Alibre and Datakit – Lost In Translation

When Alibre recently announced a permanent reduction of Alibre Design Standard to $97, they also sweetened the deal by including Alibre Translate, a data exchange add-on that uses technology provided by French company Datakit. The add-on lets Alibre Design import CATIA V5, Pro/ENGINEER, Inventor, Parasolid and Solid Edge files and export SolidWorks files. Now that is a lot of high-end data exchange technology.

At SYCODE, we have been using Datakit’s technologies in our products for a while now and I can tell you from personal experience that their stuff is (1) very good, and (2) very expensive. Just to give you an idea, at NOVEDGE no Datakit product that reads CATIA V5 files is priced below $2,500. That’s 25 times the cost of Alibre Design Standard as it is priced today. So I was surprised to learn that Alibre Translate, which reads CATIA V5 files besides other formats I listed above, was being given with the $97 Alibre Design Standard.

Not any more. Yesterday Alibre CEO Paul Grayson announced on the Alibre blog that Alibre Translate would no longer be shipped with the $97 Alibre Design Standard. As Paul put it, “due to some new requirements by a partner, which are beyond our control“. However, Alibre Translate will continue to be shipped with the Professional and Expert versions of Alibre Design. It will also be shipped for a couple of more weeks in Standard. So if you want some high-end data exchange functionality for $97 you need to act soon.