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AutoCAD bear hugs interwebs, Apple iOS

Spreads 'Butterfly' wings

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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. ®

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