A sentence in a press release from Nemetschek caught my attention: it said that Nemetschek and Adobe are in a "Strategic Partnership," but it was not clear how. All I could see was that Nemetschek is licensing some APIs from Adobe -- which is neither strategic nor a partnership. On Adobe's side, the "partnership" consisted of collecting license revenues.
So I asked Michelle Ervin, the marketing manager for Nemetschek North America (aka VectorWorks), and she kindly provided a reply from Patrick Aragon (Adobe's senior product marketing manager, Adobe Acrobat in AEC and manufacturing) and Sean Flaherty (Nemetschek North America's ceo).
On the Partnership
This agreement describes how Adobe and Nemetschek will work together into the future. Goals and objectives of the alliance, technology and roadmap goals, and joint marketing and promotional activities are all outlined within this agreement and form the basis from which we will work together as partners.
Additionally, key points of contact for various geographic regions and areas of focus are described in the agreement as well, opening up lines of communication between the organizations and
As far as future plans for our joint technologies are concerned, we have shared our respective roadmaps with each other. Adobe is excited to be getting feedback on its roadmap for PDF and Acrobat, and both companies are looking forward to creating a dialogue about how we can jointly address the needs of customers in 2D and 3D environments.
On the Strategy
The overriding strategy in this partnership is to make PDF a more commonly used format for the collaboration workflow in AEC. Right now, many people use PDF as a one-way method for people to "see" the drawing, but we plan to work together to make it more central to collaboration: a way to exchange information round-trip.
Information can be lost in translation, even with some of the common 2D formats in use today --whereas PDF information has the reputation for translating and looking identical when the receiver gets it. Any workflow where you need to mark up a drawing or overlay information between different programs is ideal and can be done much more reliably using PDF.
In addition, there is a need to integrate different types of files other than just CAD into document sets. CAD is just one part of the building documentation process, and yet CAD systems focus on CAD to CAD translation primarily. Adobe and Nemetschek instead want to focus on the total collaboration needs of the AEC process.