STEP Tools, Inc. Rolls Out ST-Developer Version 10
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STEP Tools, Inc. Rolls Out ST-Developer Version 10

Automate over 70% of the STEP implementation process; Helps Manufacturers Prepare for STEP-NC


Troy, New York — June 16, 2003 — STEP Tools, Inc. today announced it is shipping a major release of its flagship product ST-Developer. This software solution is designed to help industrial Applications Developers to implement and comply with ISO-STEP International Standards for engineering product data. ST-Developer v10 is a suite of STEP and EXPRESS programming tools incorporating a bounty of new features, software enhancements and extensions that make it easy to view, read, manipulate, validate and share STEP (STandard for Exchange of Product data) data. Programmers will find over 70% of the STEP implementation process is automated with intelligent programming functionality found in ST-Developer v10. STEP implementations set the stage for progression into the world of STEP-NC, the most highly anticipated technology to emerge in the manufacturing industry.

With STEP Tools’ deployment of STEP-NC and its continuing expansion of STEP-NC Implementers programs, manufacturers worldwide are moving toward ISO-STEP standardization. ST-Developer v10 helps companies prepare for the future of data integration from design-through-manufacturing. ST-Developer dramatically cuts costs and programming efforts related to building, operating and maintaining STEP applications, data translators and databases.

“ST-Developer v10 enables manufacturers to move expeditiously toward STEP standardization, and migrate from paper into the digital world,” states Dr. Martin Hardwick, president and CEO of STEP Tools. “During the past fifteen years, the ISO (International Standards Organization) community has produced the groundwork for this revolution. We have successfully demonstrated machine tools driven by full fidelity STEP-NC data, and are in the process of deploying STEP-NC technology through Implementers programs. In order to take advantage of the tremendous benefits of STEP and STEP-NC (CNC independent control data), now is the time to begin the journey toward eManfacturing and automation.”

ST-Developer v10 Revs Up STEP Implementation with Automation Tools Galore

STEP Tools has developed ST-Developer for over ten years to bring clients worldwide the latest advances in ISO-STEP technology. The high-level, high-function toolkit interacts with the digital product information defined by STEP standards. ST-Developer delivers out-of-the-box programming productivity in all facets of the software package. The package also includes industrial-strength ACIS and ParaSolid bi-directional data translators.

ST-Developer v10 updates the EXPRESS-to-HTML converter to generate more output that is both useful and informative to the programmer. The converter provides options to force output to have short filenames, and also to place a link on each page to provide an exit from HTML pages. The EXPRESS compiler has been enhanced to generate EXPRESS shortform schema into an EXPRESS longform schema. This new enhancement will be most helpful to AP Developers. This converter has been tested with recent versions of Internet Explorer, Mozilla, and Netscape Navigator.

The ROSE library has once again been expanded with new options to the Part 21 filer. This will enable the user to preserve entity ID, and to search a design in memory by entity ID. Part 21 is now the default file format. The Part 21 file reader will now raise an error and abort the read of the file when the schema cannot be located in the file header. Management and preservation of Part 21 Entity Instance Identifiers (EIDs) has been greatly improved in ST-Developer v10. To simplify traversal, the Rose Library now includes a new feature that computes the backpointers for an instance.

The Windows version of ST-Developer is bundled with the latest version of the ST-Viewer product. The new viewer has several new features, and can now display files containing non-manifold surface shapes from the most current STEP APs for shipbuilding. ST-Viewer v5, which is available as a stand-alone product, also generates a smoother faceted 3-dimensional representation for improved visualization of STEP geometry.

Also included is the new STEP Index Library (STIX) for STEP-NC programming. STIX is a C++ library of access and calculation code to simplify programming directly against STEP-NC (AP-238). Functions are available to find the tolerances, features, processes and tools in a STEP-NC file and relate them together for a CAM or CNC application. The STIX library contains the sort of “toolbox” code that most programmers need to get started quicker, and without the need to first master all of the details of the integrated STEP models (AIM).

ST-Developer v10 now provides an ST-Runtime program. In order to simplify software development, ST-Runtime provides the schemas and other run-time support files required by ST-Developer based applications. By installing ST-Runtime on the target machine, your application will behave the same way under both the development environment (provided by ST-Developer) and the deployment environment on the target machine. On the Windows platform, ST-Runtime is provided as both a standalone Windows Installer (msi) package, and as an installer merge module. This enables the programmer to integrate ST-Runtime into their installer. For simple applications, you can include the ST-Runtime with your application, and let the user install the two independently.

Support for a Wide Variety of Hardware Platforms and Operating Systems
ST-Developer v10 supports a multitude of hardware platforms including HP PA-Risc, IBM PowerPC, Intel x86, Sun Sparc, and Silicon Graphics. The software package also supports the following operating systems: Windows 98/NT4.x/2000/XP, HP-UX v11, Linux 2.2, AIX 4.x, IRIX v6, and Sun Solaris v7-8.

About STEP and STEP-NC 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 2004.

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 www.steptools.com.

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ST-Developer, 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.