Dedicated to improving your control systems with Process Control System models
About Control
What's new
Our Clients
About Diagrams
Automation Models
Online manual
Free Software
Other Downloads



How to get a license key? 

You have first to purchase ControlDraw
If you have placed a confirmed order then there are instruction in the online help

Can I generate DCS, PLC and SCADA  application software with ControlDraw? 

This seems to be what everyone asks when they see what  ControlDraw can do. The answer is No. Why not?
CD is aimed at the specifications - the requirement not the software itself. Prospective design and validation.
The boundaries between design and programming are narrow, in fact some people say that the first statement of the requirements is also the first part of the software design. At present there is no equivalent in commercial control systems to ANSII C++ for PC's. So the process of making CD generate code (it could) is not worthwhile, especially as most commercial control systems can be programmed quickly given  good design information in the Functional Specification. 
ControlDraw can of course be configured to produce for example a tag database for a DCS or SCADA, and many of the other electronic lists that help when programming.

Can I download the manual?  

Click here to read the online ControlDraw manual or here to download it.

Is ControlDraw 
S88 compliant?

First, there is no such thing as S88 compliant. (maybe some Google users  think there is)
However ControlDraw fully supports the S88 physical and procedural models, including the flexible aspects such as recursion (Control modules in Control modules, phases in phases etc). 
Starting Classes for each type of S88 object are provided, and users can configure specifications to match their own interpretation of S88 or other methodologies. 

How much does ControlDraw cost?

The Print and review program is free. So, if you are developing a model and your  client needs to see and comment on the model your client does not need to purchase the software.

See the Purchase Page

Licenses for educational organisations may be obtained for free by agreement.

Low cost 'Partnership' licenses may be available for some ControlDraw model developers.

Can ControlDraw import P&ID's?

ControlDraw can import most types of Windows pictures, into single objects or as a diagram background. So you can if you want put a P&ID into the background of a diagram (using Paste Special) and then overlay - place objects on the diagram. 
But, for good reasons, ControlDraw is not P&ID based:
1 P&ID's have a slow development cycle and are almost always out of  date apart from the marked up paper one the process engineer has.
2 P&ID standards are very variable from company to company, what is shown and the numbering systems vary enormously
3 P&ID's are often very inaccurate, frequently missing details of control loops, contents of process packages etc.
4 P&ID's are not object oriented in any way. For example where are several identical units (ie one Unit Object) they still mostly draw one P&ID for each. If you are lucky. Sometimes you will find more than one unit (say 2 and a half) on one P&ID or one unit defined on 2 or more  P&ID's! 
5 The instrument database behind typical P&ID software is generally very inaccurate. And the text in them is often useless (we know FT means Flow Transmitter, we want to know what the flow is doing!)
6 P&ID's are not designed for operational purposes, for example they >are full of clutter such as nozzle sizes that are not relevant to the control, or even the plant operators. They are usually a poor basis for control system graphics.
7 P&ID's totally fail to represent procedural functions
However, they are still useful, especially if they have a database behind them, such as with InTools. ControlDraw can draw upon that to greatly accelerate model development. See next answer

What else can ControlDraw import? 

 Lists in Excel can be pasted into diagrams as symbols, and as text into objects, and even as a complete set of of symbols and diagrams (new)
In fact this applies to any list in the clipboard, such as an from Access or a Word table. So if you have your P&ID as a background and can query the P&ID database to get a list of the valves on the P&ID you can quickly put the valves on the diagram. 
Then move them to their positions manually, or even position them automatically if the list contains size and position data.

How does ControlDraw track version changes?

It does this in five ways:
By recording version information for each object. 
By keeping a history of major changes 
By using the Diagram Change Tracking function and 
By comparing two models
And you can add manual notes to the history

Can ControlDraw keep an Audit Trail 

An Audit Trail is more than just a version history. Yes ControlDraw can help you to maintain an Audit Trail, provided you include the necessary information in your model. The standard classes include Document references which you can use to point to the source documents.
Each ControlDraw object has a unique identity in the model, making it possible to track the history of each object, through the archive.  How much you keep in the archive is up to you. The internal archive in a model includes major event such as adding a diagram. The external archive is your collection of backup files, made using the ControlDraw publish and backup functions. 

What does 'Single Diagram Style' do on the Windows menu?

First it fixes the list of diagrams on the left of the workspace, and sizes the diagram to fit the space between the list and the right hand side of the workspace When this is selected you only have to click once on the list to open a diagram. If you do not select this then you may have several diagram opens at once, this is useful for working on a collection of similar or related diagrams.

Is the ControlDraw database 'open'?

The CD model is an Access database. It includes reports and forms that you can use if you open the model in Access itself. There is no password, even in the evaluation version. This means that you can add your own expertise to the standard capabilities of CD.
Sometimes it is useful to use a Front End database. For example a database for the equipment parameters, or the IO list. ControlDraw is developing a front end wizard for creating such databases.

How many users can work on a model'?

Depending on what actions the users are carrying out, up to 10 before performance slows significantly. 4 or 5 working on diagrams, some more printing and adding data. Certain actions are best done by a single user, and ControlDraw prompts in such cases.
You can also split a project into a number of linked models with a shared Reference Model  to handle bigger projects. See below.

Can ControlDraw use SQL Server or Oracle databases 

At present no, however this does not mean that you cannot handle large projects with many users. ControlDraw provides an alternative solution using multiple synchronised models. Each team builds a model for their area of responsibility. Using the Reference model capability of ControlDraw each can use a common collection of classes and diagrams, which are defined in a single Reference Model. You can see more about reference models Here

How do I get Started with ControlDraw? 

One way is to use a Start Template.
The S88 starter templates includes physical and procedural classes, an outline structure and sample S88 objects.
'To Do' notes to guide you through the production of your model.
The evaluation version includes a basic S88 starter. Purchasers can obtain more templates, more classes and predefined test sheets. 
You can also download (right click) a PDF version of the Manual (18Mb.) 
Purchasers get a copy of the ControlDraw CD. This includes additional start templates, presentations, training material and sample models. 
ControlDraw may be the best tool you can find, but it requires more than you just buying a tool to move to the state of the art. 

How can I design Equipment modules with ControlDraw? 

It's so easy - see  Building Equipment Modules. 

Can I see a sample of the documentation output?

See PDF example of the documentation output 

How does ControlDraw compare with others?

 Click here to see a list of key evaluation points.

How big an organisation is ControlDraw? We are a dedicated team of 1 with a global network of consultants, associates and trusted colleagues. It is a one man global company, with friends and users round the world. It does not make hardware and it does not take risks. 
It has no problems with internal communications, no debts and no cash flow problems. And the most efficient software development process known. 
Who would support us if ControlDraw went out of business.  ControlDraw Ltd runs a low risk business so it is not likely.
ControlDraw Ltd has outlasted one of it's competitors and the other appears to be on the way out. It was there before them too. 
ControlDraw software would not stop working.
Key clients have copies of the source code.
With hundreds of users worldwide, you will be able to find help.
Can I buy a better ( or even nearly as good) product from a BIG COMPANY? ControlDraw Ltd has researched this extensively. There is nothing comparable. Maybe  you are convinced that UML can handle process control but ControlDraw Ltd would disagree. 
The fact that ControlDraw Ltd  is small is an advantage to you. For example, license costs are low due to low overheads, product developments can be made rapidly to your specific requirements etc. 

Can ControlDraw work with version 1 models?

You can import these into CD2. 
You would not want to send them back. 

Can I develop something myself? Yes, if you have a lot of time.
ControlDraw development has taken about 20,000 hours plus $thousands on tools and components. And with a highly efficient software development model.
To develop something comparable just for your own in-house use would take 10,000 hrs plus, even with the latest software tools and a great team. If you already have something then most likely we can import from or link to it .
Can I do it all with Visio Reasons to Buy ControlDraw over Visio: