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Sales FAQ

 

Sales Frequently Asked Questions

Question Marks As time goes on and we answer sales questions from prospects, it seems that some questions are asked a lot more commonly than others. 

In the hopes of answering such questions before you need to ask them, we've compiled a list of sales related frequently asked questions on this page. If you do not find an answer to your question here, contact us at 780-906-2888, or email us at:

For integration related questions, see our integration questions page.

For questions related to using DraftLogic Electrical, please see our forums--a user account is not necessary to browse the content.

 

Sales

DraftLogic Electrical looks amazing, so much so I don’t believe it can do what you say...how do I see it in action?

Call 780-906-2888 or email to arrange a live demo over the Internet via WebEx. If you are near one of our offices, we would also be pleased to show DraftLogic Electrical at your place or ours.  Also please note that we have videos of DraftLogic Electrical in action at this website and at YouTube that you can view at your convenience.  The best quality videos are at YouTube, especially our newer ones that you can select to view in 720P full screen HD.

 

How is DraftLogic Electrical different from other building electrical systems design products, like Bentley Building Electrical Systems?

To the best of our knowledge, all other building electrical system design products merely provide functionality to speed up your manual work somewhat.  The furthest they go with automation is drawing the wiring for a single circuit...and you still have to select the circuit.  DraftLogic Electrical goes FAR beyond merely speeding up your manual work!  DraftLogic Electrical provides complete automation of all vital phases of your building electrical systems design work, enabling you to finish your project deliverables up to thirteen times faster!  In our benchmark testing, we determined that DraftLogic Electrical users will get from 2X to 13X productivity gain on their design work.

Part of the reason DraftLogic Electrical provides such substantial performance gains is that it is an expert system that includes four libraries of information used by the automation.  Out of the box, DraftLogic Electrical comes with over 1,200 room definitions and over 1,300 fixture definitions.  DraftLogic Electrical uses the information from these existing definitions, and any that you add, to drive the complete automation.

The phases of electrical design work that you can take advantage of DraftLogic Electrical's complete automation are many:  automated placement of lighting and receptacles; automated circuiting of lighting, receptacles, motors, and heaters to branch circuit panels; automated drawing of branch circuit wiring linework, calculation of home run groups, wire size selection, and wire count determination and labeling; and finally automated generation of all schedules and floor plans you need for your client deliverables package!  NO OTHER building electrical systems design software does anywhere near this amount of work for you.

See the benchmark test white paper for the detail on our performance gain numbers, and the pages about automated placement, automated circuiting, automated branch circuit wiring, and automated deliverables generation for more information.



I see how much value DraftLogic Electrical can provide me!  How do I purchase it?

DraftLogic Electrical does provide an immense amount of value to a building electrical systems design company.  It is, however, somewhat more complicated to use than your average word processor.

We want to make sure that DraftLogic Electrical helps to make you successful, and that it does so as soon as possible. With that in mind, please call us at 780-906-2888 so we can ensure DraftLogic Electrical is going to be a good fit for you and to plan a successful implementation at your company.  Assuming the software is a good fit, it will be delivered electronically in time to set up for a few days of training.

 

What version is the most current?

DraftLogic Electrical has been in development since the early 2000s.  There were a couple prototypes to prove the concept prior to 2004.  

In mid 2004, development on DraftLogic Electrical as you see it today began.  Within months of the start of development, usable builds were released to the company founders and their designers to test.  Functionality has been added continuously since then, such that as of mid 2011 we have invested well over 25,000 person hours in building DraftLogic Electrical.  

Due to the frequency with which functionality has been added, we have not rolled version numbers with each release. We have DraftLogic Electrical V2.5 for 32bit environments running AutoCAD 2006 and DraftLogic Electrical V4.1 to support 32bit versions of AutoCAD 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 and 64bit AutoCAD 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.  These version numbers thus reflect only major release dates amongst seven years of almost monthly releases.

 
I am very excited about DraftLogic Electrical, how can I further evaluate it?
 
There are a number of ways to evaluate DraftLogic Electrical to validate that it is going to vastly increase your electrical design/estimating productivity.
 
Firstly, some self-serve ways of getting information about DraftLogic Electrical:
 
1.  Overview videos at our YouTube page, a quick 9 minute one and a more in depth 32 minute one.  Ensure to catch the new ones and view in 720p full screen for the best experience (our older overview video is not HD). 
 
2.  Lots of information here at our website, use the top menu to browse through all the content. 
 
3.  Video demonstrating the integration between DraftLogic Electrical and ConEst’s IntelliBid electrical estimating software.  Eight and a half minutes long, best quality experience by changing YouTube feed to 720p full screen.
 
We can also offer some more in depth and interactive evaluation methods:
 
4.  We run a couple WebEx live demos each month that are open to all who want to attend (no appointment necessary), see this page for the schedule.
 
5.  We can schedule a private WebEx session specifically for your company, contact Gerry or I to schedule one of these.  If you are near a purchase decision, we would be happy to use some of your data to do a live ‘proof of concept’ job on a small portion of the project.
 
6.  As part of making a final purchase decision for some seats, we can use DraftLogic Electrical to complete the electrical design for a project of your choosing.  Since the intent is to be a proof of concept rather than use doing a job for you to deliver to your client, we typically will do just a portion of the job—enough to lay any concerns you have to rest!
 
Since DraftLogic Electrical is a complete electrical design expert system, we are extremely reluctant to hand out evaluation copies.  In our experience, anyone attempting to use any product that is at all complicated without any training time will end up simply being frustrated rather than getting true value out of the time they will expend trying to learn and use the product in an hour or two.  Thus our offer to perform live demos via WebEx so you can see the product operated by a trained user and yet be comfortable that you are seeing things as your designers will use them (i.e. not a ‘canned’ demo or video).  Not only will you get more out of the WebEx demo in terms of seeing DraftLogic Electrical in action, it will take much less time than having someone install and try to learn/use the product on their own.
 
If a working evaluation is desired over and above the aforementioned methods of learning about DraftLogic Electrical, you will need to set aside time for your evaluator to learn how to use part or all of DraftLogic Electrical.  This can range from four hours to twenty-four hours, depending on how much of DraftLogic Electrical's electrical design functionality you desire to include in the evaluation.  See our video training page for further information.

 

Licensing & Compatibility

I am working with an architect that uses Revit Architectural, can DraftLogic Electrical read his files?

Revit has several options for exporting plans out to DWGs.  The 2D plan view export creates excellent data for use with DraftLogic Electrical.  Due to its standards-compliance to a definitive set of layers and method of exporting line segments to represent the drawing elements, the data exported from Revit 2D plan view will be even better than some data you will receive from architects working directly in AutoCAD.

 

What version of AutoCAD do I need to run DraftLogic Electrical?

DraftLogic Electrical V2.5 is available today for 32bit environments running AutoCAD 2006 and DraftLogic Electrical V4.1 is available to support 32bit versions of  AutoCAD 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 and 64bit AutoCAD 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. 



Will DraftLogic Electrical run in either the AutoCAD MEP, AutoCAD Revit MEP, AutoCAD Revit Architecture, or AutoCAD Architecture environments?

Some of our clients are already running DraftLogic Electrical on their AutoCAD MEP, we just set up a DraftLogic Electrical profile therein so that our symbols, layers, automation, reporting, etc runs happily.  To be blunt, we have not tested DraftLogic Electrical in AutoCAD Architecture yet.  It will likely function if the core AutoCAD is completely accessible.  Regardless, we have not done any integration with any Autodesk product other than AutoCAD itself.  So although DraftLogic Electrical may run in AutoCAD MEP or AutoCAD Architecture, those products will not 'see' our symbols and schedules as native to them nor will DraftLogic Electrical 'see' their symbols and schedules as native to it--in these cases, we are using only the core AutoCAD part of the product to work with DraftLogic Electrical.

DraftLogic Electrical, as with any software built to work specifically within standard AutoCAD, will not run in any of the Revit environments.  Revit can, however, import and export DWG files.  As mentioned above, the 2D plan view exports from Revit are excellent source data for DraftLogic Electrical.  We are soon looking at making the DWG data that is created by DraftLogic Electrical more 'Revit friendly'.

 

Configuration

What is involved in getting DraftLogic Electrical installed and running at my offices?  What sort of hardware and software do I need to supply?

DraftLogic Electrical at a high level has three software components, all of which will be supplied by us to a client purchasing a license--all you need to supply is at least one workstation and AutoCAD.  In regards to hardware, since DraftLogic Electrical runs on top of AutoCAD, your hardware will be fine for DraftLogic Electrical as long as it is running your AutoCAD reasonably well.
 
The first software component is an add-on to the user's workstation AutoCAD which can be set up in its own profile or in a profile in combination with other tools in user at the client.  AutoCAD allows for any number of profiles to be set up with any combination of tools/add-ons.  We prefer to set up in a copy of the current profile in use and add our stuff so the user still has access to all other tools they were using.  By using profiles, the user has an easy way to switch to 'raw' AutoCAD if they need to.
 
The second software component is a set of dialogs, which we call our Libraries.  They are four Visual Basic dialogs that give the user the ability to view, modify, create, and delete records in the DraftLogic Electrical SQL database.  They run out of two small DLLs that are installed on the user's workstation.  There are very few registry changes to add support for them, all done automatically as part of our DraftLogic Electrical Client installer.  Note that the DraftLogic Electrical Libraries are independent of AutoCAD so can be added to, if you desire, by someone that is not an AutoCAD user.
 
The above two components are all that needs to be done on the user's workstation, all of which is installed and readied by our DraftLogic Electrical Client install (assuming AutoCAD is already installed).  Our client install is pretty 'thin', i.e. not big and not complicated.  The Client install takes only two to five minutes.

The last software component is the common resources, which can be installed either on one of the DraftLogic Electrical user's workstations, a separate workstation, or a real server.  This is our 'Server' install, which only needs to be run once for the entire site.  In any case, the DraftLogic Electrical Server components do not need to have their own dedicated machine, we can function with other shared applications as long as the computer has sufficient CPU, RAM, HD, and network bandwidth to be able to meet all the needs it is to serve.  Where the client site does not have a preexisting SQL Server they desire to be used, our install will automatically install and configure the free Microsoft SQL Server Express 2005.  We keep all our data therein, including the four expert system libraries and all the data about the blocks and layers and everything else that the application stores in database form.  In addition to the SQL server, we have a number of folders that hold files that the client workstations need access to.  These are things like AutoCAD block definitions, images for luminaires, and the like.  The DraftLogic Electrical Server install takes five to fifteen minutes to run depending on the speed of the machine the install is being run on.
 
To support all the above, the client workstations need to be able to 'see' and have appropriate read/write permissions to the DraftLogic Electrical Server directory and subdirectories over the local area network.

Please call us at 780-906-2888 or send a message with any questions you have about how DraftLogic Electrical can be set up at your location.