Well, not exactly. The ITC has released IntelliCAD 7.0 to its members. This was stated by an employee of Cadian, an ITC member, on IntelliCAD.net. The ITC has been tight lipped about the release of the “New IntelliCAD”, which by all counts has been long overdue. Of late, some ITC members have been giving me news about IntelliCAD 7.0, but off the record. This is the first public statement that I have seen coming out from one of the ITC members.
Judging by the way Autodesk has been intimidating Bricscad plug-in developers, one gets the feeling that in spite of the brave face that its executives put on, Autodesk is clearly worried about the kind of interest that Bricscad has aroused. Especially in the wake of the global recession where companies are either deferring new software purchases or questioning the high cost of subscriptions and upgrades. It will be extremely interesting to see the second wave of the attack – IntelliCAD 7.0, when it does come to pass. Something tells me that the ITC members are going do what they usually do – fight each other on price and drive it down to new depths, much to the delight of customers.
So if IntelliCAD 7.0 has been released to ITC members why aren’t they shipping it their eagerly waiting customers? That’s because ITC members need to develop and test their verticals on the new DWGdirect platform, the foundation over which IntelliCAD 7.0 has been built. At SYCODE we already ported out old IntelliCAD 6.0 SDS plug-ins to DRX in January this year, thanks to the availability of Bricscad, which has been already running on DWGdirect for quite some time now. So I guess for us, and companies who did what we did, it should be a matter of a simple recompile to arrive at IntelliCAD 7.0 ready DRX plug-ins, after making modifications for interface related functionality. At least I hope that it will be that simple.
Unless the ITC is going to force its members to launch all their IntelliCAD’s on the same day, I believe CMS will, or rather may, be one of the first IntelliCAD 7.0 variants to be released. I say this because CMS does not develop any verticals, although they do have a document management solution that they ship with each license of IntelliCAD. They take the ITC code, rebrand it and ship it. In fact, they pride on offering the “most pure” IntelliCAD. Almost all other ITC members mess with the ITC code to tailor it to their requirements and in the bargain cause all sorts of problems for third party plug-in developers. At SYCODE, we test our IntelliCAD plug-ins with CMS IntelliCAD only. If they work, they are shipped. At $95 a plug-in we really cannot afford to spend the time and resources needed to make our plug-ins work with all the IntelliCAD variants out there.
During my interactions with ITC executives at the ODA World Conference in Leiden, Holland, this April, I asked them for the reasons for the long delay for IntelliCAD 7.0. One executive put it this way: “We realize that we have just one chance to get this right. So we are giving this our best shot and making sure that when the product does comes out it is robust, stable and a pleasure to use“.
Amen. If that is indeed the case then Autodesk may be having more problems coming their way.