1. What is the plan to sunset or transition our existing contract terms/maintenance?Customers with an Autodesk AutoCAD Utility Design existing maintenance and/or subscription contract (including a Collection or Suite that includes Autodesk AUD) will continue to have the right to use the AutoCAD Utility Design software and any associated Autodesk benefits for the duration of their subscription term. Customers who have a Token Flex and/or Multi-Flex agreement that includes access to AutoCAD Utility Design will continue to have the right to use the software and any associated Autodesk benefits in accordance with the terms of their agreement. Customers with a current support and maintenance agreement for AutoCAD Utility Design software, which includes Basic, Advanced and/or Enterprise Priority Support, will continue to receive support for AutoCAD for the duration of their support agreement term from Autodesk. 
      1. We are currently using AutoCAD Utility Design 2015, planning to upgrade to 2017. Should we pursue this upgrade on current platform, or wait until SBS implements the SBS AUD plug-in architecture? We are concerned that if we upgrade on current platform, our configuration will need a lot of re-work in moving to the SBS version of AUD. If that’s the case, we would rather wait and upgrade to the SBS release.


      The expectation is that the initial SBS AUD release will be functionally identical to Autodesk AutoCAD Utility Design 2017. Although installed as a plugin for AutoCAD Map 3D 2017, virtually all other aspects of the application will work the same as with AutoCAD Utility Design 2017. Whether to upgrade to AutoCAD Utility Design 2017 first depends more on timeframes, but SBS would recommend waiting for SBS AUD for a final rollout. That said, AutoCAD Utility Design 2017 can still be used to ensure current customizations and configuration work in the latest version and most all efforts toward that will apply to SBS AUD. In other words, SBS would suggest using Autodesk AutoCAD Utility Design 2017, in the short term, to evaluate any potential migration changes-but plan to convert to SBS AUD 2017 post the SBS release in February.


      1. Is there a plan to expose the Automated Utility Design internal database through an API? This would:
      • allow access using FME 
      • simplify access to AUD feature classes through AutoCAD Map

      The SBS AUD internal database can be extracted using AutoCAD Map 3D APIs (present as far back as 2014) that are independent of an AutoCAD Map 3D/AutoCAD runtime application. Specific questions on the API can be answered by the SBS technical team as well as a short code sample. The APIs allow a standalone custom executable to extract the sqlite database that is embedded in an AUD (or Map) industry model dwg (or dwt) file. Once extracted, the .sqlite file can then be accessed using standard FDO based functionality. In the newer releases the sqlite can be extracted using AUDINDUSTRYMODELEXPORT.


      1. SBS answered a list of questions that were generated on wrap-up day of the SDS Consortium, with regard to the alliance with Autodesk. Bob Stoves (Southern Co.) was going to send some follow-up questions. Has SBS received those yet?

      SBS sent out responses to the consortium on October 11th.


      1. Can we become an alpha/beta tester for SBS AUD moving forward?

      Yes, please contact Pat Reid at pat.reid@spatialbiz.comm


      1. Will we have access to Dave Wilbur for SBS AUD questions and fixes?

      Yes, as part of the SBS support team, David routinely responds to questions posted on the PUG forum.


      1. Will SBS offer any classes on SBS AUD and/or SDS Toolkits at Autodesk University?

      An SDS session is planned for Autodesk University in November. SBS will present a brief future directions session for SBS AUD during the Utility Ad Hoc session during Autodesk University. Unfortunately, the classes needed to be submitted during the transition and there were too many unknowns to schedule a class. However, SBS will have a booth, and are working to have a meeting room for more in-depth discussions.


      1. Will SBS AUD and SDS software purchases go through SBS moving forward?

      SBS AUD and SDS products will be sold through SBS. AutoCAD Map3D, Inventor and ACAD-E would be purchased through your standard Autodesk process.


      1. Does SBS support offerings? Is there an additional cost if renewing through SBS?

      SBS offers standard support. Extended or custom support offerings are available upon request.


      1. From an integration perspective, who will be the primary vendor and sub vendor on the product, given that it is now 2 separate products and ownership/responsibility?


      With a wealth of experience in utilities consulting, SBS plans to provide a full range of consulting services to help customers maximize effective use of the SBS AUD and SDS products. In general, Autodesk moving forward will not enter new consulting engagements related to Autodesk AutoCAD Utility Design software AUD and/or Substation Design Suite products. Autodesk will continue to provide consulting services for data management, field construction projects and/or other utility needs. For customers that are currently working with the Autodesk Consulting team on active AutoCAD Utility Design and/or SDS projects, Autodesk and SBS will work together to see the project through to completion with minimal disruption, whether through assignment of projects to SBS or subcontracting SBS into existing projects. Many of the Autodesk Consulting team members that our customers are familiar with have already transitioned to SBS.



      11. If not separately, how will it be determined who will act as Prime vs. Sub when a scope of work includes an Autodesk core product and an SBS Toolkit?


      Customers will contract directly with SBS for SOW’s related to SBS AUD and Substation Design. A separate contract with Autodesk will not be required in these instances. SBS is prepared to subcontract to Autodesk or other providers as necessary to complete the work. Customer’s will continue to contract directly with Autodesk for SOW’s providing solutions in other areas including BIM, infrastructure and building design, construction and cloud based delivery.


      Technical FAQ — Utility Design Solutions

      -Are all existing Autodesk Utility Design DLLs remaining the same, with all APIs unchanged in the first planned SBS release of Automated Utility Design(AUD)?


      Yes. All dlls and APIs should remain unchanged. No changes to namespaces or APIs due to branding or other reasons. The files should also be installed to the same locations as in AUD 2017. The primary difference with SBS AUD is the application run will be AutoCAD Map 3D and SBS AUD dlls loaded as plugins to AutoCAD Map 3D. However, those will be loaded in nearly the same way as in AUD 2017.


      -Does the AUDEXTRACTTOMODEL command specifically operate the same? I’m not sure at all but for some reason I feel like that used to use some old Topobase/Map underpinnings in AUD’s source code to make that work. Can somebody who knows the command (i.e. Dave Wilbur) let us know that nothing specifically will change about that?


      Yes, the data exchange functionality in AutoCAD Utility Design AUD is built on Map – but that is the case for all of AutoCAD Utility Design. The SBS AUD will run on AutoCAD Map 3D in nearly the same way – and so will also be dependent on AutoCAD Map 3D for some functionality as it always has. There is no expectation that such functionality will change or work differently with the SBS AUD.


      -We reference a few Autodesk.Map DLLs right now for a few things.  What happens to Idaho Power when that’s decoupled from AUD and those are no longer included/installed?  Can we still get the APIs or would we have to change the code references?


      The SBS AUD plugin will require installation on top of AutoCAD Map 3D. All Map dlls and functionality will be present in nearly the same way it is for AUD 2017.


      -Another group in our utility is not using AutoCAD Utility Design, but does use AutoCAD Map 3D and I’m about to develop a tool for them in the next month:

      Will the MAPIMPORT function remain unchanged? 

      If things are built to Autodesk.Map.xxx references right now, will they hold up in the first planned SBS AUD release?


      Yes and yes. The initial SBS AUD plugin will run on top of the same Autodesk version of AutoCAD Map 3D as does AutoCAD Utility Design 2017. Any plugins built against the Map 3D 2017 API, will continue to work for Map 3D 2017 with the additional SBS AUD plugin.


      Please note there is one potentially significant difference: You can run AutoCAD Map 3D 2017 and AutoCAD Utility Design 2017 separately, whereas the SBS AUD will be installed on Map 3D 2017. SBS cannot yet confirm this but it may not be possible to run Map 3D 2017 WITHOUT running SBS AUD as well if the plugin is installed. Please let SBS know if that is a concern. But for a machine where only Map 3D 2017 is installed there should be no difference and any custom plugins that work for Map 3D 2017 will also work on a machine where SBS AUD is also installed.


      That said, please note that aside from the AUD.Loader plugin that almost no plugin dlls are loaded for AUD (any version) unless an actual AUD industry model dwg is opened. AUD can be considered as an ‘industry vertical module’ for Map 3D/Topobase similar to other modules included with AutoCAD Map 3D such as Electric NA, Electric CE, etc.


      Releases FAQ — Utility Design Solutions


      -When is SBS releasing an Automated Utility Design product uncoupled AutoCAD Map 3D?

      Please note that SBS AUD should not be considered ‘uncoupled’ from AutoCAD Map in the technical sense of application dependencies. The SBS AUD plugin will continue to be highly dependent on Autodesk AutoCAD Map 3D and will require a separate Map 3D license to be installed.


      A better way to consider the change is that SBS AUD will run as a ‘plugin for Map 3D’ rather than a ‘separate application from Map 3D’ as it had in the past. But in both cases, Map 3D components were required to be installed. The SBS AUD will require Map 3D to be installed separately, rather than ‘including all of Map 3D’ in its own installation package as in AutoCAD Utility Design 2017 and earlier.


      Release is planned for February 1, 2017.


      -Can we/I get even testing, unsupported versions of these utility design solutions as early as possible to test if any custom code gets broken in a release?


      SBS is prepared to support an early release with the proper agreements in place.  We plan on having early release available immediately after Autodesk University.  Beta testers will have access to early releases going forward.


      -Who is the point of contact for the feature/functionality/enhancements requests? Do they go through SBS or Autodesk?


      Enhancement requests should be made to SBS.  This can be done via the SDS Consortium or the Peer Utility Group (PUG) for AUD.  You may also contact a representative of SBS directly, or send a request to info@spatialbiz.comm.  Use of the SDS Consortium and the PUG is advantageous since those organizations represent a larger body of the product user community.


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