I transitioned to Cadstar from the old days of Racal-Redac and preferred it over Telesis,Gerber,Pads,Pcad,and Sci-cards. I know I have been around awhile and hope Zuken will continue to prosper. I currently am using Cadence Allegro-don't like it much, it does the job but I continue to use Cadstar at home. Good to hear they are doing well-Kudos!
Nothing like having Cadence Allegro crash and take your encripted file with it to the grave. You get really religous about backing up your work waiting for the next crash. I had a database bug on a PADS layout, could not find the outlier that was munging my Gerber - ASCII out - find the wacko by address - ASCII back in - done.
It is so frustrating that companies lock down the data like that. I guess I understand why they do that but often the customer is ultimately the one annoyed by this, which I think puts a negative feeling towards the company.
Maybe i wouldn't want to leave you for another piece of software if you didn't lock everything down so much!
The existing users of a tool are not going to begin using Zuken or any other until there is a migration path. Several PCB layout databases are encripted to prevent this. There used to be tools to migrate to Altium, but most of those scripts no longer work. PADS does an nice job of playing well with Orcad and other design entry tools, and has a plain text data base. I was able to pass Gerber files through Altium and migrate to PADS, but that was not trivial. Users have too much invested in a library to justify conversion. Cadstar needs to get library management to be as easy as PADS before I would consider using it again. Cadstar does have a free version to play with and learn how it differs from Allegro/Boardstation, and it was the fist PCB tool to adopt WSIWiG point and click editing (non-modal editing).
Long time back I saw CADSTAR was a very popular ECAD tool for designing PCBs. It was a very popular ECAD tool especially to the start-up companies, entrepreneurs or even some of the larger companies in India. I lost touch with this tool long back. I liked their approach with making CR-8000 product-level design platform tightly integrated with Zuken's E3.series solutions...I think this kind of single or tightly integrated ECAD platforms will become popular. Also I hope they are still maintaining very competitive price.
I would be interested in seeing some video demos/tutorials to get a feel for basic usage and advanced features. Anyone have ballpark price figures for the various Cadstar versions? Anyone additional Cadstar users here? (I see Wogal's comment so far)
I Have Been A Loyal Customer For Over 30 Years I Started With the Racal Cadet ( Over 25k British Pounds )
and continued to support them since with my own money ,,,,,
They Would ( in My Opinion ) Benefit From Listening To The Customer And Not Having Outrage's Maintenance Charges ( manly to fund bug fixes, which with some testing they should have found )
In That 30 Years Never ONCE have they asked me what could they do to make there product better ( guess what It would have a better product and you would have some thing the Electronic Design market we could use more effectively )
I understand why they do not have more market capture here in the us / Canada
And also guess what we now have more choices ,, I may re-think by design suite
In the future - firstname.lastname@example.org ( just saying )
PS: if THIS was my company or i was involved with it i would contact the above person !! Again just saying ,,, then magic could happen ( we could both be happy )
What struck me most in this article is the following: "Also, companies are no longer thinking primarily in terms of designing boards; instead, they are thinking in terms of designing products, and the sheer complexity of today's products is driving a new approach to product-level design abstraction." This will have a profound impact on how companies oganize and the roles of engineers.
"Zuken's users tend to be fanatically enthusiastic"
Some years ago, when I worked for an EMS provider in the north of Spain, the most of the PCB design entering the production line and coming from our customers were designed with Cadstar -- and no one wanted to hear about using any other design tool!!
I hope Zuken continue improving its EDA tool offering by being tightly integrated in the Silicon Valley comunity: every designer around the world may benefit from this.