IronCAD Adds Akami Support

IronCAD improves its download manager, but does this upgrade betray its place in the CAD landscape?

IronCAD has announced that it has adopted a new download manager technology that will improve the speed and reliability of implementing updates.

According to IronCAD, the new download manager will be powered by Akamai and Solid State Networks and will eliminate the need for tedious browser downloads. Why tedious? Well, apparently IronCAD’s past upgrade process came with the usual hiccups that often accompany browser downloads, time constraint cancellation, connection errors … you know the drill.

Now, users will have the option to launch the IronCAD downloader and begin a download, pause it, resume it or even cancel it at their convenience. Once all of the upgrade’s bits have been marshaled, IronCAD’s software will automatically begin the installation process.

“We wanted to ensure that customers and new prospects have a positive experience downloading and installing our industry-leading design solutions,” commented Cary O’Connor, IronCAD’s vice president of marketing. “By partnering with Akamai and Solid State Networks, we have taken the appropriate steps to realizing this.”

While IronCAD’s move to enhance user experience is a step in the right direction, there’s a huge question looming over this move. Namely, why would a CAD manager, small engineering team or a large company bother with a CAD package that is arriving at this solution at this late stage in the game? Doesn’t it feel a bit behind the times? Or even as if IronCAD is playing catch up?

With some of the bigger CAD players, when I open up the software and I’m prompted for a quick update, it just happens. I don’t have to interact with the software at all. In fact, these updates are completely automated, and they give me a great excuse to get up, grab a coffee, chat up a colleague and just be a bit more human. I like that. I also like that I never have to worry about guiding my machine through a download and install process.

Simply put, that’s the state of the art. Anything else feels a bit like a relic.

To be fair, this is an advance for IronCAD. But I can’t help think that this announcement is more of a marker of where they exist in the rapidly advancing CAD space. Today, drafters, designers and engineers are demanding greater usability from their software. For me, usability isn’t just about mouse clicks and hot keys. It’s moved beyond that. Users are coming around to the idea that the software needs to work for them—and that means the tedious tasks that can be run automatically should be run automatically.