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AutoVue Client-Server Edition

by Cimmetry Systems

AutoVue delivers on the vision of a true Web-based architecture that is easy to administer and integral to meeting the demands of enterprise applications, intranets, extranets and the Internet.

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Cimmetry Systems' Client-Server Editions of AutoVue deliver server-based Viewing, Markup and Real-time Collaboration solutions that leverage the robust technology foundation of the AutoVue family of products. AutoVue delivers on the vision of a true Web-based architecture that is easy to administer and integral to meeting the demands of enterprise applications, intranets, extranets and the Internet.

Cimmetry's Client-Server Editions include:

  • AutoVue
  • AutoVue Professional
  • AutoVue SolidModel
  • AutoVue SolidModel Professional
The AutoVue products allow users to View and optionally Markup documents, drawings and CAD files in over 450 formats from a Web browser such as Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Communicator. Formats supported include 3D CAD formats such as Pro/E, CATIA, SolidWorks, Unigraphics, Inventor, Solid Edge ... , 2D CAD and vector formats such as AutoCAD, MicroStation, ME10, HPGL, Visio ... , EDA PCB/IC formats such as Mentor, Cadence, Zuken, GDS II ..., and office and raster formats such as TIFF, PDF, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and WordPerfect to name a few. AutoVue Client-Server Editions deliver all the functionality and format support available in the Desktop Editions. It is not a "cut-down" version of the AutoVue products. This alone sets Cimmetry's AutoVue apart as the only full featured, reliable and complete Web-based solution for Viewing and Markup of both Engineering and Office formats.


As the undisputed leader in visualization and collaboration software, Cimmetry Systems is well aware of the growing need for instant access to any document from any desktop via project collaboration extranets, e-business portal providers and public access ISPs. With AutoVue users are assured uninterrupted access in a truly Web-based solution regardless of their desktop configuration.


AutoVue leverages Netscape's Smart Update and Microsoft's Internet Explorer CAB Technologies for rapid deployment in browser environments. The zero administration client provides automatic installation. Furthermore, AutoVue features automatic versioning when new versions of the software are installed on the server. The client browser will automatically detect the availability of a new version and install it.


AutoVue was designed to provide for server scalability to support an ever-increasing demand for file Viewing and Markup on intranets, extranets and the Internet. The system allows you to simply add servers should you need to increase the number of users/clients. This can be done on-line, without interrupting service. This functionality is extremely useful as the Viewing and Markup needs of an organization become more prevalent. Accommodating additional users simply becomes a matter of monitoring the AutoVue servers' load and adding servers as required. The load is efficiently balanced across the AutoVue server cluster. Doubling the capacity may be as simple as adding one more machine. This is an extremely cost and resource efficient way to accommodate growth.


During the viewing process, documents available for viewing are rendered on the server(s) and an intelligent and displayable data stream is delivered to the client. By doing so, AutoVue eliminates any concerns about security since the original document, with its proprietary data, is not transferred to the client machine. During the transmission of the viewable data, AutoVue utilizes different compression and streaming algorithms to deliver quick and responsive feedback to the client side for large and multi-page documents.

The AutoVue Client-Server Editions embed many rendering schemes to accommodate different environments. These schemes take into account issues such as: network bandwidth, server configuration and performance, Intranet/Extranet/Internet use and file size and format to be viewed. However, in all rendering options, AutoVue keeps all necessary information for querying purposes. As such, users can perform text searches on CAD or text files or queries based on drawing attributes in a CAD file.


With AutoVue Client-Server Editions, the server defines the user interface capabilities and feature set provided to the client, giving the server administrator complete control over those functions and features made available to the user. For example, users may be granted or denied the right to perform printing, redlining, or any other functionality available in AutoVue depending on their access permission level. AutoVue also provides "out-of-the-box" multiple language support allowing various groups of users to have user interfaces in different languages.


Real-Time Collaboration is available in the professional versions of Cimmetry's AutoVue Client-Server Editions: AutoVue Professional and AutoVue SolidModel Pro.

Real-Time Collaboration provides:
  • The ability to co-view in real-time any document format supported by AutoVue (2D CAD, 3D CAD, EDA, Office, Raster, Vector, Hybrid, Graphics)
  • The ability to co-markup in real-time any document format supported by AutoVue (2D CAD, 3D CAD, EDA, Office, Raster, Vector, Hybrid, Graphics)
  • Built-in chat capability


Cimmetry has identified the need for high resolution printing in the Client-Server Edition and has implemented an add-on solution to accommodate the need for high resolution and large format printing and plotting.


AutoVue is highly customizable and has been designed to provide an extensive set of APIs for integration with EDM, Knowledge Management, PLM, ISPs, Portals, ERP, ASP, supply chain and project management web-centric solutions. The advantage of integrating with AutoVue resides in the fact that the integrator may choose to take advantage of the User Interface already developed by Cimmetry Systems. However, should the integrator opt for complete control of user interface issues and functionality we offer our View and Markup beans called "VueBeans".

These "VueBeans" do not present any pre-defined User Interface. The View and Markup beans are available for licensing to OEM customers.


AutoVue SolidModel Client-Server Edition is a server based solution with a revolutionary system to deliver fast 3D visualization over intranets, extranets and the Internet.

Cimmetry Systems is first-to-market offering an out-of-the-box server-based, native 3D visualization solution. Users can view and collaborate on their 3D CAD designs directly from within their web browsers. Cimmetry proves that the expensive IT training and overhead that has long been the standard when implementing enterprise-wide 3D visualization solutions is unnecessary. AutoVue SolidModel provides easy-to-implement, easy-to-use visual access to your documents.

The design and architecture of AutoVue SolidModel provides:

  • Instantaneous and out-of-the-box deployment
  • Zero Administration on the client machines
  • Straightforward administration of privileges and access on the server side
  • Native visualization of documents, no external conversion required
  • Complete security for original data - only a metafile rendering of a document is transmitted to the client
  • Scalability over large number of users
  • Scalability over variable document size and network bandwidth
  • No requirement to license the authoring applications of CAD data
  • Load Balancing over server clusters
  • Tight integration with EDM/PLM/ERP/Supply chain solutions and corporate portals via our Document Management API (DMAPI)


In an attempt to satisfy customer requirements for optimized performance and high-speed data delivery, Cimmetry Systems has developed a unique method of displaying data on client machines. A server based rendering option is now available in AutoVue SolidModel (3D server-based solution). This option allows for faster subsequent viewing of 3D CAD Files.

Here are some highlights of the main architectural features of the server-based metafile rendering in AutoVue SolidModel Client-Server Edition.

  • After the initial viewing session, AutoVue generates a 3D metafile called "3D CMF" (3D Cimmetry MetaFile) to be used for subsequent faster viewing
  • The 3D CMF is streamed from the server to the client in a compact and quick manner
  • The 3D CMF streaming is interruptible for appropriate user interface feedback in case of browsing. Thus the user can begin interacting with the assembly or even request a different one before the file has fully arrived.
  • The 3D CMF is much smaller in size then the CAD design file (5-15% depending on the original document type)
  • The CMF is stored in a cache that can be integrated into EDM, PLM, ERP systems through AutoVue's DM API mechanism
  • CMFs can be created online or offline (a batch process)
  • Two Methods for serving the CMF to the client in order to accommodate slow and fast connections
  • Since it is the CMF rather than the original CAD document that is transmitted, the security of proprietary data is maintained
  • The 3D graphics data is streamed in a "Continuous Levels of Details" manner
  • Server-based metafile rendering is now also available for 2D CAD files

Streaming of parts in AutoVue SolidModel

When a client views a 3D document, the data is streamed continuously. AutoVue implements two algorithms to control the streaming:

  1. The first is the simpler algorithm. It cycles through the parts in an assembly and requests data in "chunks" (e.g. 10% - configurable default value) until it reaches full resolution. The client would see the assembly initially at a coarse resolution, continuously refining. The advantage of this algorithm is that it provides reliably predicable behavior. Since the metafile is only about 10% of the original file size and the display data is streamed in 10% chunks, data of only about 1% of the size of the original file needs to be transmitted to the client for the client to have an initial, full view of the complete assembly.

    For example, a 100MB assembly requires only 1MB of data be transferred to the client before the entire assembly is displayed. Furthermore, the data is streamed at the part level, so if the assembly is made up of 100 distinct parts, then the first part will display after only 10K of data has been received. Thus regardless of whether users access their 3D CAD models/assemblies via a dial-up or high-speed connection, they can begin working with them immediately.

    Percent of Original CAD assembly Example (assuming 100 parts)
    Original CAD assembly 100% 60MB
    Complete CMF 5-20% 3-12MB
    Initial view of complete assembly 0.5-2% 300k - 1.2MB

  2. The second method is more sophisticated. It takes into account the current view parameters to compute the level of detail on a part-by-part basis. AutoVue only transfers enough data to accurately visually represent the assembly. It calculates how much data is needed for a part, based on its visibility. For example:

    • If a part is completely off screen, it does not need to be updated.
    • If a user is zoomed in on a part, a higher level of detail would be requested.

    A number of such algorithms are implemented in this method. The advantage of this approach is that only the amount of data needed to view a model/assembly is transferred so it is efficient on the client's memory and bandwidth usage. This is the default and preferred method of streaming in AutoVue SolidModel.

    Detail is filled in when parts are zoomed in upon


Server: Windows 2003, 2000, XP, NT4.0 Server or Workstation
Sun Solaris 8, 9

Client: Web browser which supports Java 1.1.6 or higher Java Virtual Machine.
Javascript needs to be enabled.

For Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000, XP, 2003:
Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 or higher.
Netscape Navigator 4.5 or higher

For Sun Solaris 2.5 or later
Netscape 4.5 or higher

For HP-UX 10.10 or later
Netscape 4.5 or higher

For IBM-AIX 4.1 or later
Netscape 4.5 or higher

For Mac: 8.x, 9.x, OSX

For Redhat Linux: 7.3

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» See products from Cimmetry Systems

» Bridging the Gap Betweetn EDA and MCAD
» AutoVue: A Foundation for View, Markup and Collaboration
» Unlocking the Expertise of the Extended Enterprise