Some Light On SolidWorks On The Cloud

Ralph Grabowski left this very interesting comment to my post “The Deafening Silence From SolidWorks On The Cloud“.

Jeff Ray told some of us over lunch that their non-Windows development is located in a “skunkworks” about ten miles from SolidWorks offices. Their board gave the developers a year to come up with something — not the three years they wanted. Today, even “just” a year is a long time.

The irony is that SolidWorks was a trailblazer with Windows (considered not a cad platform in the early 1990s) and now they seem as stuck on Windows as other CAD vendors back then were on DOS 386 and Unix.

Make of it what you will.

  • MRand

    I don’t get the irony part of his comment when on stage at solidworks world they showed it running on a mac, and said that it would run on any operating system. Someone had a picture of all the o/s symbols including the linux penguin. Maybe Ralph has selective memory.

  • ralphg

    My perspective must be read in context of Deelip’s posting, “The Deafening Silence From SolidWorks On The Cloud.”

    At SolidWorks World, SolidWorks apparently ran on multiple OSs and form factors. It was slight of hand: a server was pushing highly compressed raster images to the Mac and other devices.

    Since SolidWorks World, the company has only announced DraftSight for Mac and Linux, but these are produced by Graebert of Berlin, Germany — not DS SolidWorks. The only other item in this category is the Enovia-based SolidWorks Connect that comes out sometime in the first half of next year.

    In the same few months, it is Autodesk who has shown/announced two different ways of running AutoCAD in Web browsers, on the Mac, and on iPhones/iPads.

    SolidWorks itself on multiple OSs and platforms is nowhere to be seen. It remains firmly locked to Windows. It is DS SolidWorks who is being selective.

  • Anthony Co

    With the windows O/S not having a clear direction on what they really stand for, makes me wonder why SW is not inclined to look for other more stable and optimized operating systems like Linux or Mac. Is porting code a difficult thing for the developers?

  • ralphg

    Porting from Windows code is very difficult, because CAD vendors use Microsoft’s programming languages, Microsoft’s programming tools, Microsoft’s operating system extensions, and Microsoft’s user interface APIs.

    All that must be replaced by OS-neutral APIs. For instance, Graebert rewrote its PowerCAD using the QT interface API (resulting in ARES).

    The core code and extensions need not be rewritten, such as ACIS and constraints.

  • Kevin Quigley

    My interpretation of this is that SW Cloud (aka CATIA v6) was running on a web server somewhere and being interfaced via a web browser type app on Mac OSX, Windows and Linux. In this context the actual OS the CAD app runs on is irrelevant as it is the interface to it that matters – like Google Docs or any web app.

    I suspect SW Cloud probably runs on some kind of Unix OS, so this in itself makes a desktop version on Windows unlikely.