Canadian Consulting Engineer

Autodesk and Bentley begin collaborating

July 14, 2008
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

The two giants in CAD software for the construction industry have announced an unprecedented agreement that they wi...

The two giants in CAD software for the construction industry have announced an unprecedented agreement that they will work to expand interoperability between their software portfolios.
At a joint press conference held on July 8, Autodesk and Bentley Systems said they will exchange software libraries to help users working with both environments to be able to read and write in their respective DWG and DGN formats.
As well, the two companies will support the reciprocal use of application programming interfaces (APIs), thus helping project teams to be able to more easily work with multiple software sources.
What prompted this breakthrough collaboration? The press release noted that interoperability has emerged as a critical issue for design and engineering software, and that a 2004 study by the U.S National Institute of Standards and Technology found that wasted time due to a lack of AEC software interoperability cost almost $16 billion annually in the U.S.
The release said: “By virtue of this agreement, and the interoperable offerings that it will enable, AEC firms will be free to employ software tools of choice from either Autodesk or Bentley to accept or submit either DWG or DGN files. By improving fidelity of work shared between the two file formats, users will be able to focus on being creative and getting work done, rather than being constrained by file-compatibility considerations.
“Through supporting the reciprocal use of their available APIs, Autodesk and Bentley will enable AEC project teams to combine products from both providers within integrated workflows. For instance, a design team could use a mixture of Autodesk and Bentley software, such as Autodesk’s Revit platform and Bentley’s STAAD and RAM structural products, and simulate and analyze their designs or manage project information using Autodesk NavisWorks software or Bentley’s ProjectWise. “Autodesk recognizes that many customers use our products in mixed environments, and this agreement will help to better support these firms,” said Jay Bhatt, senior vice president, Autodesk AEC Solutions.
Autodesk, based in San Rafael, California, introduced AutoCAD software in 1982. Bentley, based in Exton, Pennsylvania, was founded in 1984.
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