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Compusoft Winner Review (Initial Thoughts)
I've had a play this weekend and I'm not sure if it is the right product at the moment. I hope I'm wrong but the way the catalogs are organised might not suit the market I'm in. I use one cabinet manufacturer combined with doors from several different manufacturers. Articad handles that well as the same cabinet can have doors from several different manufacturers.

In Compusoft Winner at the moment I have 3 catalogues available, which are PWS, Burbidge and their own generic catalogue Design1234. None of the other door manufacturers from the component market are available, so no TKC, Multiwood, Marpatt, Uform, Trade Mouldings etc. I was aware of this before I signed up but figured the 3 combined would be enough to cover most kitchens.

The problem is that each of the 3 catalogues I do have have a completely different set of cabinets (similar configs but completely different codes) attached to them so over time I will have to navigate through 3 completely different sets of cabinet product codes depending on which door I choose. 

I have the option of creating my own custom catalogue and that may overcome the problem but I've got a feeling that it will be limited to the doors from the catalogue it is based on and will still not have interchangeable doors between different door manufacturers. I can change catalogues part way through a design but it creates an alternative design with different cabinet product codes rather than updating the current design.

I'm going to ring support tomorrow and find out what can be done. I was aware that I was going to be limited to 3 catalogues as most of the others are permission based dependent on whether you have an account with a given manufacturer. Most of the catalogues are from manufacturers that will only deal with showrooms so they are of no use to me.

On top of that the PWS catalogue was last updated on May 13th 2015 and the Burbidge one on February 12th 2013.

Also there may have bit a bit of smoke and mirrors in the way the rendering capabilities were explained to me at the show. It will certainly not be anywhere near as fast as I was lead to believe regardless of what processor is used. Having used it for a while I have a far greater insight into how it was demonstrated at the show.

It is a great product from what I can see and is far more comprehensive than Articad but it may not suit how I work. Time will tell.
[-] The following 2 users Like andy5405's post:
  • Colour Republic (20-03-2016 12:08 PM), Daz Gizmo (20-03-2016 01:54 PM)

That doesn't sound good Andy.

Is the range of units available in each cat not because it is more specific? For example 1 manufacturer may do lets say a full height 1970 larder door, where as another might not. One might do a 1210 & 1340 dresser door and another only a 1210??

That could be the reason but it doesn't make sense as there are lots of units in the PWS catalogue that couldn't be made with PWS doors as the sizes don't exist. So it doesn't seem very much like a PWS specific catalogue.

The Burbidge catalogue is very different from the PWS catalogue although their door matrix is virtually identical.

The Compusoft Winner generic Design1234 catalogue looks very much like the original Mereway cabinets and product codes that some cabinet manufacturers still use as a basis for their cabinets today. 

I'm still getting my head round it at the moment but it seems a bit messy right now.

The good thing is that the functionality of the program is way ahead of Articad. That is immediately apparent. I'm not convinced by the graphics at the moment though and won't go into my possible reservations about how it was demonstrated at the show until I have had a chance to investigate further.
[-] The following 1 user Likes andy5405's post:
  • Daz Gizmo (20-03-2016 01:54 PM)

"The good thing is that the functionality of the program is way ahead of Articad"

In what way Andy?... I bet everything.. Tongue2 

.... I do think that Articad's interface is a bit archaic as it's appearance has not changed that much for many years apart from adding the ribbon and a few other bits. 

What happens for example if you had a dresser that needed to be 10mm taller (from 1210 to 1220) for a 30mm granite top... does this throw up a wobbler?

Not sure about the dresser, I will give it a try.

Background rendering is a nice feature with a management tool to be able to monitor what is going on and prioritise the queue.

I haven't used it since the weekend so can't remember anything more specific at the moment but the interface and layout is so much better organised than Articad.

I am going to spend some speaking to support when I get an office day and see if I can make the catalogue system work for me.

Can anyone tell me when Articad last updated their PWS doors and does their catalogue include the Mornington doors?

I've had a lot more correspondence with Compusoft and they have been very helpful. All my support calls have been answered promptly by a fully qualified person. That's all good but unfortunately in it's current form it looks like it won't be of much use to me as someone who is in the "component" market. They are more geared to "complete" solutions where cabinets and doors are made by the same manufacturer.  

They do seem to better understand my concerns now though as I have explained that I always use the same cabinet manufacturer and if I look at options in a quote it will only be the doors that change. After some conflicting advice it does seem that every time a door manufacturer is changed all the cabinets change to the cabinets attached to that door manufacturer. There is no way round that. Each of the 3 catalogues have different cabinet codes and a different set of cabinets. It will map your old codes to the new cabinet codes in the new catalogue but that becomes laborious and very inefficient as I will have to remember and customise 3 separate lots of codes. 

They are relative newcomers to the component market and I don't think they fully understand it yet. It's a shame as everything else looks really good and I couldn't praise the software's functionality enough when compared to Articad. 

I haven't had a chance to fully explore the graphics but I'm fairly certain that is one area where Articad is superior to Compusoft. That also seems to be the case judging by what Compusoft use as demos on their website compared to what Articad produces. Articad used by in-house experts is clearly more capable and as mere mortals I'm guessing we will not achieve those levels. (Apart from Daz of course who is clearly superhuman!)

In summary I would say that Compusoft Winner is streets ahead of Articad in almost every way you look at it. Everything is just so much more professional and the support is excellent. It just might not be the right software for me despite all that.

That really surprises me Andy as I thought that would have been something that every independent would need to be able to mix manufacturers.  Wow2

I am sure it will come the more they get feedback from the likes of yourself and others... ThumbUp

Have you done any renders yet??

(26-03-2016, 03:34 PM)Daz Gizmo Wrote: That really surprises me Andy as I thought that would have been something that every independent would need to be able to mix manufacturers.  Wow2

I am sure it will come the more they get feedback from the likes of yourself and others... ThumbUp

Have you done any renders yet??

I was surprised but that is the current setup. They have only been targeting the component market for about a year and it looks like they have some more work to do. Anyway we have agreed to cancel my lease and for now I shall continue with VR Kitchen.

I did try some rendering but not enough to make a definitive statement. From what I can see it is not as good as Articad.

Evening chaps, 

This thread made for interesting reading after I myself looked in to Compusoft at KBB. Discounted it as soon as they didn't have an up to date Burbidge catalogue and you can't use Sketchup models. 

As you know Daz I had my meeting with Charles today and if I can give any advice I'd recommend sticking with Articad. 

Simple reason is that the renders are going to get even better and we have now begun a pathway to improving the basic tools and interface.


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