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Autodesk Feature

JT Open Merging with DWF

reprinted by permission of Ralph Grabowski, editor

February 15, 2005

    See Also

Autodesk, UGS Form Alliance Around DWF, JT Formats - TenLinks.com, February 14, 2005
   Autodesk website
   Autodesk Directory - by TenLinks.com
   AutoCAD Reading Room - by CADdigest.com

They proved us wrong. We had said, repeatedly, that no major CAD vendor would ever adopt another's "open" viewing format. Early Monday morning came word that UGS and Autodesk are swapping technology to gang up on 3D XML from Dassault Systemes (and, optionally, Microsoft).

The two competitors are joining each other's open viewer program: UGS' JT Open Program and Autodesk's DWF Developer Program.

The common press release is, unfortunately, filled with vagueness and future tenses, the word "will" being all too common. UGS _will_ add DWF import/export to its JT Open and PLM XML formats, as well as all its PLM software (are Solid Edge and NX considered PLM software?). Autodesk _will_ do the same for its line of DWF software.

It's not clear to us whether the two companies are simply adding import/export functions, or are going further and integrating each others viewer formats. The operative phrase is, "...will support the exchange of...". (Autodesk recently expanded DWF to 3D by integrating HSF from TechSoft America.)

Of interest is this sentence: 'UGS and Autodesk are committed to ensuring that interoperability efforts, which will tap UGS' PLM XML schema..." Does this mean that Autodesk will make use of UGS' XML schema in its PLM software?

One analyst asked what this means for Solid Edge. Could it be, he wondered, that "UGS competes at the high-end [with NX], Autodesk gets the low end [with Inventor], and Dassault covers both {with SolidWorks and CATIA]."

We asked for help on these questions; Autodesk did not respond, but UGS' John Day provided some clarification:

"Autodesk and UGS are still competitors in the applications space, and haven't ceded any parts of the market to one another as a result of this alliance. UGS is making a commitment to significantly enhance interoperability between DWF and JT. More details will follow at the Autodesk One Team Conference in early March."

It appears the press release is merely a positioning statement; now, the two parties have to work out what it means.


About the Author

Ralph Grabowski is an editor at upFront.eZine Publishing, Ltd. (previously known as XYZ Publishing, Ltd.). Ralph is the author of 60 books and several hundred articles for dozens magazines and newsletters about CAD, graphics, and the Internet.

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