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Civil Designer Software - How it all Started

Where it all started "Following the launch of the very first IBM PC, we were in unexplored territory. The tensions were high and nothing was going to plan in the last few hours of the highly anticipated release.

It's amazing how frustrated you can get with computers" says Vincent Bester.

Yet today, Civil Designer is the undisputed leader in integrated infrastructure design in Africa - proof that sometimes the impossible can be achieved If you want it badly enough.

In the picture: Vincent Bester CEO Civil Designer with Paul Harper at the eleventh hour just before the release of the first MS-DOS version of AllyCAD in 1987.

The original software development company, Knowledge Base, was started in 1989 with a very simple mission statement: to develop professional software for civil engineers. Initially we developed software to analyse and design Sewer and Stormwater networks. In time, we formed a close relationship with the developers of Stardust and AllyCAD.

This led to a basic form of data exchange between various programs, largely by means of macros and external routines to query the DTM and CAD databases. Although this worked, we wanted a simpler and more efficient system to extract ground levels for use in our Sewer and Stormwater programs.

In 1995 we purchased Stardust from Rob Wooding Associates which enabled us to develop an improved interface between the three programs.

For six months, we burnt the midnight oil as we tried to understand the code while sorting out the bugs, but it was well worth the effort as we released Stardust V5.14 in November 1995.

By the beginning of 1997 we had mastered the Stardust code and started on the project that was destined to become Civil Designer.

Initially we only wanted to integrate Stardust, Sewer and Stormwater, but we soon discovered that our existing graphical engine had to be upgraded in order to offer the full range of functionality we desired.

Fortunately we were able to acquire AllyCAD, the premier draughting program for civil engineers and surveyors in South Africa, from Paul Harper, the original owner and developer. In 1998 we incorporated the AllyCAD graphical engine into Civil Designer.

Today Civil Designer is the undisputed leader in integrated infrastructure design in Africa, and proof that sometimes the impossible can be achieved if you want it badly enough.

Please visit the Civil Designer website or contact us if you would like to know more about Civil Designer.

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