I find it fascinating to consider the tremendous programming resources that entities like Bricsys, Graebert, IntelliCAD TC, and ODA -- plus their licensees -- pour into mimicking the AutoCAD experience. Entire careers are built on it. Yet, it seems to pays off.
Now we learn that Bricsys is adding .Net to Bricscad. I don't know how much that costs the company, but it can't be trivial. I suppose it's a gamble: build it, and hope they come. In the case of Bricsys, they've built up a decent stable of third-party developers. Perhaps talks with larger ones convinced them.
From the press release issued overnight:
- .NET API's managed wrapper classes access the entire .DWG database.
- Basic access to Bricscad and DWG editor available now; capabilities to be extended with future updates.
- NetLoad command available now.
- Available for Windows-based apps only.
- 100% code-compatibile with "the industry standard," a.k.a AutoCAD. Migrate AutoCAD-based .Net apps with a recompile.
- Currently in beta.
Which leads me to wonder about two questions:
1. Which powerful API will Linux and Mac versions get? This question applies to AutoCAD, as well as its workalike competitors. (Update: reader Wally suggest Mono.)
2. Can we move our add-ons between Bricscad and Graebert or IntelliCAD "with just a simple recompile"? (Update: Deelip Menezes notes that the ODA's DRX works across CAD systems.)
Right now, the assumption by the B-I-G guys is that third-party developers want to move their apps from AutoCAD to a cheaper CAD platform, and so B-I-G works to make that transition easy. But say one of the B-I-G platforms becomes unpalatable to the third-party developer -- due to licensing terms, user experience, insufficient development, whatever.
Might there be an effort at some point in the future to make it easy to port from B, I, or G?