Today Graebert released ARES Commander Edition 2014. For those of you who aren’t aware, ARES is the cross platform CAD engine over which DraftSight is built and distributed by SolidWorks. Graebert is a German CAD software vendor and most of its business comes through OEM deals with companies like SolidWorks, Corel, etc. The company has around 60 employees in its headquarters in Berlin with other development centers in Eastern Europe and India.
Cross Platform CAD
Graebert prides itself as being the first CAD system to be available on all three desktop platforms – Windows, Mac and Linux. The licensing is also cross platform. This means that if you purchase a license for Windows and you decide to switch to Mac, you can transfer the license. This helps companies wanting to license in bulk not have to decide up front how many licenses of which platform they need to purchase. They can decide on the quantity and the figure out which employees want to work on which operating system later.
Pricing and Licensing
The perpetual license of ARES Commander Edition is priced at 795€/$. This includes a free one year subscription for updates and email support. After the first year you can keep the software updated by keeping your subscription alive for 199€/$. Graebert has added a new annual plan which costs 250€/$ a year. Instead of buying a perpetual license you can use the software for one full year, get updates and support and then decide whether you want to continue with the software or not. There is also an option to pay 25% more and share your license on your network using a Flex license. With network licensing you can use the same license on different computers but not at the same time.
OEM Business Model
Although Graebert sells ARES as a product to end users, they have been in the OEM business since they created their first CAD platform back in 1994. Graebert can work with an OEM partner in many ways. From a simple white-labeling arrangement where the OEM simply re-brands ARES and starts selling it, up to the OEM building a vertical solution on top of ARES using a set of plug-ins that add functionality to the base CAD platform. For a white labeling deal the OEM simply needs to fill out a XLS sheet specifying the product name and a few other things like logo, splash screen, etc. and Graebert creates a customized installer that the OEM can start selling immediately. There is no need for the OEM to have any programming expertise at all.
Here is a subset of what’s new in ARES Commander Edition 2014.
- Added ribbon UI for the Windows version. The good old menu still exists.
- Added a design resource palette using which you can browse your computer for content like blocks, reference drawings, images, etc. A future update will let you browser for online content as well.
- Added support for Drawing Standards files (.dws) to aid in compliance of industry and company standards.
- Print and page layout dialog boxes on the Mac version have been redesigned to meet Mac standards.
- Quick grouping and ungrouping of entities makes it easy to work with multiple entities at once. Groups should not be confused with blocks.
- Added layer and entity transparency.
- A new layer preview tool lets you quickly preview the contents of layers, instead of going through the hassle of turning layers on and off (see image below).
- An improved layer manager to better group and filter layers.
- Finished implementing the RichLine editing feature.
Layer Preview feature (Click to enlarge)
Try It Out
You can download a free trial from here. ARES Commander Edition 2014 is available in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Polish, Czech, Russian, Turkish, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean. The software has been tested to work with and it supported for the following operating systems:
- Windows 32 Bit: XP (SP3), Vista, 7 and 8
- Windows 64 Bit: 7 and 8
- Mac OSX: 10.7 (Lion), 10.8 (Mountain Lion) and v10.9 (Mavericks)
- Linux: Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, Fedora 18 Gnome and KDE, OpenSUSE 12.2 Gnome and KDE, or higher versions (others in progress), 32bit