What these advances mean to users are greater power to define and customize objects-library objects can be defined with buttons, text, and illustrations, for example-and more control over the development of custom applications-prefab home manufacturing and building management, to name two. With the new API, ArchiCAD can also be integrated with an organization's database programs and ERP systems, so that local code compliance or regional construction types, for example, may be more efficiently integrated with the software.
Other program enhancements include hot-linked modules for reference-based collaboration, improved file exchange with the addition of a DGN (Bentley Microstation) file format translator, and a variety of options regarding the DXF/ DXG file conversion process. To improve AutoCAD collaboration, XREF files can now be imported and updated within ArchiCAD 6.5. New modeling tools include 3D zones for accurate information on irregular spaces, and roof generation and trimming in 3D.
Tom Simmons of Archview, an architectural visualization firm in Oakdale, California, is an early user of the new version. "On the 3D side," he says, "it's gotten a lot more pow erful, be cause the 3D window, which was active in 6.0, has now been enhanced with the ability to do free-form modeling. Plus, hot- linking our reference files between Auto CAD and Archi CAD has made things a lot easier."
ArchiCAD 6.5 runs on both Windows 95/NT and Macintosh platforms. The base price for the program is $4295. Additional licenses are $3195.
(Graphisoft; Budapest, Hungary; www.graphisoft.com)