I' ve been using Rivercad professional and this year I've been very glad to have River Analysis working in Civil3D 2012. I am very disapointed in Autodesk, if it will be available in the future only in Ultimate Suite. Its very expensive and have nothing else that i would need. I hope it will be available in Civil 3D like Storm and Sanitary analysis.
Anyway, it is very important that it will be still available after 12/31/2012 until it will be Released in some product like hopefully Civil 3D 2013!
Autocad User from the begin on 90'
I agree with many comments.
It 's very important that the extension is released with Civil 3D.
Then RAE should be inserted in the Infrastructure Design Suite Premium.
Here in Italy we have a good feedback for its use, thanks also to Blogs and to public activities on its use, regarding flooding problems, that every autumn afflict many parts of our country.
RAE is also an optimal alternative for people using products of competition.
So, We hope strogly that it will be released as an extension of Civil 3D and IDS Premium.
Unfortunately, if Autodesk does position River Analysis as an add-on to the Ultimate Suite, then they will loose my firm's business. There is already talk of finding something other than AutoCAD/Civil 3D to use for the drafting/design side of things. As a small firm, we do not need all the bells and whistles that are being included in the software that is packaged in the suites. Being required to purchase the Ultimate Suite just to add this functionality is not going to go over well. We were hoping that this would be added as a subscription add-on like the Storm and Sanitary module. Guess I better start looking at the alternatives.
Thank you for your candor. I appreciate that. The feedback seems to be split. Some users say that they rely on this enhanced functionality so heavily that they are disappointed that there will be an interval between the end of the current tech preview and whatever the next step is. There are others who love it but are willing to accomplish the same thing manually to avoid the extra cost (and benefits) of the ultimate suite. I am sure the product managers will look at how many will pay versus won't to determine where to position this advanced technology.
To be frank there is no split.
This is another f**k up by autodesk; clearly unable to provide continuity of service to companies paying good money for poorly update/maintained/supported products.
Many users like myself are engineers that have been using this product for a number of years thus are in a position to assist each other to provide workarounds to counter act the shortcommings of autodesk.
The minimum functionality required is very basic; getting data from C3D to Hec-ras.
I appreciate your point that Autodesk has wasted a lot of time since the original few lines of VBA script in 2009 to produce a sexier version of the product and thus need to squezz more money from subsribers to justify the coding.
I have no objection per se to the premis that people who want the fancy river analysis package should pay for the ultimate suite. However there should be at least a basic export to hec-ras (vba / .net / whatever) on all suites given the time and effort your "customers" have put into beta testing the attempts over the last 3-4 years.
If the "benifits" developed since the original basic scripts are good enough people will upgrade.
Given the recent development with the "suites" it is clear the product managers are forcing customers back to the days when all major functionality was provided by packages external the main program, like having novapoint / autotrack with autocad. The main difference begin autodesk now owns the external programs.
Is this due to Autodesks inability to get its older core products (built around autocad) to utilise modern CPU/GPU technology or simply inability to develop coheriently within one package?
Actually IMHO our move to suites was based on:
1. Adding more an more functionality to products was making them larger and larger. They are plenty big already.
2. Some of the functionality, e.g... rendering, is desired by multiple industries, so instead of adding to all of the hero apps, we add it to one app and then include that app in the suite.
3. As projects get more and more complicated, customers needed more and more functionality. Packaging it in suites is a win-win in that we get more revenue, but customers get more functionality at a lower cost than if they purchased the applications separately.
4. As our number of applications grew and grew, our resources available to market them was challenged because we have limits on marketing dollars, number of product managers, tradeshows, ad placements,etc. By putting our wood behind one suite arrow, we can reach out to a variety of customers and offer a set of applications that, when combined, provide powerful solutions to design challenges.
So there are a variety of reasons for suites. The above is just my personal observation, not an official company position, so maybe there re other facets that I am not aware of.
I have Dish Network. I like the TV show _Breaking Bad_. _Breaking Bad_ is on AMC. I didn't have that channel. To get AMC I had to purchase a 200plus package of channels from Dish Network. Though I didn't need the other 199 channels, I understand their rationale. If they let subscribers buy individual channels, they would have way too many SKUs as well as very complicated entitlement programming on their end. Now as I scan what's on TV using the guide, I find many shows that I can watch on those other channels I didn't think I needed until I got them.
What has been completely ignored in this whole discussion is the situation of previous licensees of the BOSS software that Autodesk acquired to create the River Analysis package. What happens to us? We invested in BOSS with the expectation that since we paid for a release, that updates, etc were included (or at a minimum, would be granted an upgrade at minimal cost). This is the same thing that happened when they acquired Hydraflow packages. Those of us that had them were literally 'forced' to get Civil 3D for its continued use. While I agree that AutoDesk may have added some improved functionality with regard to interaction with Civil3D, software assets purchased by AutoDesk from 3rd party develpers should have a pathway to upgrade or for contunued use by those of us that invested in them prior to the acquisition.
As far as the suite inclusion is concerned, I feel that since HEC-RAS and Floodplain/Floodway modeling is kind of a niche market and the benefits River Analysis would proivide to the average market share AutoDesk is seeking would not bear itself out in Suite package sales. Do the math. Most of the other components of the Suites are used by the bulk of the design community, where this tool would be used by probably less than 10%. I think making River Analysis an add-on through subscription would better serve the AutoDesk user community and thus give the feeling that they are getting something beneficial for the yearly subscription cost. Considering the current economy and the need to pursuade firm management to contunue spending funds for software, providing value for our increasingly scarce dollars should be at the top of any software vendor's list.
Let me assure you that this information has not been forgotten. When companies that develop packages (like the river analysis extension) are not profitable enough to sustain a small company, they agree to be acquired by Autodesk. It is then up to us to determine how to make the technology profitable for a large company. It is a balance between keeping the technology viable and continuing to serve the customers of the acquired company. I am sure the Product Managers will consider the dedicated following that has helped get the technology to where it is today.
Like finding extra channels, I think I would pick up a full version of Analysis as I think I and/or my Hydro group would find benefits within the full package. But as of now I'm not even using it to go back and forth w/ HEC-RAS.
I import the HEC-RAS sections and traceing feature lines over them so I can model rivers and do cut/fill analysis for river capping, relocation, proposed meandering, etc.
It would be nice if Civil could just model the HEC-RAS sections into Surface Models, but at a min. We should keep some limited capabilities w/ in civil. As of now I can import the HEC-RAS alignment from w/in Civil and the section lines from w/ in River Analysis. And really that is all I"m doing w/ it at this point.
Like I said, with a stable / permanent version, I would probably get training in it w/ our Hydro group and by a full version, but you should at a min. Give us these and more transferring capabilities from within Civil and I'm still thinking giving your subscribers a free download at least for a few years of the initial release would be wise...
You know as well as I do that this will still be beta even after it's released and we will still be ironing out the bugs w/ you. To be honest. Your 2013 Civil 3D was beta as far as I'm concerned up until SP1 and that was just released... And even then, there is much work ahead.... don't put the cart before the horse and sell everyone somthing that they are going to find major bugs in....
My 2 Cents....