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How do I Choose the Best Computer Simulation Software?

Article Details
  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 27 July 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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The best computer simulation software is easy to use, can be accessed by multiple people simultaneously, has all of the features required by the users and is reasonably priced. Computer simulation software is a growing sector of the software market, because the sophistication of these tools has increased substantially in recent years. This type of software is now available for everything from civil engineering construction projects to interior designing.

Computer simulation software must be easy to use, intuitive and have a very short learning curve. A well-designed system can be very complex but relatively simply to use and to manage. The only way to evaluate the user-friendliness of the software is to try it. Keep in mind that almost all software companies provide a demonstration version of the software to potential customers for a limited time period. Ask the people who will be using the software to try to complete their work with this tool and then get an honest option of the software's usability.

Take care and review the information about software installation options as part of the evaluation process. Some computer simulation software is designed for a standalone installation on one computer terminal. This structure increases costs and reduces the ability of multiple people to work on the same project. Look for a product that is designed to work on a network and can support multiple, concurrent users.

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When looking to select computer simulation software, the first step is to write down a list of the features that are required. Make a second list of optional features that are not essential but are nice to have. For example, three-dimensional viewing is essential for engineering projects but a comprehensive color palette is not. This list depends on the intended application of the software and the sophistication of the users.

Take the time to review each item individually and confirm that the feature can be used as intended. Do not assume that a feature will be provided or can be used to meet a specific need based on experience with a competitor's product. Explore all of the required features by actually using them, and avoid the temptation to simply confirm that the item is listed without further investigation.

Computer simulation software has a very wide range of prices based on the target market, features, core functionality and support agreement. Take the time to review the pricing contract in detail. Many software products have a low initial cost but a higher annual maintenance fee. Over time, these products might not be as cost-effective as those with a higher initial cost.

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