Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Autodesk and Bentley Get Together

Autodesk and Bentley announced yesterday that they have agreed to exchange programming information in order to expand the interoperability between their architectural, engineering, and construction software.

Autodesk and Bentley will exchange software libraries, including Autodesk RealDWG. "to improve the ability to read and write the companies' respective DWG and DGN formats in mixed environments with greater fidelity." They will also reportedly share APIs (application programming interfaces) in order to improve interoperability between their programs. The goal is to improve AEC workflows by enabling greater reuse of information generated during the design, construction, and operation of buildings and infrastructure.

I've seen lots of agreements between competitors before, but if this one pans out, it could be huge. A 2004 study by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology found that inadequate AEC software interoperability costs users nearly $16 billion annually.

AutoCAD and Revit can already read and write DGN files and Bentley applications have long been able to utilize AutoCAD drawing files, but thus far, the companies have had to rely on their own programming expertise to properly translate those files. The planned sharing of information should improve those translations while at the same time opening up even greater ability to exchange information with the full suite of products from both companies. Think about direct intergrations of Bentley's STAAD and RAM structural analysis products with Revit Structure.

I can't wait to see how this all plays out. We're all beneficiaries of this one.

No comments: