Day 2 started with parallel sessions. Ralph Grabowski attended the AppTranslator session, whereas I attended a session on “Porting to DRX in IntelliCAD” by Mark Barrow, Dev Lead of the ITC.
Mark briefly explained how to make a normal DLL into a DRX DLL so that IntelliCAD, or for that matter any DWGdirect based application, can recognise it as a plug-in. At SYCODE we have been experimenting with the DRX SDK, so most of this was not new to me. He also went on to explain a little on the IRX SDK, the SDK that is built over the DRX SDK which gives programmers access to IntelliCAD specific features such as it’s user interface.
I am using this opportunity to make the right noises on behalf of DRX developers all over the world. Currently the various flavors of IntelliCAD load third party plug-ins in a variety of ways. There is no standard method. Some needs an icad.sds file in the IntelliCAD folder. Others need the DLL to be dropped in the IntelliCAD folder. Some others have a startup suite like AutoCAD. It’s one big mess. This make installation and loading a big problem for end users. We often find ourselves spending a lot of time guiding IntelliCAD users on how to load our plug-ins into their flavor of IntelliCAD. This turns out to be quite frustrating for the users and for us as well. So I explained my problem to Mark and asked him if IntelliCAD 7 would have a standard way of loading third party plug-ins. I was happy to hear the words “consider it done”, as opposed to “we will look into it”.
Next up was a presentation by 4M, an ITC member from Greece. 4M has built some fantastic verticals on the IntelliCAD platform, some of which were shown to us. They showed us IDEA, an architectural solution, complete from model creation to rendering to a walkthrough. We also saw STRAD, a solution for Structural Analysis and Design of 3D Concrete Frames and FINE, a Mechanical Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) solution.
Next was a presentation by Neilsoft, an engineering and technology services company based in Pune, India. They showcased various software solutions that they developed, maintained or tested for clients worldwide and highlighted the benefits for ITC members in the audience to outsource their projects to them.
We now break for lunch.