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As IBM Corp and Dassault Systemes SA unveiled the long-awaited new version of their Catia-CADAM computer-aided design and manufacturing package yesterday, insiders were hinting that a Windows NT version of the software would be ready to hit the market some time in late 1997 or early 1998. Catia currently runs only on Unix-based systems, but it’s just the sort of application that the new breed of Intel-based workstation vendors will need if they are to find any acceptance among technical users. The latest release of Catia, Version 4, release 1.8, sees the addition of eight new products and a further 45 enhancements which IBM claims will boost its capabilities in solid design, styling and manufacturing. The company has also added a fully Java-based web browser client interface to ProductManager to make its data available over the whole enterprise via the internet or corporate intranets. It also includes better integration with other applications, such as Alias/Wavefront software. Other key features include expanded Generative Shape and Assembly Modeling capabilities and new Surface Machining Programmer and Multi-Axis Machining Programmer modules, for use in interactive semi-automotive machining. Product Manager is available now with pricing set at $2,000 for a basic concurrent users license and $4,000 for the advanced configuration license which includes the Document Manager, Workflow and Configuration Management options. CATIA 4.18 will be available from Friday 13th June with a typical solids modeling single seat price set at around $18,000.

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