STEP Tools, Inc. Launches STEP Index Library (STIX) Library for Creating and Modifying Applications using STEP-NC Machining Data

The free, downloadable STIX Library is distributed under the GNU General Public License

Troy, New York — April 28, 2003 — STEP Tools, Inc. announced today it has released Version 1.0 of its STEP Index Library (STIX), a highly robust C++ library of useful functions for creating and modifying applications using STEP-NC (AP-238) machining data. The new STIX Library was recently announced at the ISO STEP meeting held last month in San Diego, CA. This free, downloadable library gives developers of Open Architecture Controls and other applications easy access to the NC data defined by STEP-NC. The versatile software package was created to simplify and expedite AP-238 programming, lower the learning curve for newcomers, and save time for STEP experts. The STIX Library is distributed under the GNU General Public License. STEP Tools Inc. also offers licenses for commercial use of this software in non-GPL applications. For more information on STIX, visit the STEP Tools web site at

The STIX library will allow manufacturers, engineers and programmers to test and evaluate STEP-NC in Open Architecture Controller applications such as machining, probing, closed loop control, and dynamic optimization. The software contains time-saving "toolbox" code that most programmers would write for themselves if they started an AP-238 application from scratch. STIX was designed to “jump start” the programmer new to STEP-NC, so they can begin to create applications without the need to first master all of the details of the integrated STEP models (AIM). AIM experts will also find this library saves time, as it removes the need to write traversals through the property definitions, representations, and more.
Free Usage and STIX Licensing

The STIX Library is an open source software package distributed for free under the GNU General Public License (GPL), just like Linux, GCC, and other valuable Open Source tools. The software is available for download free of charge, and includes all of the STIX source code. Programmers can use STIX to build and modify applications on it, and even redistribute it under the GPL. The details of the license will be distributed with the source. Interested parties can also find more information about the GPL at

STIX can be used for free in commercial or non-commercial products, provided the end product is also released in source code form under the GPL. Companies who would like to develop applications for resale outside of the GPL will have to purchase the STIX library under a second, separate license for commercial use. The "dual license" approach is used by open source packages such as the MySQL database or Red Hat's Cygwin (for porting UNIX programs to Windows). For terms and pricing on a non-GPL license, contact Paula Popson, 518-687-2848, ext. 305 or email a request to: Email Contact .

About STEP and STEP-NC International Data Standards
STEP (STandard for Exchange of Product model data) is a comprehensive ISO standard for CAD design data. STEP-NC, the manufacturing extension of this standard, annotates the design information with manufacturing data. STEP became a full ISO standard in 1994, and since then, all of the leading CAD software vendors have implemented STEP data translation. It is estimated that more than one and a half million CAD stations now contain STEP data translators. STEP-NC is on its way to becoming a Draft International Standard in 2003.

About STEP Tools, Inc.
STEP Tools, Inc. is a leading international supplier of professional STEP software toolsets (based on ISO standards) for application software developers, design firms and manufacturing companies in diverse industries. The STEP Tools product line is used by the world's foremost firms to leverage STEP and STEP-NC technology to facilitate the sharing of engineering product information. Over one million end users utilize product data applications built with ST-Developer, the company's flagship product. The company offers a suite of software solutions in several languages that integrate with existing tools and database systems, and also provide cross-platform compatibility and ease-of-use for streamlined development. The emerging STEP-NC technology is yielding process improvements including a 35% reduction in path planning time, a 75% reduction in paper drawings generated for the shop-floor, and a 50% improvement in machining time for small to mid-sized job lots. For late-breaking information, contact STEP Tools, Inc. by calling (518) 687-2848, email: Email Contact or visit

ST-NC, ST-Plan and ST-Machine are trademarks or registered trademarks of STEP Tools, Inc. All other brand and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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