Software Adoption in the CAD World

Implementing software is actually nothing more than ensuring that the software works well within your organization. Training, tuning, acceptance by users and more. Software adoption is often mentioned in the same breath as implementation but that is not correct, there are clear differences, if you want to see them…

Adoption can be, must be, taken in the literal sense. Adoption means that you make a choice for the long term, that you choose a file format for the storage of valuable CAD documents, that you knowingly make a choice for a product that others may not be able to deal with – or the opposite.

For many software developers, the file format is a tool to lock you in. Do you have package A once? Then you do not quickly transfer to package B, because B does not read your existing A-drawings 100%. Everyone who works with CAD immediately recognizes this problem.

The merit of the Open Design Alliance is that the closed .dwg format of AutoCAD is now “open”. This also applies to the .dgn format. How many dwg drawings are roaming around the world? Although AutoCAD is technologically outdated for many applications, it appears that the dwg format is still used extensively.

With the dwg specification known, new possibilities arise. Object types such as “line” and “text” are nice, but why should we not add complex object types such as “flange” or “wall”? Bricsys understood the value of this format very well and that is exactly what they did with BIM and Sheet Metal.

Adoption was the subject, suppose you adopt Revit alongside AutoCAD. Then you have a problem. Both products are from Autodesk but the data is not easily exchangeable. With BricsCAD that is not a problem, in fact, everything is in dwg format, so there is simply no need to exchange anything at all. There are many companies that use AutoCAD and Revit side by side. Bricsys is brilliant by betting 200% on .dwg.

You better understand our slogan now: “Explore the power of DWG!”

I am an opponent of the use of brand names. I do not have a TomTom but a navigation system, I never Google but I use a search engine (https://duckduckgo.com/ is actually quite refreshing where Google fails). In the meantime, we are looking for a Revit draftsman for our company and not a BIM-draftsman. That is unfortunate, because you exclude talented employees. What is also unfortunate is that this is the current practice. A BIM draftsman publishes in ifc format and that is interchangeable with Revit, BricsCAD-BIM and many other BIM programs. Well, just forget it for now, that will take a few years. But it is an important consideration that belongs to adoption. Adoption is longterm thinking. The Danish government has made the ifc format mandatory within the government and that is a start. Revit developers will have to go along at some point if they want to keep existing users. It is more certain that Bricsys is fully committed to .ifc, today. BIM can only succeed in the near future if information is interchangeable and all parties involved realize that very well. In the Netherlands too, people realize this and that is what the “BIM-loket” stands for: “Open BIM standards are essential to the successful widespread implementation of BIM within the Dutch building industry.”

Of course, the product must be good, of excellent quality. However, what does the future bring? How much confidence do you have in the software developer? It makes sense to make a future forecast based on past results. Look at the release notes of the last 4 years, what has changed? Is it only eye-candy? Are they developments that really affect your productivity?

In addition, you try to estimate what kind of company is behind the product. Autodesk has let its flagship run aground and fully exploited the users. These are considerable negatives. But with Revit they seem to do better. Other listed developers can be sketched in the same breath as “steadily moving forward”, for example Dassault Systèmes (SolidWorks, CATIA). As a limited company, Bricsys deviates from this, shareholders are directly involved and it feels much more like family, where people are listened to. Trust in the producer is perhaps the most important criterion when adopting software.