Cloud-based Engineering Software? That’ll Never Work…or Will It?

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As founder of CloudCalc, Inc. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the structural engineering community to a new way of doing engineering analysis — in the cloud.

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I know what some of you are probably saying:  “That’ll never work!  You can’t run engineering software in the cloud!  The cloud is for managing my finances,  paying my bills, and doing my banking!  The cloud is for streaming my music and movies!  The cloud is for managing all of my company’s customer relationships and sales pipeline!  The cloud is for sorting out my social life (yeah, I know, insert “engineer and social life” joke here)!  The cloud is for…well, for just about everything today except engineering software!”

Why is that so?  Why do engineers trust the cloud with their money, their business, and their social life, but not with their engineering calculations?  It can’t be because the cloud is not up to the task from a technical (or power) point of view, since there is very little that is more demanding than streaming a two-hour movie in HD.

I think the reason is simply because nobody has ever quite done it before.  So our goal here at CloudCalc, Inc. is to bring engineering software kicking and screaming into the same modern era that all other applications seem to reside in — by providing browser-based UI that is accessible from both desktop PC and mobile devices, and shared data and apps on the cloud (so team members from the office to the most remote site and everywhere in between can avoid versioning issues).  We realize that it may be a long trek until cloud-based software becomes the norm in the engineering industry, but we’re looking forward to making that trek.

Interested in checking out how we’re doing so far?  Just go to www.cloudcalc.com and register for free access to the software.   Currently the software does static analysis of structural steel per AISC’s ASD and LRFD codes, as well as calculation of the fundamental modes of vibration dynamically.  (Check out the easy to follow tutorial in the User Docs that shows off most of the features of the software.)  See something you like?  Let me know  at tvanlaan@cloudcalc.com.  See something that needs some work?  Let us know at techsupport@cloudcalc.com, and we’ll get on it right away!

 

4 thoughts on “Cloud-based Engineering Software? That’ll Never Work…or Will It?

  1. Having been involved in a number of technology and engineering companies one of the biggest challenges and overhead costs in terms of time and money is installing software and keeping it up to date. For example, new building codes as they are released require a software update, installation of the new version and making sure you don’t lose data and compatibility from earlier projects. Web-based software addresses these issues for you allowing you to focus on what is important: completing engineering projects quickly and generating revenue for your company

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  2. PaulC — you’re absolutely right. And even worse than an expensive, delayed upgrade is an incomplete upgrade, where different team members are left using different, potentially incompatible versions of the software. Cloud-based software ensures that all update simultaneously. Thanks for reading!

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