eNewsletter – July, 2016

 John Balcom: TPC’s Perpetual License vs Subscriptions, Eric Tanikawa: Yes We Do!, Oliver Bochsler: Turbocharging TPC, Mark Lull: Deleting Points

John Balcom, President, MSE, PLS, GISPJohn Balcom: TPC’s Perpetual License vs Subscriptions

Here at Traverse PC, we are looking at moving some of our corporate data into the cloud. We sometimes work from remote locations, so cloud access would be convenient, but there are other reasons too, like not maintaining local servers, backups and IT expertise. We will probably end up with a hybrid system where some data is local and some is off-site. We’re just working on it now, so we don’t know yet where we will end up.

We have selected a service provider and are negotiating the cost now. It’s a subscription. So each month we pay for the service we use, along with $300/mo for support. That’s what prompted this article – $300/mo just for the support component of the subscription.

One of the bottom lines with subscriptions is that they are more expensive. We are reading a consensus that based on current pricing, over a period of three or four years, subscriptions will cost more than a perpetual license with maintenance. Manufacturers intend to offer more value over time to support the cost along with greater flexibility to access more software which may ultimately increase the cost of the subscription.

This month, Autodesk is switching over to subscriptions. You can get the details from them. Bentley already made the move to subscriptions with their Select / Enterprise / Cloud offerings. Adobe offers their CIP / ETLA / CLP / TLP subscriptions. Intuit offers QuickBooks Essentials / Plus with or without payroll. Microsoft has switched Office to a subscription model with Microsoft Office 365. They all understand that over time, they make more money from subscriptions and they are pushing it pretty hard.

So where does Traverse PC stand with all of this perpetual vs subscription licenses?

If you’re like us, you are getting really fed-up with being forced into switching to a subscription to keep your software up-to-date.

That is why we still offer perpetual licenses with optional maintenance. We think this is the most affordable way for you to own software. We recently included automatic updates that tell you when a new release of your software version is available and lets you install it right then and there. So maintaining your current version is easier than ever. And to update your software version, you can still purchase annual updates or purchase the TPC Connection to get on-going Agile Releases, phone support and on-line training. Our bottom line is that any way you do TPC, you are always in control. You own the software and can update it whenever you choose.

For those of you who are interested, we do still offer 90-day licenses via our Private Surveyor Plan as we have for the past 10 years or so. But even these limited-time licenses accumulate toward the purchase of a perpetual license. We still want you to own the TPC license – the way it works best for you.

If this makes sense to you, and you think TPC is the best and most affordable way to work up your surveys, drop us a line at tech@traverse-pc.com. Others will appreciate your input and wisdom in the midst of the current subscription blitz.

John Balcom, President, MSE, PLS, GISP

Eric Tanikawa, SalesEric Tanikawa: Yes We Do!

The definition of “Compatible” according to Merriam-Webster dictionary:

  • Able to exist together without trouble or conflict
  • Capable of existing together in harmony
  • Designed to work with another device or system without modification

I receive calls from many surveyors asking if Traverse PC works with Trimble or TDS or their Data Collector. I am always excited to say, “Yes we do!!!” TPC is compatible in many, many ways. We can work with your GIS files, CSV, ASCII, PDF and your DWG or DXF files! Then, I received a call from a DOT asking if TPC works with Bentley’s DGN files. Of course! Yes we do! What about working with those old C&G DOS or Pacsoft files? No problem! Yes we do!

Do you work with Google Earth KML & KMZ files? Yes we do!
What about LandXML Points, Parcels, Alignments, Vertical Curves, and Surfaces? Yes we do!
Can you bring in and export picture files like JPG, GIF, BMP, EMF, WMF, PNG, TIF, ICO, PNG, World Files? Yes we do!
GMM Township record files? Yes we do!

Can Traverse PC let me exchange files with everyone I need to work with? Yes we can!

Traverse PC can integrate all your data, to create a beautiful plat or map! Traverse PC is high-power surveying software, and it is truly the answer to all your surveying needs! Yes it is!

Eric Tanikawa, Sales

Oliver Boschler, Software DevelopmentOliver Bochsler: Turbocharging TPC

The upcoming Agile Release of Traverse PC 2016 R2 is focused on making things go faster. We’ve been working hard profiling performance, developing faster algorithms, and testing these new developments for the past several weeks. We’re risking being cited for speeding, but it’s a risk we just have to take. I’ll drive into a couple of the changes we’ve been making so buckle up!

Traverse PC currently opens the Drawing View after you select a survey to open – no matter how large the survey is or how many traverses are tagged. This can make things run a bit slow if you’re just trying to open the survey to run some computations. TPC 2016 R2 will automatically notice if a large survey is being loaded and will make appropriate changes. One change is to not open the Drawing View automatically. This is so you can get an idea of what is in the survey and it lets you prune some of the displayed data if you need to. Another is that TPC 2016 R2 switches the Managers to not automatically fill in their data until you focus on them. This makes sure TPC isn’t processing data that you aren’t currently working with. This setting has been in TPC for a while. If you go to Program Settings and then the Miscellaneous tab, you’ll see a ‘Synchronize Views’ drop-down. That drop-down gives you options related to when a view’s data is populated.

One of my favorite optimizations is related to point symbols. In most drawings, the same symbol is used numerous times. This optimization was to not create a new symbol for each point, but to create one for each different symbol and render them in different locations. We save computer memory and processing time by only dealing with a small handful of point symbol objects.

So far, these and many other optimizations have really made a huge difference in TPC’s speed. You may not notice much on small files, but if you’re working with medium or large files, you’ll definitely notice the difference!

Gear up for a great ride with TPC 2016 R2. If you’re on the TPC Connection, we’ll automatically send you this update in the next few weeks. But be careful not to get a speeding ticket!

If you’re not on the TPC Connection, maybe you should be. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until next year to get these turbocharged modifications.

Oliver Bochsler, Software Development

Mark Lull, Technical SupportMark Lull: Deleting Points

All views in Traverse PC are user customizable. This includes the Points Manager. Choose Tools | View | Format View to select which fields are displayed in the Points Manager. Add the # symbol to the Display Sequence to include the Count field. The numbers you see in this field are the number of times each point is referenced anywhere in the program. Every point will have a count of at least one because they are referenced once in the Points Manager itself. Any count over one indicates that the point is referenced somewhere else and you will be told that TPC “Can’t delete referenced point” if you try to delete it.

How you can deal with deleting referenced points:

  1. If a point has a count over one but you don’t think it is in a traverse but you aren’t quite sure, you can right-click the point and choose Point Properties. Go to the Traverses tab for a list of traverses that contain the point. You can double-click any traverse in the list to open the Traverse View or you can use the Summary button to add the list to the Report View for use outside the Point Properties dialog box. Note that you can get to the same dialog box from anywhere in TPC that you can access the point. This includes the Traverse View and the Drawing View.
  2. If a point is not in use in any traverses but there is a left-over reference to the point in a drawing, you can go to the Drawings Manager, right-click the drawing and choose Cleanup Drawing. This forces TPC to search through the drawing to find any of these left-over references and clean them up. Once this is done and the count in the Points Manager is one, you can Delete (the Delete key on the keyboard is the hotkey) the point normally.
  3. The easiest way to delete anything in TPC with no questions asked is to Remove (Shift + Delete is the hotkey) the item. This tool should be used with caution as there is no undo and the object will be completely removed from the file in every location that it is in use. For example, if you Remove a point from the Points Manager that is in use in numerous traverses and drawings, it will be removed from all of them as well as from the Points Manager. For another example, if you Delete a traverse, the points remain in the file and are referenced in the Points Manager. If you Remove a traverse, all of the points in that traverse are completely removed from the file even if they are used in other traverses. Use this tool at your own risk as the only undo that is available is to load an earlier version of your file.

Mark Lull, Technical Support