The eternally-pending release of ETABS 2013 is a recurring topic of conversation in my office these days. As a major factor in my productivity and thus my bringing home the necessary bacon, I have a great deal of interest in the new release myself.
Overheard in my office: “2013? We said 2030.” It was late 2005 when ETABS 9.0.0 was released; more than seven years later, CSI has been promising ETABS 2013 in “the next few weeks” for some time. Recent support inquiries have been answered with “wait for the next version, coming soon.” CSI has told me that for the last few years, other sectors (bridges, oil and gas) have been hot while buildings have decidedly not been, which has certainly slowed the development. I expect that the new version will actually and finally be released this spring.
What to Expect
- “SAPification” – If you use SAP v15 or SAFE v12, you should not be surprised by anything in the new interface. Improved graphics will be appreciated so long as they don’t make the program seem less snappy.
- “Web-activated licensing schema” – This info comes from a recent support response. ETABS 2013 will apparently be the first CSI product licensed via the web, a la Bentley. If done well, this will be helpful, particularly if it allows occasional over-usage for deadline days (as RAM products do).
- Advanced shear wall design tools – This was in the works all the way back in 2009. I expect better visualization of bars and the ability to more easily check boundary zones.
- Improved composite beam design – Check this under-construction page on CSI’s website for more info.
- Goodbye to keyboard shortcuts – I use custom keyboard shortcuts in ETABS incessantly and will be chagrined to see ETABS 2013 follow the “what we give you is all you get” path of SAP and SAFE.
- A few problems – Past experience with major upgrades says that one might do well to wait a few months to make the jump, unless you want to be the one wrestling with the bugs. At the very least, test ETABS 2013 against the current release as much as necessary to develop trust.
What are you looking forward to in ETABS 2013?