February 04, 2008
Specialized Google-Like Desktop Search Engine for DWG Formats
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Specialized Google-Like Desktop Search Engine for DWG Formats
by Susan Smith
At first, Everest Professional desktop solution for professional AutoCAD users sounds like any other document or project management system, but what makes it stand out is it’s Google-like search capability.
It does appear like ProjectWise, SQL manager and other collaboration systems, yet it is not yet designed for collaboration, explained CEO Vinay Gandhi. Its specialized search is design for DWG drawing formats and has a built in desktop search inside AutoCAD “so people don’t have to leave their working environment and go to Explorer or Google Search or any search tool and try to find their data. That’s one advantage.”
be using, and that’s a very common scenario these days.”
The revision system on the operating system is like a virtual desktop that allows you to have only one copy of your file in your Explorer tree, called Everest Navigator, inside AutoCAD. Since it is only one copy with one name, numerous revisions of this file can be saved on top of one another yet you can view them merged as only one view, and view only the data you want to see. You can also see what exactly has been changed.
The revisions can be compared, and once you know what changes have been made in the drawings, you can use “external compare” so you can configure for text, Word, Excel, and PDF documents.
Instead of modifying the original files, in Everest, a third file is created that is only a compare file. All the objects are highlighted by Everest Navigator allowing users to actually go and pick the object. There is a bidirectional relationship between the object and Navigator, making it possible for users to see the properties and the changes made inside. Navigator also makes it possible for designers to find files anywhere in the system.
“We bundle compare programs for Open Source communities and we allow them to download from our website so they can actually have compare functionality for Word, PDF, Excel, images, altogether, there’s no charge for that. We bundle and customize it for AutoCAD users,” said Gandhi.
How the search works is that you can find CAD data quickly searching through documents using Altima’s own indexing service running in the background. At the beginning, it will take time to scan files and index them depending upon how much data you have. Once it’s done, Gandhi said that the data is searched through Altima’s own UI inside AutoCAD.
“Then you just type in whatever text you’d like to find, go through the index and it will just search it,” Gandhi explained. “Our search not only finds the name of the file itself, it also, once you select the file you want, you click on it, has a complete report of exactly where the data is found. It actually navigates you to the object where the data is found.”
Currently Everest Professional is only supported for AutoCAD 2007 and 2008 and verticals such as Autodesk Map, Architectural Desktop, Civil 3D and more. Gandhi said that Altima plans to add a number of search features to Everest Professional in the future, and will be releasing another product that will have collaboration features.
Currently Everest Professional is priced at US$259 as a special offer for two months, thereafter priced at approximately US$299.
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