Custom MicroStation tools speed production.
Clearwater, Florida, USA — Day one, 10:15am: The phone rings. An Axiom MicroStation Consultant answers, “Yes, yes, I see.” He begins to write on a sheet of paper. “What exactly do you want the application to do? Okay, and how should it work? Right, what are the inputs to the process? What are the outputs? How do you want the user interface to look? Okay, and will you need.?” The questions go on for a bit longer. The phone is hung up and a courier is paged. A custom programming request form is filled out and everything is placed in an envelope that is stamped “Urgent”.
10:18am: “Take this to Custom Programming,” instructs the Axiom MicroStation Consultant. The message: Company X needs a custom program to manipulate geometry in 30,000 design files. Included are the detailed requirements the customer specified (which are impossible to accomplish through MicroStation’s user interface alone).
10:20am: The messenger cautiously knocks on the door of Custom Programming. He explains his business and is allowed in. As he walks into the Custom Programming department he looks up at the Custom Programming Formula emblazoned on the wall:
“Find out exactly what the customer wants. Deliver exactly what the customer requested.”
10:21am: The message is handed to the lead programmer. After reading the message twice, the lead programmer uncovers a red button on his desk and pushes it. A flashing red light goes off and immediately there is a whirr of activity. Men and women in white lab coats scurry over to look at the message.
10:23am: Several of the programmers are conferring in the center of the room. They all say, almost in unison, “It’s time to visit the Axiom Function Library.” The lead programmer walks over to the safe to get the key to the Axiom Function Library.
The Axiom Function Library
The Axiom Function Library is the repository for all the nifty and useful features developed by Axiom over the past two decades. The function library allows Axiom to build applications using preassembled, pretested components. The same functions that compose Axiom’s acclaimed commercial products can be used to build custom applications to solve a myriad of problems. A single function from the vast library can save hundreds of hours of programming time. This keeps costs down and results in error-free code. Custom programming clients benefit from hundreds of thousands of programming hours (as represented by the Axiom Function Library) at no additional charge.
10:28am: The lead programmer emerges from the Axiom Function Library and the programmers all disappear into a room. For nine days the only people to come in or out are delivery people with food and cappuccinos.
Day ten, 11:00am: The custom program is finished and brought straight to the Quality Assurance Division. Here it is subjected to a battery of rigorous tests to ensure it adheres perfectly to the client’s specification. All the important combinations of options, user sequences and inputs are tested to ensure they are completely logical and produce the expected results. This is in addition to the thorough testing that was performed on each module by the programmer when that module was developed. If any divergence from the specification is found, Quality Assurance will send the custom application back to Custom Programming to be fixed.
Day 11, 12:15am: Quality Assurance gives the thumbs up on the custom application. It is now ready to be delivered to the customer for their inspection. The project is not complete until the customer agrees the submitted application satisfies their specification.
MicroStation shops can rely on Axiom to provide superior long-term support. After all, Axiom was developing software to manipulate Intergraph DGN files before MicroStation even existed. Even after the custom application is delivered, clients have full access to Axiom’s Customer Support department, whose willing staff can help them get rolling with their new custom software.