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Synergis Adept Review

Synergis Adept 7: The Closest Thing to CAD-Savvy Shrink-Wrap Document Management on the Market

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David Cohn, April 1, 2008

It's not often we get a chance to do an in-depth hands-on review of a document and data management solution, the complexity of installation and implementation representing far too high a hurdle. But after visiting with Synergis Software several months ago, we concluded that the company’s Adept software might be an exception to the rule. Adept provides a single point of control for managing engineering drawings, business documents, and related information via a LAN, WAN, or across the Internet.

Document management is a basic tool for any organization that wants to centralize, control access, and organize their engineering and business documents and automate engineering change processes. Synergis has spent more than 18 years developing its document management software. The company actually has two divisions. Engineering Design Solutions is an AutoCAD VAR; Synergis Software develops, implements, and supports the Adept software. Synergis’ initial forays into document management were efforts to solve the specific needs of several of its AutoCAD customers.

Complex Initial Setup

The first step was to install the MySQL software and then create a new schema and a user account with administrator privileges so that we could configure software parameters. We also had to set startup variables for Adept. This was quite an involved process, accomplished only by carefully following Chris’ instructions, but according to Mr. Fabri, while some customers do these initially steps themselves (after first attending training at Synergis’ headquarters), typically someone from Synergis goes to the customer site to help with this initial installation. Once completed, the customer typically never needs to touch these settings again.

After installing and configuring the database and Adept server software, the first step as an Adept administrator was to use the Adept Designer software component to create a new database and design the first “library card,” the actual database interface screen that individual users would see when interacting with the document management system. Here we were able to select the database fields that we wanted to track. We could add, delete, or modify field names we wanted displayed and graphically design the appearance of the Adept library cards using a very intuitive interface.

The library card is one of the primary ways of viewing data inside Adept. Synergis provides a very intuitive Designer application enabling users to create new library cards. (Click to view larger image)

We also set up various user accounts and assigned them to the appropriate user groups. For example, engineers on a particular project may need to save new versions of documents while sales personnel only need to be able to view documents, and employees not working on that project don’t need to see it at all.

Of course, only administrators have to deal with any of the functions we had to tackle in our initial implementation. Regular users see none of this. They interact only through the Adept client software, which was the final component we installed. The client software is typically the only component that gets installed on individual users’ systems. Synergis offers two types of Adept clients: a full-featured Desktop version for people who need to create and modify documents and a thin web-based Explorer client for those who need to access and review documents and information stored in Adept in primarily a read-only mode.


  • An Adept Test Drive


The full article is available for a fee at CADCAMNet.


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