Corona Aggregate Facility

Coker Structure

Location >> Whiting, Indiana By >> Innovative Steel Detailing

Interoperability Network2010 SDS/2 Solid Steel CompetitionWebinars

Rapid Response Team Formed

Design Data has formed a Rapid Response Team to provide current customers a speedy turnaround on bug fixes. Members of this newly assembled team of programmers will respond faster to posts on the support forums, and other issues that Design Data is alerted to.

Led by Lead Programmer-Analyst Michael Cornelius, an 18-year veteran of Design Data, the Rapid Response Team is committed to solving important issues in SDS/2 and getting fixes into releases as quickly as possible. This team of programmers will increase their level of direct engagement, with help from the Support department and current customers, to resolve day-to-day issues. Team members will attempt to replicate problems and prioritize them quickly, matching the issue to the appropriate programmer outside the team when necessary.

"Software stability is vital to customer satisfaction. We want to respond to user input and include those responses as early as possible in the release cycle," said Damon Scaggs, Design Data's president. "This initiative will result in a higher level of customer service, reducing delays in fixing issues."

The assembly of a Rapid Response Team demonstrates Design Data's commitment to interactive exchange of information to troubleshoot and provide feedback to current customers. This revamped workflow will move many issues through the response process with more precision, and get fixes into releases faster.

2010 SDS/2 Users Group Conference

Douglas Steel Fabricating Corporation's Ottawa Street Power Station Project Featured in MSC

The December 2010 issue of Modern Steel Construction featured an article titled "An Inside Job," which highlighted the Ottawa Street Power Station project in Lansing, Michigan.

The project -- fabricated by Michigan-based Douglas Steel Fabricating Corporation -- required construction of a 10-story steel-framed office building inside the existing power station structure without disturbing its historic exterior.

The project's structural engineer of record created a Revit model of the structure; a CIS/2 version of the model was then imported into SDS/2.

Using a 3D SDS/2 model, Douglas Steel was able to visually demonstrate new steel members and existing members that were being incorporated into the new structure.

To read "An Inside Job" in the December 2010 issue of Modern Steel Construction, click here.

Trade Show Schedule for 2011 Expanded

Design Data is set to increase its trade show participation in 2011, first by exhibiting at the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois (SEAoI) 2011 trade show on February 4 in Chicago, Illinois, at the University Club of Chicago. Sales Representative Steve Ashton, P.E., will be in attendance to demonstrate features of Design Data's new engineering product.

Design Data will also exhibit at the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations (NCSEA) Winter Institute. Slated for February 25-26 in Amelia Island, Florida, this continuing education session -- which also includes off-site tours -- will be held at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation.

The Steel Erectors Association of America (SEAA) National Convention will be held March 3-5 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Design Data will demonstrate SDS/2 during the trade show portion of this annual event, to be held at the Embassy Suites at Kingston Plantation. Click here to register to attend this event.

SDS/2 Report Writer Training Webinar Slated for January

On January 27 at 10:00 a.m. CST, Design Data will host a free, live webinar on Report Writer in SDS/2.

SDS/2's Report Writer allows users to write custom reports that enhance communication and streamline workflow by providing useful data (such as member, material and drawing information) to both SDS/2 users and their customers.

This training webinar will cover altering an existing report, creating a basic report and exporting a report to Microsoft Excel.

Webinar attendees are encouraged to register to attend upcoming sessions of the Report Writer Continuing Education course to delve even deeper into Report Writer's functionality.

To register for this webinar, click here. To view any of the previous webinars, click here.

Ensuring the Best Experience With Support

To ensure you have the best possible working relationship with its Support department, Design Data assigns a personal Support representative to your company.

For Support to respond to serious issues more quickly, it is necessary to prioritize as follows:

1.    Multiple SDS/2 stations down
2.    Single SDS/2 station down
3.    Hard bugs - bugs that stop a user from working completely
4.    Soft bugs - bugs that have solutions or workarounds
5.    Phone calls/messages providing a brief description of the question
6.    Errors and questions emailed to

When calling Support, please remember to leave your name, company name, number and a brief description of the problem when leaving a message. This allows your Support representative to be better prepared when calling you back. This also allows Support to prioritize according to the above guidelines.

When working with Support, please give as much information as possible. Try to imagine all the information you would require to be able to recreate a problem. Information that is helpful is the version of SDS/2 being used, the computer operating system, member types and sizes, steel grades, loads, etc. Sending screenshots, RFIs, sketches, etc., also help.

Everything mentioned above is extremely helpful to Support when users are reporting bugs. We must be able to recreate the issue and report the exact steps when creating a problem report (PR) for the issue.

If you run into errors that cannot be resolved on your own, please select the email button on the error which by default will email the error to the address that is set in User options under the site tab. You can also use the save button on the error, which will save it as a basic text file; this can then be attached in an email to with a description of the issue.

Sending errors to Support the two ways mentioned above rather than taking a screenshot provides us with more information about the issue and can help us to resolve it more quickly. If the error is a bug, these methods can help us track down the problem as well.

Along with the error, it is also helpful to detail the steps taken in SDS/2 that caused the error.

If you experience issues with export files from SDS/2, it is helpful for us to have the same export file that you are having issues with. This allows us to open the file here and see the information that is output. In some cases we can open the file in the same software to see the same results.

To read the rest of this article, click here.

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