AutoCAD LT and Plug-ins

I have kept this to myself for quite some time now, but I think I need to let it out. As far as possible I prefer to play by the rules. My company, SYCODE, is a member of the Autodesk Developer Network (ADN). Every ADN member, or for that matter, anyone who uses the ObjectARX SDK to develop plug-ins for AutoCAD, has to first agree to the terms of the ObjectARX License Agreement, which clearly prohibits the use of the SDK to develop plug-ins for AutoCAD LT.

“You may not use the Software to develop applications for AutoCAD LT®, DWG TrueConvert™, and DWG TrueView™, as the aforementioned products are nonextensible applications and the use of the Software to develop applications for these products is expressly prohibited by this Agreement.”

Now this post is not about whether Autodesk is right or wrong in putting this restriction. After all, it’s their software and they are free to restrict or allow access to it as they please. I am writing this post in light of the recent demise of LT-Extender, a LT enabler by Torsten Moses. Or maybe suicide would be a more deserving term in this case. This post is about how one ingenious ADN member has been able to extend its middle finger towards Autodesk and its ObjectARX License Agreement.

The ADN member I am referring to is ASVIC, a developer of software related to Mechanical, Piping, HVAC and Structural Steel Detailing. They simply bundle a LT enabler along with their software, in this case drcauto’s LT Toolkit. Their usage instructions lay it out:

“Mech-Q for AutoCAD LT2000-9 requires a Lisp Enabler to work. The Mech-Q installation will also install the Lisp Enabler.

(snip)

The LT Toolkit serial number and authorization code will be sent to you either by email or with the software CD when you download a Mech-Q demo or when you purchase.”

And if you want to purchase LT Toolkit only you can do that as well. ASVIC resells LT Toolkit and I guess that is how they bundle it with their products.

Out of curiosity, I asked the ADN Program Manager what Autodesk had to say about this, especially since ASVIC is listed as an Autodesk Partner and its products are listed as Autodesk Partner Products at the Autodesk web site. I was told that Autodesk would investigate and take appropriate action if necessary. That was two years ago!! ASVIC is still listed as an Autodesk Partner and its products are still listed as Autodesk Partner Products at the Autodesk web site.

So I am now trying to figure out the point of all this. If Autodesk does not mind it’s partners bundling LT enablers in their products and even recommends them to its customers by listing them as partner products on its web site, then why not just let AutoCAD LT load plug-ins?

Am I missing something here?

  • Anonymous

    I just read your article on the event by browsing the internet in search of a lisp enabler. I have many application write in VBA and LISP language, some are collections of small lisp and other utilities. Until the death of LT-Extender I have always used and sold to my customers for AutoCAD LT as did many other software houses. Many users of AutoCAD LT does not pass it on to AutoCAD Full (considering the very high cost thereof) for use of small lisp, which is why the lisp enabler were very useful andeconomically advantageous and allowed a small software-house to implement their business. Personally with the death of LT-Extender, you probably have to close my business because thekind of my lisp certainly does not justify the purchase of AutoCAD Full and missed the majority Part of my clients who have felt abandoned. Autodesk is free to do whatever he wants of its AutoCAD, is an understandable trade policy! However, should take a specific position on the issue, because I have decided to stop production for AutoCAD LT, but in internet there are many software-house, large and small, who continue to sell their products based on the kernel of LT-Extender. There is much sadness to Autodesk over the past years for too many frequent updates, expensive and not very useful, the implementation of language lisp in AutoCAD LT might be a good reason to keep good customers. Hello

  • Anonymous

    I just read your article on the event by browsing the internet in search of a lisp enabler.
    I have many application write in VBA and LISP language, some are collections of small lisp and
    other utilities.
    Until the death of LT-Extender I have always used and sold to my customers for AutoCAD LT
    as did many other software houses.

    Many users of AutoCAD LT does not pass it on to AutoCAD Full (considering the very high cost
    thereof) for use of small lisp, which is why the lisp enabler were very useful and
    economically advantageous and allowed a small software-house to implement their business.

    Personally with the death of LT-Extender, you probably have to close my business because the
    kind of my lisp certainly does not justify the purchase of AutoCAD Full and missed the majority
    Part of my clients who have felt abandoned.

    Autodesk is free to do whatever he wants of its AutoCAD, is an understandable trade policy!
    However, should take a specific position on the issue, because I have decided to stop production for AutoCAD LT, but in internet there are many software-house, large and small, who continue to sell their products based on the kernel of LT-Extender.

    There is much sadness to Autodesk over the past years for too many frequent updates, expensive and not very useful, the implementation of language lisp in AutoCAD LT might be a good reason to keep good customers.

    Hello