This post titled “ASCON claims pole position in CAD on the cloud race” by Vladimir Malukh pointed me to this page (in Russian) by CNews announcing that Russian MCAD vendor ACSON will shortly be announcing the commercial availability of their flagship product KOMPAS-3D on the Cloud. The announcement is expected to be made at the isicad-2010 forum to be held on September 21 in Moscow which I will be attending. As it turns out, I will be visiting the ASCON office in Moscow a day earlier where I intend to find out more about this announcement.
I ran the Russian text through Google Translate to learn more about the technology. So if I have caught the bull by the tail you can blame Google for it. From what I could gather, ASCON runs KOMPAS-3D on the servers of a Russian service provider called Cloud IT and then users use something called Citrix Receiver to get the software delivered to their browser on demand through the internet. This reminds me of a comment ASCON’s Marketing Manager Alexander Magomedov left on my post titled “SolidWorks As A Service – Part 1” about a year ago. He wrote:
There’s CAD-online service: www.cad-online.ru. KOMPAS-3D provided via internet. It’s not SaaS, because the service is free (after mandatory registration). It’s better than trial version – all you need is an internet browser. You can use almost all functionality of KOMPAS-3D: create parts, assemblies, BOM ect. All files are stored on server. Unfortunately this service is provided only for russian-speaking users. But if you want to try it I can give you login and password.
I know of CAD vendors who have been using screen scraping technology from providers like Citrix to let users try their software without having to download and install it on their computers. So it looks like ASCON’s answer to CAD on the Cloud is to simply go ahead and let users run the software for real using screen scraping. So this looks to be more like a web meeting kind of a thing where you take control of an application running on the other person’s computer. In this case the other computer is a server sitting at Cloud IT and the application is KOMPAS-3D running on it.
So while the technology does not appear to be new, what I did find new was how much it would cost the customer. At SolidWorks World 2010 we were shown SolidWorks running on the Cloud and were told that it would be cheaper than the desktop version. Of course, they never really told us how much it would cost, I guess because SolidWorks itself had no idea. But if Google Translate is as good as they say it is, I think I can tell you how much KOMPAS-3D on the Cloud will cost – 500 to 4,000 Rubles per month for a single license. That turns out to be $16 to $130 per month. Which is $192 to $1560 per year. I guess exactly how much you pay will depend on which features of KOMPAS-3D you subscribe to.
And by the way, Citrix Receiver works on Windows, Windows Mobile, MacOS, Linux, iOS and Android. So I guess you will be able to run KOMPAS-3D on just about all devices.
Interestingly, Google Translate tells me the following about Dassault Systems and SolidWorks:
The French company Dassault Systems (developer of SolidWorks) also moves in the direction of SaaS, and expects to begin selling its CAD system with the scheme estimated in early 2011, told CNews the director of the Russian Mission Laurent Valroff.
Laurent Valroff happens to be the Director of Dassault Systems, Russia and CIS.