What do you like best?
I like that DataCAD integrates everything I need to design, present, and produce my architectural work in a single CAD product that is priced low enough for even young architects starting up with staggering student loans to afford.
I like that after using it for over 20 years I can honestly say I was never disappointed in it's performance or the support that I received. I think the support was perhaps the most outstanding aspect. Once you grasp how comprehensive it is and easy to learn and use DataCAD is, you get spoiled by that and just expect that and begin to take it for granted, but the support really builds loyalty. I have called after hours and had the CEO Mark Madura answer the telephone. On that occasion, he listened to my explanation of a problem working on a huge convention center and oceanfront ship terminal project competition. He diagnosed that the project was exceeding the maximum project file size. He help me make custom modifications to the DataCAD software on the spot, that made it possible to expand the maximum file capacity by a factor of four times, to carry on with our work. We won the competition. I have used DataCAD to design every project I have built for over twenty years. Architecture is almost always a partnership and I can honestly say DataCAD is the best partner I have ever had.
What do you dislike?
I disliked that the over whelming market domination of AutoDesk AutoCAD and Revit has made it more difficult for all CAD products to inter-operate and inter-communicate in the CAD space. The time and money wasted by the engineering and Architectural professions as a whole, training and retraining and adapt to the ever changing strategies AutoDesk has devised to create obstacles to the free exchange of CAD files with anyone but themselves, and at times even within their own product range, was astoundingly counter productive for every one. DataCAD and others in the CAD marketplace have always managed to stay abreast of their shenanigans, but, AutoDesk's restraints of trade have been relentlessly annoying to users of anything else. Luckily their products are so exorbitantly expensive that the small inconveniences of dealing with their proprietary standards manipulations was well rewarded by the money and training time I continually saved using DATACAD software at the heart of my practice .
Recommendations to others considering the product
It really is all you need to do what you need to do to get good buildings designed and built.
There are lots of products designed to disrupt your practice, put your software vendor in control of how you work, drain your wallet and mire you in constant adaptions to change. None of that will make you a dime.
What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
DataCAD is the one indispensable tool I need to produce all of the most important CAD deliverables that come out of my Architecture practice. It is, I believe, the most cost effective tool of its kind. It has always been easy enough to install, open, and learn, merely by exploring as you use it, that from the first day thru twenty years of using it, I have never needed formal training. The global community of users is very active and helpful. The "Cheap Tricks" user newsletter is a fantastic and indispensable resource for discovering the aggregated wisdom and best practices of the global user base. The product support is accessible, affordable and excellent. I have successfully used DataCAD as my only CAD tool for the last twenty years of my forty three years practicing Architecture. My work often called for me to collaborate with users of many other ever changing CAD tools that have come and gone, and I have throughout those many years, always found it possible to produce my design solutions and integrate the work successfully.