In 1993, PostalCAD 12 was released to U.S. Postal Service field users to aid in performing facility layouts and equipment designs. PostalCAD 12 was an add-on to the AutoCAD 12 software, and was an excellent layout and design software for the computer systems available at the time. In 1997 Autodesk released AutoCAD 14, which was their first “true Windows” environment. Upon careful consideration, Systems/Process Integration decided to port PostalCAD 12 into an enhanced tool called PostalCAD 14.
PostalCAD 14 required as a minimum AutoCAD 14 to run. It was recommended to the field to purchase MAP 3.0, an Autodesk mapping tool, which included AutoCAD 14. The Autodesk mapping tool is more robust and allows for newer, more powerful tools to be offered to the field.
In the summer of 1999, Autodesk introduced AutoCAD 2000 and MAP 2000. These products were the result of user groups across the country providing valuable input to the AutoCAD 14 products. In September of 1999 Systems/Process Integration and other AutoCAD power users were trained on MAP 2000. It was immediately realized that PostalCAD must move to the AutoCAD 2000 / MAP 2000 environment to be more efficient, more user friendly, and more powerful.
In the fall of 2001 PostalCAD 2002 was released and featured many new applications and enhancements. The PostalCAD 2002 release took advantage of the new AutoCAD Map 2000i development environment and included updated interfaces and functionality. Although most features in PostalCAD 2002 would run with AutoCAD 2000 and higher releases, the new Transport Work utilities worked only with AutoCAD Map.
It was strongly recommended that users upgrade or convert their existing installations to AutoCAD Map 2002 to use these new features and prepare for future releases of PostalCAD that will rely more heavily on the AutoCAD Map instruction set.
PostalCAD 2004 was released in the fall of 2003 adding additional tools and utilities to enhance the robust features already existing in PostalCAD 2002. The new and existing commands were all formatted to work with AutoCAD 2004 based products. The Library Manager was expanded to give more information about the files that were being looked at. Two new utilities were added to help with file management and uploading files to the Buzzsaw file repository. A utility was also added to modify and save the existing MOD listing associated to individual installations of PostalCAD. Many other smaller interface solutions were implemented.
In the fall of 2003, and into the summer of 2004 a large amount of training for Postal employees who work or would be working with PostalCAD was accomplished. A new PostalCAD Facility Analysis course, offered through Systems Process Integration and taught by NEOSYS Corporation, got a large quantity of PostalCAD users up to date training in PostalCAD 2004 fundamentals and many of the advanced features. The course allowed all the participants to work on their existing workroom floor layouts, and update them to the existing PostalCAD standards. This large training congregation was the basis for new utilities and changes for PostalCAD 2005.
PostalCAD 2005 improves upon the PostalCAD platform with an entirely revamped block library structure and naming convention. The Library Manager dialogue box now conforms to the longer AS504 block names. Several utilities were added to enhance the cleanup of facility layouts with existing, older block definitions. The space management areas were enhanced and updated with new layers, and utilities that better reflect the diversity of workroom layouts throughout the Postal system. Many existing PostalCAD commands were updated to look and act more like the AutoCAD interface than before. The Buzzsaw upload utility dialogue box was re-designed to be more useful to users for entering file names and knowing if the file had been uploaded correctly in the right directory.
PostalCAD 2006 became a direct download from the Engineering Headquarters servers. With this new expanded network capability the Flex License technology was deployed so that users could download and use the software without the individual plants needing to buy stand-alone licenses or to upgrade older stand-alone seats. This Flex License ability greatly improved the access and use of AutoCAD and PostalCAD throughout the service. A new Library Manager was introduced with many more options for following standards set up through block and layer naming conventions. All PostalCAD utilities became compliant to the national CAD standards for the USPS. Many new Postal equipment blocks were added to the library to ensure all the newer equipment was distributed and documented throughout the country.
PostalCAD 2009 released to the field in the Winter of 2010. An entire new interface was developed to match the Autodesk Map 3D 2009 and Microsoft Office 2007 software layouts using a main Ribbon at the top of the application window. PostalCAD Toolbars and menu pull-downs were replaced with this new Ribbon format.
The new organization allowed users to focus on a range of tools with similar purposes to accomplish needed tasks. No longer were draw and modify tools separated into different sections. The Library Manager was completely revised to make inserting custom USPS blocks a double-click action. All the equipment blocks were field verified and power, data, and air drop locations were added. The standard file format changed to be the 2007 format in both the PostalCAD and Buzzsaw applications. The layer dialogue box was replaced with the newer palette format, so users could see their changes in real time. A standardized template also came bundled into this version to standardize new files.