AutoCAD bear hugs interwebs, Apple iOS
Spreads 'Butterfly' wings
Autodesk has released a web service and an iOS app for viewing, updating, and sharing AutoCAD designs when AutoCAD isn't handy.
With the help of a plug-in for the desktop incarnation of AutoCAD, you can upload files to the web service — known as AutoCAD WS — and the files can then be viewed from a browser or, thanks to the AutoCAD WS for iOS app, an Apple iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
"We are extending the AutoCAD product line, which has traditionally been a desktop product, to the cloud," Guri Stark, vp of the company's AutoCAD and platform products business unit, tells The Reg.
The desktop incarnation of the company's AutoCAD design software boasts 10 million users worldwide. The idea is that the web service and iOS app will drive use of the traditional desktop tools. "By linking to the cloud and to mobiles, we expand the horizon of AutoCAD and make AutoCAD more useful, connecting to a bigger ecosystem," Stark said.
According to Stark, the web service has no upload limit. Under the name "Project Butterfly," it was previously available as a sandbox offering from Autodesk Labs, and Stark says that that sandbox handled about 200,000 user sessions and 75,000 different users. The iOS app and the final version of the web service went live on Wednesday.
The upload plug-in can be downloaded from the interwebs, but it's also available with the Subscription Advantage Pack for AutoCAD 2011. The plug-in is compatible with the 2011 English language versions of AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT, and other AutoCAD products, and it's been baked into the so-to-be-released AutoCAD for Mac. ®
If you think that's expensive...
...you really have no idea. I've a friend in MRI research. Some of the 3d modeling applications they use are $50-150K per seat. Some of the physics modeling software is half a million, just to run on a single workstation. Some of the stuff animation and professional video editing studios play with is also in this price range. AutoCAD is a professional suite capable of meeting the extremely complex guidelines of each nation, state or county for building codes, mechanical design rules, and more, and capable of exporting the design file in an array of formats for 3rd party plug-in for 3D rendering, animation, virtual engineering analysis, and more. "expensive" is very relative when the guy sitting at the desk using it costs $100K a year.
In my own data center I don't think there's a single server operating with less than $2500 in licenses on it. The average is over $10K. Some are licensed over $50K (per cluster node). I don't even want to take a guess at the VMWare licensing or DR system licensing total costs.
Autocad on a mini-screen?
The Autocad drawings I work with need a large desktop screen. Many are schematics and it is very useful to be able to see both ends of a connection for the drawing to make sense.
Likewise, printed circuit board layouts are best viewed in their entirety. and multi-layer boards again are also better on a large screen.
I wonder what drawings, viewable on a small screen, Autocad has in mind or is this just a novelty App?
AutoDesk just called, they say some guy called JaitcH says that no AutoCAD drawings anywhere in the world can be usefully viewed on a small screen, so they are going to scrap the whole idea.
Try and see beyond your own desk.... "your drawings" aren't the only uses for this.