This post is part of a quick FAQ series Luisa and I are putting together to make it easier to find answers to the questions you are looking for. To find more posts about the MASS software, visit our blog here.

With the hundreds of calls that come through our office each year, at least a few go along the lines of “I bought MASS a year and now it’s not working. Why do I have to renew my license each year?“. Hopefully these points help you understand that your renewals help support your software experience beyond just the moment you purchase and install MASS.

Your renewal gives you access to new version releases and keeps your software up to date

Rather than simply charge a one time fee and leave you with a software package that will never change, we are working continuously on improving MASS. There are several bugs that have been found since launch and they have been addressed with each release, making sure that MASS is a reliable tool for your masonry designs. Just as a quick summary, here is a list of updates we have done in the past and what each one has added to your user experience.

Version 1.1

Released march 6th, 2012. Addressed more than 50 bugs that were present in the launch of MASS Version 1.0

Version 2.0

Released June 4th, 2014. Based on direct feedback from the design community, the single most requested feature was the ability to design shear walls with openings and movement joints. there were also a handful of small user interface bugs that were addressed here as well.

Version 2.1

Released June 24th, 2015. The release of Version 2.1 added fire resistance rating results, improved shearline drawings, improved stability for the custom unit database, as well as other bug fixes. Printing functionality has also been expanded to use the default browser rather than Internet Explorer.

Version 2.2

Released April 25th, 2016

The final release of MASS that designs using the 2004 edition of the CSA S304 masonry standard. The most notable changes include an in-plane shear design overhaul which addresses the Mf/Vfdv ratio bug which can be found on our "Known Bugs" page. The welcome screen has also been updated to a more modern interface with direct access to recent projects as well as other helpful information. For a full outline detailing what is new in Version 2.2 click above to download the List of Changes PDF or refer to section 1.6 of the Help files within the software.

Version 3.0

Released September 25th, 2017

MASS Version 3.0 takes everything from previous software versions and adapts it to the latest editions of the CSA Standards, including the S304-14: Design of Masonry Structures which is referenced in the 2015 National Building Code of Canada. For a full outline detailing what is new in Version 3.0 refer to section 1.6 of the Help files within the software. A news release post can also be found here.

Annual renewals help support the very high development costs associated with developing and maintaining a reliable design software.

Your renewals each year also cover technical support from qualified engineering professionals

While there are several things that set MASS apart from any other masonry design software, the biggest is the technical support that comes along with it. While is there thorough help documentation that can be accessed by pressing F1 inside the software, it can be frustrating to encounter a problem and then waste time scrolling through pages of information to find the part that addresses your issue.

As the authorized support provider for MASS, you can contact the CMDC with any software related question and get a simple, straightforward, and informed response right away.

It’s that simple and not something that you get with every software. Scroll down our staff page and you’ll see that CMDC is well equipped to help you with your next masonry design.

We do not make money by selling license renewals each year.

In fact, we spend a lot more on support and development than what comes in – in the neighbourhood of hundreds of thousands of dollars each year

As much as some people like to think that we are these tech-oriented, Silicon Valley, billionaire, hipsters, milking you for every last penny we can get, the reality is that the Canadian design community is so small relative to the US that no private company would spend the money required to develop a software specifically tailored to using Canadian design standards. MASS has been made possible by the generous contributions from the partnership between block producers through the CCMPA and our masonry contractor members. In fact, only 25% of the software’s maintenance and development costs are covered by sales and renewal revenue. The remainder is covered by the CCMPA and CMDC.

MASS renewals 2

NMDP is the software company that develops and maintains MASS. It is a partnership with the CCMPA and CMDC

For those curious, here is the clip in question referenced from the 1987 movie Predator.

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Brad Crumb

Brad is a Masonry Design Engineer with CMDC. Starting in 2011, his main role with the CMDC has involved developing the masonry design software, MASS, as well as handling the engineering related technical support questions that come in on a regular basis. If you've called or emailed the CMDC office about MASS, chances are you had the pleasure of meeting Brad.