An easy-to-use but quite sophisticated math program that captures the rationale behind calculations, as well as solves them, is coming out in an enterprise version for the first time.

MathCAD 11 is shipping now in a single-user version. The enterprise version is scheduled to follow next week. Enterprise users will be able to use calculation management tools to capture, share and manage their company's math-based information and procedures.

"As a calculator it's hard to beat, but what we really excel at is communications," says Allen Razdow, senior vice president of strategic planning for the vendor, MathSoft Engineering and Education Inc., Cambridge Mass. Razdow says even without a networking version, many customers already use MathCAD to create and distribute standard worksheets for their employees to perform and record common calculations. With the enterprise version they will be able to publish and share them over the Web in forms that even non-MathCAD users can use to solve problems.

Satish Matani, a structural engineer with Martin, Chow & Nakabara Inc., Newport Beach, Calif., has used MathCAD since it came out in the mid-1980s and has tested the new edition."I think it's a perfect program," he says. "We're in building design. Our calculations have to be turned in to the building department and they need to follow what we have done. This is a scratch pad. You can follow the reasoning and everything," he says. The product costs $1,000 per seat in either version.