April 18


Vistro Networking for Small Groups

By Mike Spack

April 18, 2016

amazon work spaces, network license, networking, PTV North America, Vistro networking, Vistro Software

11277397_mlGuest Post by Bryant Ficek, PE, PTOE, Vice President at Spack Consulting.

As we have written about before, we use PTV’s Vistro for the vast majority of our projects. Currently, we have two licenses for the software. With three engineers using the software regularly, and another using it occasionally, you can image the potential headaches of shifting licenses between computers or having to specifically dedicate a couple computers as some types of software will have you do. Luckily, PTV offers an attractive alternative – a network license.

Those familiar with CAD software or working at larger firms may be familiar with network licenses. You purchase as many licenses as you need and users are able to access the company server for a license to use the software when needed. Since not everyone needs the software at once, you are able to get by with fewer licenses than total people who will need the software at some point. It’s a no-brainer for larger companies with internal servers, IT departments, and two or more software users. But what about smaller companies like ours?

We don’t have a central server and our IT department consists of us and whatever we can find on the internet. In this case, we have been able to use the Windows Workgroup. The Vistro software is loaded on everyone’s individual computers. The Vistro dongle is attached to one computer in the office (doesn’t matter which). When we need to use Vistro, our own computers are able to select a license through the Workgroup connection. We receive warnings if two people are already using Vistro, although that has not been an issue to-date.

There is an extra fee for the network capability and a couple extra steps to configure the software and computers individually. But this is a relatively painless set-up and a way to easily increase the accessibility of Vistro without springing for one or more licenses.

We are also looking into how best to configure everything if we want to use the software remotely as our staff often work from home. PTV has suggested Amazon Work Spaces as one potential method, which is what they use internally. We will likely write about this topic again as we continue to explore what works best for us.

However that turns out, the bottom-line is that with networking capability, Vistro is a great option to improve accessibility to your office’s traffic engineers.

Are you thinking about purchasing Vistro for your office? Receive a $250 discount off of Vistro when you use or mention the Promo Code “SPACK16″ when ordering from PTV North America.

  • Is VISTRO any more HCM-compatible than it was in version 2 or 3? I interacted with PTV at the time and gave up. PTV loosely acknowledged it wasn’t compliant, and then didn’t fix it in service packs to my knowledge.

  • PTV implements the HCM 2010 and HCM 2000 procedures (and coming soon, the HCM 6th Edition when it is published later this year) for the following control types: signals, two-way stops, all-way stops and roundabouts. We implement the methods based on the manuals and TRB-issued computational engines. As with any implementation, there may be cases where interpretations need to be made; however, we consider our implementations to be representative of the HCM methods. If you have any specific concerns, please let me know (bill.cisco@ptvgroup.com). Thank you.

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    Mike Spack

    My mission is to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.

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