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.
AutoCAD Profile & Integrated Functionality
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 use the client site. 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.
DraftLogic Electrical Client Install
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. Our client install is pretty 'thin', i.e. not big and not complicated. The only 'manual' installation work that may need to be done is any customization of the AutoCAD profile. If the automatic profile configuration works OK, the client install takes about two minutes--even when the AutoCAD profile has to be set up manually, the total Client install takes about five minutes.
DraftLogic Electrical Server Install
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.
SQL Server Component
DraftLogic Electrical can use an existing SQL Server at your site, in which case the shared folders of the DraftLogic Electrical Server install can go to the same server or a different workstation/server, or can install SQL Server Express for you.
Where your site does not have a preexisting SQL Server you desire to be used, our install will automatically install and configure the free Microsoft SQL Server Express 2005. We keep our data in the SQL databases, 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.
Network Deployment of Installs
As we do not at this time ship a version of our installs specifically for network automated deployment, you will either have to have network automated deployment tools/processes that work with regular Installshield installs or you will need to run the DraftLogic Electrical Server install on the server computer and the DraftLogic Electrical Client install on each client workstation.
Let us know if you have questions about the installations that we didn't answer above. Note we will supply an installation manual and happily assist or with or complete the entire installation process via WebEx if you desire.