The death of SolidWorks?

06 January 2011

In a recent interview with CAD software blogger Deelip Menezes, SolidWorks CEO Jeff Ray discussed ‘killing’ SolidWorks with a new product. Martyn Day delves deeper to find out what the future holds for one of the industry’s most popular product development systems.

If you had told me at the beginning of 2010 that PTC would dump the Pro/Engineer brand and that the CEO of SolidWorks would openly discuss ‘killing’ SolidWorks (the product), I would have assumed that you were off your head on smack.

However slim the probability of this occurring I’m here to say, drug free might I add, that this is exactly what’s happened and all within a month.

In October PTC announced the rebranding and redevelopment of its flagship product range under the ‘Creo’ umbrella. Then in November, SolidWorks CEO Jeff Ray openly discussed how the company had started a secret ‘let’s kill SolidWorks’ project to create a new generation modelling tool.

The interview can be read on the blog of Deelip Menezes , where Jeff Ray refers to ‘killing’ no less than six times. The essential facts that came out of this bombshell were that the company’s next generation modeller will be based on Catia’s V6 geometry engine (replacing Siemens Parasolid), use Dassault Systèmes’ Enovia PDM, include better direct modelling functionality and be, to a larger extent, cloud-based.

SolidWorks’ competitors have naturally jumped on this open statement of intent. Indeed, for a considerable number of years competitors have mused on how the owner of SolidWorks, Dassault Systèmes (DS), was going to eventually rationalise its offerings of Catia and SolidWorks which use different technologies and file formats.

Up to this point, DS has segregated its products into PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) and CAD. i.e. The high-end with Catia and workgroup-based mid-priced market segment with SolidWorks. Although denied by DS, to a certain extent, the two products do compete and the competition claims that SolidWorks had ‘glass ceiling’ limitations imposed on its capabilities by DS management in Paris - again vigourously denied by SW management.

The move to go public on this ‘new’ SolidWorks product, based on DS technology, coincides with increasing ‘Dassaultification’ of SolidWorks culture, channel and messaging. In this delicate process, SolidWorks’ competitors are hoping that DS will accidentally kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

Platform shift

In October I wrote a comment on how all the CAD vendors, bar PTC, think that there is a looming platform shift from Windows to the cloud, liberating applications from expensive desktop workstations to server farms on the web. The article explained how historically, when platform shifts occur, leaders can quickly become losers if they have the wrong strategy and fail to adapt.

Jeff Ray’s comments and company strategy are exactly based on this premise. At SolidWorks World 2010 the company demonstrated a cloud-based CAD application to highlight new possibilities.

The sharp eyed among the audience identified it was called V6, which just so happens to be the same version number of the latest release of DS Catia. At that point you could say the ‘Catia was let out of the bag’.

After the event, the company was uncharacteristically very unresponsive as to the exact origins of the technology that had been demonstrated. The interview on Deelip’s blog was the first expansion on the company’s future plans since SolidWorks World and that plan was to develop a product that would have the potential to ‘kill SolidWorks’.

To follow on from this I set up an interview with Jeff Ray to get better clarity on some of the issues that had been raised and questioned the wisdom of the potentially suicidal idea of ‘killing SolidWorks’. Ray explained, “I think people are just reading way too much into this. The only point I’m trying to make is that there’s an opportunity for a platform shift, and we haven’t had that chance in the last 15 years since we started shipping the Windows-based product. The goal was never to run CAD on Windows for the next 200 years.”

But what is so wrong with a Windows-based future?

”It denies customers the chance to have more than one platform from which to run their project,” replied Ray. “It denies them choice of devices. It denies them the ability to either pay-up or pay-down, based on what they need and not have to buy excess capacity in hardware or software that just sits idle. This is because the architecture forces that on them. We just accept it and we tolerate it.”

The SolidWorks killer

For the next generation of SolidWorks, the management team set up a small development group four years ago with the directive to create a product that would do to SolidWorks what SolidWorks did to the likes of PTC’s Pro/Engineer when it was first launched. Ray explained, “We can’t be so in love with our technology that we become deaf and blind to new platforms that are emerging.

“They [the development group] had total freedom to look at other kinds of technology and they were like a start up. What they came up with was essentially what we showed on stage earlier this year at SolidWorks World, in what became the genesis of the V6 technology.”

In the CAD industry, history has taught us that the problem with ‘no limits’ technology is that it creates legacy data formats and pain for the installed-base. So will compatibility with ‘old SolidWorks’ be an issue? Ray was quick to reply, “We’re not going to abandon our customers. What we’ve got to do is make this easy for them to make the move. And so that’s when adult supervision kicks in, and we had to back off on some of the crazier things that were out there, because while intriguing, it just wasn’t practical.

“I can’t go out and visit the whole two to three hundred thousand or of our customers and say: ‘Oh by the way, all your design data’s dead.’ We’re not going to do that, as much as our competitors would like us to do that, we’re not going to do that.”

Expanding on the subject of data compatibility, moving to Catia’s V6 kernel opens up the possibility of SW finally being able to directly share files with Catia. Was this also a driving factor in development? “Yes it was, absolutely, says Ray. “Because I’ve been in those calls with key customers saying: ‘Look we love your technology, we love other DS technology. Why can’t you guys play well together?’ And, you know, after about the 10,000th customer call, I said: maybe I should pay attention to this.

“The second I broached the topic with Bernard [Bernard Charlès, CEO of Dassault Systèmes], he jumped up and said ‘Yes’.  And if anything, he’s pushed us harder and faster than we were pushing ourselves. I’ve never had anything but 120% support from Bernard on this… the point is they (the customers) just don’t have to worry about this stuff anymore.”

The DS connection

With the ‘new SolidWorks’ benefiting from core Catia technology, one could suggest that SolidWorks will become ‘Catia Light’, a proposal from Deelip that Jeff Ray immediately dismissed. I raised it again and suffered the interviewer’s equivalent of a denial of service attack. “It is not Catia Light. It will not be Catia Light, There is no market for Catia Light. The market is not looking for Catia Light!” exclaimed Ray.

While starting a new product from scratch to better an existing one is not unheard of in the industry, the problem is that so much development has gone into SolidWorks that any new product will have a disadvantage in terms of feature set. I asked Ray if this new product would be as feature-rich as the existing modelling product.

We can’t be so in love with our technology that we become deaf and blind to new platforms that are emerging - Jeff Ray, SolidWorks CEO

“Yes, if we were trying to go it alone, that would really be a daunting task,” Ray replied. “But we’re not trying to go it alone. We really are working with the team in Vélizy (Dassault’s Paris-based HQ).

“Work is getting passed out, people who are experts in different aspects are getting the chance to apply their expertise across the board. So it’s a much larger design team than what we had just at SolidWorks alone. There is no way that we could bring out a product with this level of both functionality and ease of use, and continue enhancing the V1 product, if we were just trying to do it ourselves.

“On Day One there will be some people that will look at the product and say ‘this is exactly what I needed all along, I’m jumping right here and right now’. And we think that’s going to be a pretty sizeable group of people. And then we’ll just continue to build on that and enhance it and add more and more functionality and serve more needs, and that will bring more and more people into it.”

The inclusion of the Catia development team in this next release from SolidWorks is extremely significant.

Many in the industry, even competitors, have described the Catia solution as being the ‘Ferrari’ of the industry and with such a huge range of technologies, spanning the elite design industries, Dassault Systèmes could create a very potent new product. However, there will always be a concern that the company would not want its two modellers to compete for the same customers. 100% file compatibility between SolidWorks and Catia would certainly muddy the waters - we will have to wait to hear if, for instance, Catia to Solidworks file transfer omits any critical data structres.   

Cloud and User Interface

One of the fundamental technologies and concepts is that this new modeller will rely heavily on the Internet or ‘Cloud’, either for everything or for data management. It was very hard to draw Ray on specifics here, but on the issue that the product runs when there isn’t a connection present, Ray calmed some fears, saying. “Yeah, there has to be some amount of offline (capability). But you know as we keep working on that, the slope of the curve keeps growing, improving on reliability and speed on the internet.”

It’s not just the underlying architecture that will be updated; the user interface is set for some attention too. Ray explained, “This gives us the chance to take a clean sheet approach on the UI and to apply a lot of things that we’ve learned over the years, that we just didn’t know 15 years ago.  And I said: ‘Let’s do it in a fresh way.”

The aim, it seems, will be to make the interface easier to use and more interactive, more push and pull. I asked if the Catia interface was going to be the same as the new SolidWorks UI and Ray explained that Catia was getting easier to use but the interfaces were not going to be the same.

SolidWorks is already showing tech preview of the new product to customers and dealers - obviously under a non-disclosure agreement. “I think they’re going to be thrilled. They already are!” said Ray.

“As we go through the design challenges they have and what this will do, they get excited, and they trust us. They know that we’re not going to steer them down the wrong path. This isn’t an industry that’s rich with companies that have said ‘trust me’ and they deliver on it. So, we’ve gotta buck that trend, but we will, we will.”

Why?

With some mighty big promises and probably putting the fear into the customer base Jeff Ray has drawn a line and made it known that the successor to SolidWorks is well into its development and will utilise Cloud computing as an integral foundation technology - all this at a time when nobody is asking for cloud-based CAD or has any real experience of such a web-based system. I asked Jeff Ray a simple question.

Why?
“What I lose sleep over, is if somebody is coming up with this, a bunch of guys like Jon Hirschtick [SolidWorks founder], working in someone’s living room and they are not constrained by anything. That scares the heck out of me!  That keeps me awake at night.”

In previous conversations, Jeff Ray has expressed the same fears as we move from a Windows environment to a more open distributed computing scenario. When the market moved from DOS to Windows, many of the big DOS software companies fell at the transition. It was an extinction level event. Second guessing the future is not easy but many CAD firms are preparing for a cloud and web future and learning from the past, the plan is to be prepared and cover all bases.
 
Jeff Ray explained further: “We’re not going to rename SolidWorks, it’s still going to be called SolidWorks. We’re not going to make it a one-hit wonder product. We’re going to keep it fresh and make sure that it takes advantage of whatever platforms are out there. And at some point there will be something better than an online platform and it’ll adapt to that too.

“And when I said kill SolidWorks, I meant the SolidWorks as we see it today, working in a Windows environment, will be replaced by SolidWorks working in an online environment. But it’s still going to be called SolidWorks. We’ll somehow give it a moniker to differentiate it from the other, just to minimise the confusion when we’re talking about it.  I mean we had to, inside R&D, that’s why we’ve just been calling them V1 and V6.”

When
So when will the next generation of SolidWorks be delivered?

“We’re still a couple of years away,” said Ray. “I don’t want to put pressure on the R&D team. The pressure for them is to get it right, rather than get it out fast. And like I said, we’ve got at least 10 years’ worth of stuff left to do on V1 that we know of, and every year more stuff gets added. You know, every day customers call us and they’ve got new ideas. I mean, we’ve got a long list of stuff to do. We’ve already nailed it on what SolidWorks 2012 will be, and the team’s excited about that.”

How much?
In several keynotes and interviews Jeff Ray has said that cloud-based CAD apps will be cheaper than the desktop ones we buy today. In a Yes/No round of questions, he explained that SolidWorks V6 will be cheaper to purchase than desktop CAD is today. It will absolutely have a lower cost of ownership and will run on significantly less expensive hardware but not as low-powered as an iPad.

Analysis

To paraphrase Mark Twain, the news of the death of SolidWorks is greatly exaggerated.

Although, to be honest, it was deeply odd that the source of that news was the head of SolidWorks itself. All of SolidWorks competitors couldn’t help but rub their hands with glee at this apparent own-goal messaging. A number rushed the news to their dealers to go and alarm the SolidWorks installed base.

There are two takes on this: Either Jeff Ray has caused a serious self-inflicted wound, or there is a bigger message to be seen here, such as that Dassault Systèmes is further along in its development plans than we are being told. I’ve heard that Catia online trials are starting soon, evidence that this could well be the case.

The CEO of Dassault Systèmes, Bernard Charlès told me several years ago that being first to the web with online product would be a significant benefit to any CAD player. I suspect that DS is almost ready to go public on this. Jeff Ray thinks it will be two plus years for the new SolidWorks, but the fact that they are showing it to users and dealers would indicate that a significant amount of the donkey work has been done.

When I said kill SolidWorks, I meant the SolidWorks as we see it today, working in a Windows environment, will be replaced by SolidWorks working in an online environment. 
But it’s still going to be called SolidWorks - Jeff Ray, SolidWorks CEO

Everyone knew that at some point Dassault Systèmes would for want of a better word, ‘mess’ with SolidWorks and that could potentially be a problem for SolidWorks during any transition. This new development goes with all the other rumours that the two companies are significantly harmonising development as well as sales and marketing.

On a technology front this makes sense as SolidWorks contains licensed code from many technology firms, none so apparent as the Parasolid engine from DS’ arch rival Siemens PLM Software. The new SolidWorks V6 will remove this reliance and use home grown technologies such as Catia’s CGM kernel, together with analysis, simulation and document management engines. This rationalisation of the two companies’ products is a perilous task but could provide dividends if successfully managed.

For now the public facts are really only in what Jeff Ray has told the press. SolidWorks as we know it will continue to be developed for ‘perhaps the next ten years’. The new product, which will be called SolidWorks ‘something or other’ (V6 for now) will be available in 2-3 years time, will be based on Dassault Systèmes’ Catia technology and will utilise the Cloud very heavily both in terms of delivery and as a distributed computing environment.

Functionally will be at least as good as SolidWorks is currently, with new functionality such as direct modelling and some degree of compatibility with Catia and legacy compatibility with SolidWorks V1. It will be cheaper to buy, cheaper to subscribe to and lower-cost in terms of hardware requirements than any CAD system is today. Not having seen it, we only have Jeff Ray’s view on the product but his confidence is really absolute.

If the product is two-to-three years away my gut feeling is that Jeff Ray has probably jumped the gun by bringing this up now, but this is based on the fact that there are no cloud-based CAD tools available today to compare.

If the product is still years off, customers probably didn’t need to hear the seemingly insane theoretical message that their CAD system was going to be killed. However, I have a nagging suspicion that Dassault Systèmes is actually secretly ahead of the game and next year Ray’s comments may well not appear to be so vaguely prophetic.

While Ray ‘doth protest too much’ about SolidWorks V6 not being Catia Light, Siemens, Autodesk and PTC may find that their products are competing against a formidable Catia-driven mid-range modeller which is available everywhere, on-demand.

Over the next couple of years, this industry is shaping up for an almighty clash of the Titans, with very capable modelling products accessing unparalleled computing power. At stake here, in the next great platform migration, is the possible extinction for some of these very large CAD software firms. I am not kidding when I say this probably the most exciting point in time in the last 30 years to be a user of 3D design tools.

Looking at the wider picture, in the mid-nineties 3D modelling moved to Microsoft Windows where it became the operating system of choice. 15 years later it looks like the CAD vendors are preparing to transition to the next platform, the cloud.

As journalists we all like sensational headlines, and would never pass over an opportunity for a zombie B-movie inspired illustration, but while the ‘killing of SolidWorks’ is now a clarified overstatement, what we are predicting here is the death of Microsoft Windows.

www.solidworks.com

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Comments on this article:

The whole timetable thing is weird. Last fall, Jeff Ray told me that the skunk development team wanted three years, but that the Board of Directors told them, “One year.” Now Mr Ray is telling you it will have taken 6-7 years by the time it ships. Who knows what to believe.

Posted by Ralph on Thursday 06 2011 at 05:00 PM

Really good read. I think one of the most potent statements is that they let the cat of the bag a bit early. Perhaps it was to give their customers something to hang onto with all the changes throughout the industry, but I think it was strategically a bit soon.

Posted by John Evans on Thursday 06 2011 at 05:05 PM

Although it may be an exciting time for users of 3D design tools, it is a terrible time for managers and administrators.  Having the future of your business critical applications so far into the realm of the unknown makes for very difficult planning.  Am I to upgrade everything to Windows 7 64-bit, or just wait for the newest cloud terminal?  Do I continue to invest in new IT infrastructure, or just wait until the network choices are decided for me?  What about my own legacy applications?  How do I manage my infrastructure to support home grown apps as well as cloud-based apps without having to purchase underutilized hardware?

Platform changes may be exciting for the users, but they are a constant source of pain for the administrators.

Posted by Scott Wertel on Thursday 06 2011 at 05:21 PM

It’s all so early. That’s one of the problems, it’s a promise of the complete unknown. Maybe why Jeff Ray’s comments were a tad too early. For now you have to plan on what is there and what works and plan for 3 years. Things will come clearer as products get delivered, which maybe this year or next. One thing for sure is that the Internet and connection stability and speed just isn’t there for a lot of this at the moment. It will get there but my take is that there will be at least one more round of workstation buying to be done before there is a viable alternative for core design tools.
However, analysis and simulation will offer big benefits and these will appear this year.
If you look at SW and Autodesk both are doing their John the Baptist bits, preparing the way for the resurrection of mainframe computing. It’s all about getting people used to the idea that there may be a radical infrastructure change in the next 5 years. They will price coerce you there and dangle infinite computing power as the upside.
The interesting thing is that it will mean piracy will be pretty tough, so if you pay for you software and compete against monkeys that don’t, they are going to have to go legal or use old versions of the software. 
As Al points out, this is all a big change for DS and SW. There are some major pitfalls to overcome, namely losing the special community SW has built, screwing up the product and destroying a very good sales channel. DS has put off meddling for a long time. This is changing all four tyres at 120 mph, there are massive risks. It’s a damn ballsy decision. Meanwhile SW’s competition are just waiting to take any advantage of any spilt milk created in the transition.

Mart

Posted by Martyn Day on Thursday 06 2011 at 06:29 PM

Martyn,

Thanks for taking the time to chat. It’s always a pleasure talking with the Develop3D crew. And just to clarify a bit, it won’t be us who ultimately “kills” SolidWorks V1. That’s something our customers will decide, and that’s the way it should be!

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Ray on Thursday 06 2011 at 06:39 PM

Funny how we all make our livings using technology and promoting it, when the time comes for A technology to change we have problems with it.  Seems like the users and writers about technology are all for change just as long as they don’t have to (be it solidworks,autocad, bentley whatever)....Happy New Year by the way (funny how time seems to change on a regular basis).

Posted by Rande Robinson on Thursday 06 2011 at 06:41 PM

I’m not at all convinced about this cloud computing.  This means if I understand it correctly that you must have a very good and decent connection to the internet to maintain your creativity in designing.  What happens to those businesses that are in rural areas or third world countries that do not have adequate internet infrastructures?  After many hours of doing things if things get lost in the cloud who pays for that?  Can things be recovered.  How about a small company that is unique in what it does and only needs things on its own intranet and is very satisfied with that kind of setup?  Now they must move to the “cloud” on a permanent basis and that infrastructure might not be available to them in remote rural areas.  I know I am going to be asked these questions by my students at some point.  I hope I can answer their questions in a positive way.  Great interview Deelip, well done.

Posted by Richard Williams aka Corporal Willy on Friday 07 2011 at 12:00 AM

I think Mr. Ray and SolidWorks were crazy like a fox with their technology preview at SWW 2010 and their stoney silence afterwards.  They knew exactly what they were doing and the ruckus it would stir in the CAD community.

The message that was sent was not meant so much for the SolidWorks user base but for Autodesk, Siemens and PTC.  I suspect it has achieved the goal of having them all tip their plans for future technology, looking to take advantage of a seemingly major mistake by DS SolidWorks.

It has been fascinating to watch the kubuki dance the CAD industry has been doing this past year with regards to future pricing, future technology and future platforms of all these new technologies they are all working on. The CAD heavy weights are all waiting for the other to blink and reveal the costs to users of all this new technology.

Time to get another round of soda and popcorn for Act II…..

Posted by Anna Wood on Friday 07 2011 at 01:15 AM

Martyn thank you as always for some thoughtful writing.  I’m pretty excited that we’re the kind of company that is trying hard to develop new products.  True sometimes the words may not be ideal, or taken out of context, but the heart is in the right place: aggressively explore new technology to build great new CAD for customers.  See you in San Antonio I hope! —Jon

Posted by Jon Hirschtick on Friday 07 2011 at 02:47 PM

Nice article, Martyn.  I like your conclusion that what is really being killed is the Windows workstation paradigm.  I think Windows will still have a place in the CAD environment of the future (Microsoft is investing in the cloud, too), but I think we will all care a lot less about the platform in the future (device and operating system), and more about the application.  I disagree with Scott Wertel’s concern about infrastructure planning.  I think these developments can be exciting for users as well as for administrators.  All of the SolidWorks-on-the-cloud talk is premature, and I think that’s a good thing (more time for planning rather than less).

By my reckoning, most companies plan infrastructure in 2-5 year windows (things like 64-bit, Windows versions, hardware replacements, etc.) and Jeff Ray is talking about something to be introduced in ~2 years, where most people won’t start deploying (in production) until 1-3 years after it is released.  So I think SolidWorks is pretty good with their timing.  I don’t think any CAD user out there today should be concerned about whether they have money in their 2011 budget to buy this new thing, but IT and management should start listening and paying attention so they’ll be ready for this type of fundamental shift when it happens.

I just hope that the virulent criticism from parts of the SolidWorks community dies down – a lot of users still see the cloud as something to be feared rather than something powerful and enabling.  Thanks for the follow-up interview with Jeff Ray and for sharing your thoughts.

Posted by Jonathan Scott on Friday 07 2011 at 06:14 PM

Good stuff. damned if you do; damned if you don’t

We (users, customers, editors) want a glimpse into the future to the leading technology, the next best thing, the roadmap. When we get what we ask for, “it’s too early”

Personally, I’d rather see it as early as possible. I want to watch it evolve, potentially influence it and have time to determine how I can leverage it in my business. Has to be better than keeping it a secret and “boom, here you go, hope you like it”

Bigger concern for me is keeping the young, fun, foundation of the SW culture- both internally (employees) and externally (customers). Already seeing a shift to a more stuffy, corporate DS vibe. I miss the figure heads of Hirschtick and Mceleney where we really felt like we could connect with these guys. Nothing against Ray and others, they are just different.

Imagine Jonny Mac on stage talking about the cloud. I suspect people would be hooting and hollering..

PS..favorite term above “donkey work”.. !?!?!

Posted by derrek cooper on Saturday 08 2011 at 02:53 PM

Is it public knowledge that Jeff Ray has moved to be Exec Vice President of Geographic Operations at DS?? Betrandt Sicot is now CEO of SW…

Posted by MrSW on Monday 10 2011 at 10:58 AM

The biggest news for me was the V6-Catia compatability. YAY! 

I thought SW lost a great opportunity the the Aerospace community when ASME Y14.41 (3D Model Definition) became mainstream about 3-5 years ago. 

We had to purchase 2 seats of ENOVIA to be able to read our customers native CATIA models, because they were no longer going to supply us with STEP files and traditional drawings for designs. 

At that time I had explained to a SW VP that there was no upside to our using ENOVIA, as our main system was (and still is Pro-E) and we were not going to move to full CATIA.  Because of the ease-of-use and Windows integration ease of Solidworks, it would have been a no-brainer to purchase 1-3 seats of SW for Sales, QC, etc…

Right now we use SW for most of our Pre-Sales product design, mainly because Sales and Marketing is reluctant (and rightly so) to learn something as complicated (and quite frankly confusing to use) as Pro-Engineer to review customer models/assemblies and collaborate with Engineering.

In the last 5 (or so) years of using SW, the interface has ‘evolved’.  Compare this to the complete upheaval that happened (and is still happening) with Pro-E.  This scares off the occasional user (Sales, Marketing, and QC).

With respect to Cloud Computing:
We have been using Terminal Services for about 10 years mostly for CAE and CAD, and I can’t express strong enough how liberating this as (as long as you have enough computing power on the back end) for general computing.  The ‘front end’: tablets, GoogleOS notbooks, etc… become a stable platform, and the ‘back end’ computing servers can be managed, updated, etc… in a stable fashion.  I think IT will be pleased, and so will the end-user.  HTML 5 is also a big part of this.

Notice in this scenario that MS Windows is not the center anymore.  You should be able to host Mac/Windows/Linux/Whatever apps to a Desktop/Tablet/Netbook/Smartphone/etc… with the only limit being network access and bandwidth.

How would you like to be demo’ing a new design at your customer with ‘full’ access to all of your background info securely?  How about leaving off a design session that was started at the customer site, and then picking up right where you left off while waiting for your plane home, or working at home on a snowy day.

This is not as far off as you may think.  The original X-windows concept did this (mostly in text mode, but also in simple GUI mode)  With HTML 5, and congruent technologies, this will happen to modern GUI apps.

Posted by chrisg on Monday 10 2011 at 01:34 PM

I tend to agree with Anna’s views that this was a well planned tactic to elicit comments from competitors and CAD users.

Posted by John on Monday 10 2011 at 04:37 PM

Well. Cloud it is out of question. I can think of getting into if i need some special/specific calculation to be done. Other than that it is a big NO. And if mainstream firms make that the only thing possible then DIY and Freeware is the route.

Posted by LL on Friday 14 2011 at 01:37 PM

As both a CAITA and Solidworks user this is a dark day.  The Solidworks GUI is light years ahead of CATIA.

Posted by sferrin on Sunday 16 2011 at 07:40 PM

Network based CAD… We have sad experience with networks, we are trying to work on local network, but is to many slowdowns, errors and lags. I think working in cloud is unreliable.
An finaly who cares about compatibility with catia? 10k users from 1milion? Three years before I try Catia, and I felt like times of windows95 are back smile
So moving in SolidEdge…? smile

Posted by kvarta on Tuesday 01 2011 at 06:56 AM

All I can say is if you look at Dassault’s history… they like to buy companies for the customers then completely disrupt their world… Wasn’t it just a few years ago “Smarteam” was their flagship PLM for small to medium sized companies… Wait now it is MatrixONe.. which is being moved to Enovia..  Bottom line if you invested in these products and spent countless dollars you invested in spending more money and time.  I have had enough experience with Dassault to see that they will abandon any benefits you have had in the past to keep up with the competition.  Anyone remember V4 to V5 Catia????  What about the inablity to share licenses from your US based license server to any other country.  And no it is not normal to charge $5000.00 per CAD user to use the STEP translator… Most CAD companies give this option away with every seat of their software….

Posted by carl on Thursday 07 2013 at 04:54 PM

Speaking as a fledgling designer, trained solely using solid works in the degree program (probably some package deal made with the institution), I get the “get them young” strategy for future business but Perhaps marketing and development budgets would be better served with some follow through, making affordable the use of the program to a larger market with an affordable price range rather than large price and select audience. Not only would the current and loyal users love them for it but sales would definitely increase. At the end of the day most of users are driven by reliability, affordability and to complete work tasks, even more so since the recession. Personally and perhaps for many smaller users, graduates, and fledgling businesses (and there is plenty out there) faced with the scope of affordability software is way out of reach which seems completely disregarded and as a recent graduate am now forced to look at and train in alternative software choices which is unfortunate for both Dassult and myself as I loved the software.
Internet based programs unless the whole world is in par on price and internet reliability I can almost predict problems.

Posted by John on Thursday 04 2013 at 04:19 AM

Interesting article about CAD

Posted by paul on Friday 17 2013 at 03:01 AM

Cloud computing is when you store all of your sensitive corporate data on a Chinese government-owned server.  Seriously though, has anyone thought the security issues through?

Posted by Mike on Tuesday 16 2013 at 10:15 PM

<a >PDM Lösung</a> steht für <a >Produktdatenmarketing</a> Lösung. Dies ist in der Regel eine technische,
prozessuale und wirtschaftliche Umsetzung zur Durchführung des Produktdatenmarketings.

Posted by Boro vai on Monday 26 2013 at 09:51 AM

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