DraftSight ends Beta; general release announced!

The big news from Dassault Systemes today is that they just announced the general release of DraftSight for Windows.  DraftSight is a no-cost 2D CAD application for CAD professionals, students and educators which allows them to create, edit and view .dwg files.  The very long beta release of the Windows version has ended with an impressive 400,000 450,000 downloads (as of 5:00PM ET on February 22, 2011) from the DraftSight website.  In a conversation I had with Aaron Kelly, Senior Director of DraftSight at Dassault Systemes, he stated that this number is “a lot more than we expected.”  He added that the total number of full DraftSight activations is over 95,000.

Language support

Also according to Kelly, since the beta 3 release, the DraftSight user interface has simultaneously supported 14 languages at once (English, German, French, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Turkish, Korean, Polish, Russian, Czech).  As of today’s general release, DraftSight will now also support these languages in the Help file, meaning that DraftSight is now fully localized (all 14 versions will be released at once for each update).

DraftSight is community driven

Free support, training and enhancement requests may be conducted through the DraftSight online community, based on Dassault Systemes’ SwYm online collaboration and social innovation platform.  SwYm communities have profiles, blogs, micro-blogging, “iQuestions”, wikis, media sharing spaces (data, audio, video, and even 3D), status updates, and more all within one online user interface.

Other updates in the general release

API support for DraftSight is now available, for a fee.  This enables users to write add-on programs for DraftSight in C++ and other supported programming languages.  The addition of Command Variables Enhancement allows users to set and change system variables directly from the command line.  Aaron Kelly adds, “we fixed a bunch of bugs that people reported”.  He also stressed the value the user base in improving DraftSight.

Service options

DraftSight offers a variety of support options, including no-cost community support (mentioned above), as well as fee-based Premium Services that may include telephone and email support, network licensing and access to DraftSight APIs.  There is now the Education Premium Service for educators which includes curriculum materials, network licensing and telephone and email support.

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