Spatial Panel Discussion

One of the sessions on the second day of the Spatial European Forum in Frankfurt, Germany, was a panel discussion where attendees got to ask some of Spatial’s top executives whatever was on their minds.

From left to right: John Alpine (VP R&D), Ray Bagely (Director Product Management), Keith Mountain (CEO) and Gregg Oetting (Director 3D Geometric Modeling)

Here are a couple of questions that I asked the panel and the replies that I received:

Deelip: Can you explain how you can offer authentic CATIA V5 libraries from Dassault Systemes but need to reverse engineer the file formats of SolidWorks? SolidWorks and Spatial are part of the same Dassault Systemes family. Isn’t it odd that you are reverse engineering file formats that belong to your sister company and that your parent is letting you do it?

Ray: Well, this is more of an accident of history. A long time ago we bought the SolidWorks reverse engineered libraries from GSSL along with other translation technologies. We just find it much easier to continue to develop and maintain our existing code as opposed to taking something from SolidWorks and making a component out of it.

Deelip: What’s your view on Tech Soft 3D becoming your competitor and cease reselling your components while you still continue to resell theirs?

Keith: We have a good partner in Tech Soft 3D. They are a great company and we have great respect for them. I guess they would say the same about us as well. Yes, we are continuing to sell their HOOPS technology. As you know, Tech Soft 3D now has a much closer relationship with Adobe and will develop and license the old TTF translation technology that Adobe acquired a while ago. Lets just say that our relationship with Tech Soft 3D is in a dynamic state. I believe most of the company is currently in South Africa for the World Cup. After they return we are going to sit with them and decide the future of our relationship.

One particular reader was wondering whether Spatial was paying me to write all this stuff. In his words, “I have never seen anyone write so much about so little in such a short time.” I found this funny because I have seen bloggers post articles apologizing for not posting articles. I guess this is the first time I have come across someone having a problem with a blogger posting too much.

Recently some law in the US forced bloggers to post disclosures stating the benefits that they received from companies that they wrote about. US laws don’t govern me since I live in India. But I thought that the law was a good thing since it gives readers a better picture about where the blogger is coming from. So I started posting disclosures as well, unless I had some non-disclosure agreement with the company that prevented me from doing so. I usually append my disclosure to the last post that I write about a particular event that I attend. So here goes:

Disclosure: Spatial provided airfare, hotel accommodation, meals and nothing else. They did not even pay the fee for a pee at one of the pay toilets that I blessed.