If you had been freaking out about what Dassault might be doing to your beloved SolidWorks, you would probably be reassured here at SolidWorks World 2013.
The Vision From Solidworks World 2012
At last year's event, SolidWorks newly appointed vp of R&D Gian Paulo Bassi stated that SolidWorks future lay in two versions, each relying on different kernels: one would be the tried-and-true Parasolid, upon which SolidWorks has been based since its inception. The other would be CATIA's CGM kernel.
Though meant to be reassuring at the time and an answer to FUD* campaigns from competitors, all indications pointed to CGM being the kernel of choice for the future. After all, CGM was owned by the Dassault "family," whereas Parasolid was owned by a competitor.
But with the new CGM engine would come data incompatibility with models developed by Parasolid, and who knows what else? Can you rip out the engine from a Mustang and replace it with one from a Camaro? This led to uncertainty among users, and Bassi's statement may have even shaken their faith.
The Word from Solidworks World 2013
Though the show has already wrapped up its first day, there has been little mention of SolidWorks V6, as the CGM version of SolidWorks is known. In fact, there has been little mention of anything by Gian Paulo. After being very much the highly visible champion of SolidWorks V6, he did not even take the stage -- not the main stage nor gone up front with the other executives during the media Q&A.
Could it be that plans for SolidWorks V6 have been shelved?
At the risk of reading too much from the tea leaves, consider that V6 technology has been rolled out only into Mechanical Conceptual shown during the first morning on the main stage. It is underwhelming in its ability: a front-end to SolidWorks, rather than a robust stand-alone modeler; far from finished, not released 'til Fall. It seems to be -- at least so far -- SolidWorks' big announcement.
But sometimes, what is not said is just as important as what is not said. No shakeup. None of the "it's good for you, now open wide" stance. A gentle roll out. Mechanical Conceptual is a tool; use it alongside your beloved SolidWorks, not instead of it.
Maybe what we are seeing now, is a kinder, gentler Dassault. Or maybe one that listens.
*Fear, uncertainty, doubt
[Reprinted with permission of CAD Insider.]