If you have any CADAM data or CADAM skills, you need to consider CCD as your best choice. The key qualities of CCD are that it is a truly global CAD solution; it offers the best and smoothest transition from RCADAM and other CADAM-like products; it is attractively priced; it has a secure and expanding future; only CCD has protected your precious resources for more than 30 years, and your decision is backed by Dassault Systemes.

Can CCD import and export the DXF/DWG format?

CCD has a very robust and accurate DXF/DWG translator. AutoCAD users are upgrading to CCD to take advantage of the advanced features and increased productivity of the CCD system as well as CCDs clear growth path to CATIA.

The translator is bi-directional to aid in the transition from AutoCAD to CCD. We sometimes find companies who give up or doubt whether they can accurately convert between DXF/DWG and CADAM data or DXF/DWG and CATIA because these system architectures are different. These companies may also have had bad experiences with low-quality translators that other CAD vendors have developed. Of course, AutoCAD does not support all of the function available in CCD, such as views. Therefore, some compromises must be made in the translator because of the shortcomings of AutoCAD. However, the translator in all other respects is accurate and is industrial strength. Because of our significant experience of more than 30 years, we can provide the best mapping between DXF/DWG and CADAM data. Actually, many CCD customers in the US and in Europe where DXF/DWG is more prevalent than in Japan, are very satisfied with the CCD translator. Even CATIA users may sometimes choose CCD to convert their DXF/DWG data.

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