Do I Need Map 3D Enterprise 2012?

Map 3D Enterprise 2012 is what used to be referred to as Autodesk Topobase.  The main feature of Map 3D Enterprise 2012 is that you can use the features of Topobase with an Oracle Spatial server.  If you already have Map 3D 2012 and have been using it, then you might notice the new workspace called the “Maintenance Workspace.”  This workspace gives you access to all of the Topobase tools.

You can use this to begin to get a feel for what Topobase has to offer.  Open up one of the default drawing templates that contains one of the industry data models.  When you start creating entities using the workspace, you are using Topobase.

Now after you decide that you like how easy it is to create features and add attribute data to them, you might decide that you would like to implement this in your organization.  However, if you are creating a GIS system, it is likely that multiple users are going to need the access to the system simultaneously.  When you use Map 3D 2012, the non-enterprise version, since everything exists in the DWG file, multiple users cannot share the data simultaneously.  To do that, you will need Map 3D Enterprise 2012 and the Autodesk Infrastructure Administrator.

Why Use Topobase in Map 3D 2012 Without Enterprise?

The number one reason to use Topobase in Map 3D 2012 without an Oracle Database would be to evaluate the Topobase functionality.  You can use this to quickly get a feel of what Topobase has to offer without going through the extended setup of an Oracle server as you might have had to in the past.

The number two reason would be for smaller organizations interested in adding attribute data to your CAD drawings.  For example, let’s say that you were responsible for maintaining a waste water treatment plant that’s been in operation much longer than the BIM craze has been going on.  This might mean that you have a lot of maps in AutoCAD.  However, all the information for the maps is carried on layers.  If you wanted to find all of the valves that needed maintenance, you would have to manipulate layers to get to them.  If you were using the new Topobase Functionality, you can run a filter on the forms and create reports all inside of AutoCAD.  Like all GIS, this new functionality is all about the data and giving you a means to use that data in a meaningful way.

To sum it up, use regular Map 3D 2012 if you want to continue to use Map as you have in the past.  You’ll also receive the ability to link data to AutoCAD entities, use forms to filter that data, and create customized reports within AutoCAD.  Use Map 3D Enterprise 2012 if you need to work with the data in a multi-user environment, store the data in a centralized database everyone can access, and build a robust GIS system.

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