The ODA Finally Gets It

More than seven months ago, in a post titled “DWGDirect and DRX Explained” I wrote:

“Take a look at their [ODA’s] web site. This is what you see on the home page:

‘The Open Design Alliance is a non-profit membership-based consortium of software companies, developers and users committed to promoting the open exchange of CAD data now and in the future. In addition to setting standards for CAD data formats, the ODA also focuses on the practical matter of developing software libraries of exceptional quality that enable ODA members to develop applications capable of reading and writing the popular DWG and DGN CAD file formats. ODA members use the following ODA software libraries to support their efforts of developing CAD solutions’

…and they go on and talk about DWGdirect and DGNdirect, about how these libraries can read and write DWG and DGN files. Absolutely nothing about anything I said above. No mention whatsoever about the DRX SDK. You need to click on a cryptic link called ‘Public Downloads’ to even know that they offer something called the DRX SDK.”

Go take a look at the ODA web site today. This is what the home page says:

“The Open Design Alliance is a non-profit, membership-based consortium of software companies, developers and users committed to provide the ODA Technology Platform to its members, giving them the tools to create a wide range of technical graphics applications, including custom data access and editing utilities, visualization tools, and even full-scale CAD systems. The platform also supports the use of both DWG and DGN files, with import and export capabilities to other file formats.”

I have been yelling myself hoarse on this blog and elsewhere, that reading and writing DWG files is just one of the many things that the ODA does. I even wrote a book to emphasize my point. It feels nice to know that the ODA has finally found itself. I have been privy to a few things going on at the ODA for some time. I would like to give a substantial amount of credit for this “makeover” to Arnold van der Weide, the president of the ODA. I know that there are other people involved as well, but let’s give the devil his due. I am pretty sure that with the leadership and vision of Arnold, the ODA is a much stronger organization, which undoubtedly has a bright and strong future.

Today the ODA released DWGdirect.NET, the first ODA platform platform component built for use with the Microsoft .NET Framework. This opens the ODA’s doors to a whole new class of programmers, the kind that do not need to mess with C++, but a more easier language like VB.NET. Full press release here.

Way to go, ODA!! Now go do what you do best. Crack that 2010 DWG format and piss all over Autodesk once again. I only hope that the ODA does not go ahead and do something stupid like the TrustedDWG thing they did the last time around. Otherwise Autodesk will be the one pissing all over the ODA in court.