2007-10-29

Autodesk Launches FMDesktop 7.1 product suite

Looks like Autodesk has made a few more improvements to Facility Manager, Facility Web and Facility Link (and, I assume also, Facility Request), and released them as FMDesktop 7.1.


Announcing Launch of Autodesk FMDesktop 7.1 Products

Autodesk® Facility Manager software brings drawings and data together in a way that gives users more information than stand-alone floor plans, databases, or spreadsheets. The open architecture in Autodesk Facility Manager software makes it flexible enough to meet the needs of the many disciplines involved in facility management.

The new release of Autodesk® FMDesktop™ software launches today, October 19, with enhancements to Autodesk Facility Manager software, including:

    • Performance improvements that allow users to run reports faster
    • New drawing viewer improvements
    • More powerful .DWF import capabilities

Facility Manager 7.1 software users can now:

    • Import asset information from CAD or BIM using the .DWF import wizard
    • Receive instant audit reports of new, existing, or orphaned assets
    • Share facility drawings and data with others who have the free Autodesk® Design Review viewer

The Autodesk FMDesktop 7.1 products are compatible with the 2008 versions of AutoCAD® and Revit® products.

I reported in a post this spring that the 2008 product compatibility was going to be released as a Hotfix eventually, but, it was apparently rolled into the new release instead.

Of course, you'll still be able to use it with older versions of AutoCAD, verticals, etc.


One handy tip from the ReadMe file, Facility Link will work with AutoCAD Architecture (ADT or ACA) and AutoCAD MEP (ABS or AMEP), BUT, it will not work if you try to use it with the profile option "run as AutoCAD".

2007-10-25

CAD/Design Salary Information

The Autodesk User's Group International is running it's Annual CAD/Design Salary Survey right now.

The information gathered will be printed in the January/February issue of the free bi-monthly AUGIWorld Magazine.

*The point of this post is to solicit more respondents for our survey.* We need user input to provide the results of this survey!


To find out more, please read the FAQ in the www.AUGI.com/surveys area, here are some highlights:

Is the survey anonymous?
--YES, it is totally anonymous... But, yes, you are required to login with your free augi member account in order to participate in and read the results of the survey. The login is mandatory so that we can be sure no one is skewing the results of the survey by taking it multiple times.
--But, NO, there is no way for ME, the Salary Survey Manager, to link any single line of data in my spreadsheet to an individual user

What is the purpose of the survey?
--To reveal average salaries for many job titles
--To indicate which fields pay the most
--To indicate which disciplines have the greatest levels of job security and job satisfaction
--To show how certain things affect pay (world region, level of experience, education received, gender, etc)
--To gauge the health of the building/design market

Is it a query-able survey like Salary.com?
--No. You have to pick all categories applicable to you and average them out yourself. Sorry.

http://www.augi.com/surveys/salary2007.asp?page=682
PLEASE, take 5 minutes out of your day and participate. We've got 6 more days left (survey ends October 31st), and we're still about 1,800 responses fewer than last year. I know this issue of AUGIWorld is popular and constantly downloaded, so please do your part and provide a little information for others to share.

Fellow bloggers and networkers of any ilk, I'd really appreciate it if you could remind your buds about this chance to contribute!

To see past survey results (magazine spread, as well as additional results posted to the site):
2006 - http://www.augi.com/surveys/default.asp?page=1440
2005 - http://www.augi.com/surveys/default.asp?page=1053
(must be logged in to access the archives - don't forget to read the FAQ, it also contains a list of the questions asked)


Thank you to those who have and will participate, we're all volunteers trying to provide resources to one another, and you guys are the ones who really make this possible.

Cheers!

Melanie Perry
Volunteer AUGI Salary Survey Manager
Volunteer AUGI AutoCAD Community Chair
Volunteer GatewayAUG President
Freelance Writer/Editor/Proofreader

2007-10-22

Woohoo! A new Revit MEP blog!

Alright, Kyle B (Revit MEP Product Manager) has finally joined this generation and started a weblog for RMEP! (okay, Kyle and I are of the same generation, but, whatever, you get my point)

Those of you who hang out on the discussion groups would know Kyle not only for his frequent postings, but, also for his how-to videos!

I did a quick search (from the webside) of the Autodesk Discussion groups and found at least a dozen of his videos posts. So, he promises to continue that trend and utilize video on his new blog.

He's also got links to the other RMEP bloggers out there, as well as to the Revit Systems resources page on the Autodesk site.


And for those who work with me... no, I don't currently use BIM in my Facility. Being a Facility Manager for me is all about Building Systems (MEPFP), so I have been keeping a finger on the pulse of the industry. And, a good thing I have, because my corporate overlords recently announced that they will be phasing in BIM over the next couple of years, and I will be prepared.

You know, being a Mom and a working woman and a homeowner and a wife and a LUG president and an AUGI Volunteer does NOT leave me with a whole heck of a lot of free time.
I was pumping other users for information at the recent St. Louis AUGI CAD Camp about their experiences with local Revit training, and I'd picked out an instructor based on their recommendations... but, let's face it... I'm too swamped to take off of work, and too busy to arrange other times. SO! instead, I'm trying out the Revit Training on CAD Learning. They don't currently offer any RMEP classes, but, I need to just get familiar with the Revit interface plain and simple before I begin to delve into Systems. I've been an AutoCAD user since R10, so I've got a lot to let go of.

But, I was reading in Robert Green's recent article in CADalyst (Managing 2D and 3D in the same office page 2 online) where he states that he believes a good indicator of how well someone adapts to the 3D switch is how handy they are with computers overall. So, being the office go-to-girl, I did feel a little bit better about really tackling this training.

I started the Revit Building 9 series on CADLearning, which consists of 11 hours of training split between 104 lessons. I went through the first dozen videos over the weekend. They really ease you into the interface and options (it helps when they make applicable comparisons with other software products like autocad and word, it's comforting). I'm really liking it so far. I've been able to follow all of these early lessons, but, when I did get a tiny bit lost, I just rewound the video a little bit and watched it again.

I'll keep you guys up to date on my progress as I go along (well, any of you Reviteers will see me posting questions on the discussion groups, I'm sure, but, I know you guys are nice to noobs).

2007-10-18

St. Louis Women's Career Expo Oct. 30th

Alright, ladies of the St. Louis metro area...
Polish up your resumes, print off plenty of copies, get out your business best, and head down to the Sheraton Westport Chalet to find your next job.

You don't have to pay for admission and you can register on-site. Check out the Women for Hire website for a partial list of employers who will be there to see you. Many of these companies have profiles pages with additional information like which positions they're hotly recruiting for.

IS, Security, Engineering, Customer Service, Administrative, Light Industrial, Development, Accounting, HR, Management, etc. Many positions are also willing to train if you'd like to try something new and you fit their personality and skills requirements.

How the Data Center Views FM

This is SO far off the mark of reality...

It wasn't so long ago that the facilities management (FM) team stalked the corridors of office buildings with greasy blue coats and large bunches of keys. That image is now as out of date as carbon paper and typing pools: Today's facilities manager is more likely to be found in a white short-sleeved shirt behind a 21-inch flat-screen monitor looking at CAD drawings and updating an asset database in a high-tech basement lair.



Well, you know, because... I don't wear white, short-sleeved shirts, first of all (overall, I think we FM'ers are a handsome and stylish bunch).

Secondly, and most important... I do NOT have a 21" flatscreen... I have a 20" AND a 19" (Facility Managers scavenge, ok we don't have big budgets like the data center does).

Seriously, the above quote is the opening paragraph of an article for those IT guys that manage servers, etc and tells what an asset their Facility Manager can be to them.

Although, it does make the assumption that a facility of any reasonable size has a working CAFM system in place.

A facility manager can help with a number of environmental factors, purely because he has a complete overview of a building and its current and planned future uses — something IT staff probably lack. "Obviously you don't want the IT department creating a data center when there are kitchens on the floor above because of the danger of leaks," Janus points out.

But the real issues are power and air conditioning. Air conditioning is the number one consumer of power. Servers, as anyone who has worked in a data center can testify, generate a great deal of heat. The high density racks that are becoming increasingly common in today's data centers consume vast amounts of power, and a similar amount of power is needed to dissipate this heat. That makes the planning and layout of the data center, and the provision of power and air conditioning equipment, crucial.

This falls clearly under the FM purview.

How can FM help? In an organization of any size, it's likely that the facility managers will have a computer aided facility management (CAFM) package at their disposal. Among other things, a CAFM will usually store CAD floor plans of the building and a database of assets. For the data center, this will likely include plans showing the layouts of racks. In many cases, the database will hold the location of each server, the applications running on these servers, and information about the departments that "own" each application, where relevant.

Software tools can also carry out calculations to work out the amount of power that must be supplied in a given area of the data center, and the corresponding cooling capacity needed to remove the resulting heat. Information like this is clearly invaluable for the IT department because no matter what IT strategy is in place, the available power and cooling capacity presents constraints. The only way the IT department can be free to install and run the hardware it wants is if FM has already put in place the power and cooling it requires. And the only way for FM to know the IT requirements is for the two departments to communicate regularly.



:-/

It's okay, I'm not bitter... one day, that WILL be me.

I do support any effort to break down divisions and foster communication and sharing between different 'information kingdoms', which is a huge hurdle for any Facility Manager. We each have our specialized skills, knowledge and resources that help our buildings, systems and companies function.

2007-10-05

Cast your vote! Autocad, Revit Architecture, Civil3d and Inventor

Alright, I'm back from my two-week sabbatical.

Prior to leaving for vacation, I had a great CAD Camp experience, yet again. One of the highlights was when I got to chat again with Robert Green briefly about his recently wrapped up
CAD Manager Survey and our ongoing AUGI Salary Survey. I loved my classes, those guys put on a great day of training; thanks to Matt, David, Robert, Dan, Melody, etc, and those from SV and Hagerman who organized this day. MUCH better venue and MUCH MUCH better catering than last year's event... luckily, same great instruction and networking.

Kudos to David and Matt who presented at the user group meetings the evening before, and to Seiler, Hagerman and D3 who sponsored our food and drink and gave out nice pressies (Pat Stack is my hero with the Starbuck's card, I must admit).

NOW, on to the point of my post! It's wishlist time... users make wishes in their AUGI Product Community, then their peers comment on them, then their peers vote on them, then their AUGI Volunteers pass the wishes directly on to Autodesk who usually implements them. Wowee.

autocad http://www.augi.com/autocad/ballot.asp
revit architecture http://www.augi.com/revit/ballot.asp
civil 3d http://www.augi.com/civil3d/ballot.asp
inventor http://www.augi.com/inventor/ballot.asp

And, since you're up there sharing your opinions on product improvements, why not pop over and vote for a design to adorn the shirts of the AUGI Top DAUG participants at this year's Autodesk University?

top daug http://www.augi.com/autodeskuniversity/tshirts.asp


Now, about my lovely vacation... two weeks spent with my fabulous family and some wonderful friends... it couldn't have been more perfect. We had really good weather, even better food, and even more spectacularly fun conversations. Ireland is just as green and beautiful as I remember it, and springing up with more building and roadworks, England was lovely and historic, but, positively BRISTLING with cranes and other evidence of massive building projects.
We got to visit Leed's and Hever castles and while they were lovely and enjoyable, they couldn't hold a candle to the awe-inspiring St. Paul's and Canterbury Cathedrals. Not only are they gorgeous buildings whose designs we studied and admired, they're also a step directly into the past.
We had great weather for our viewing from the London Eye to take in Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, the Omnimax at the Science Museum (my husband worked on that :-D), St. Paul's, the Thames, Tower Bridge, etc, etc, etc. Oh, and we also had curry, twice... yeah, we had fish and chips, too, but, our crew was definitely more excited about the fine Indian food. :-)