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Oct 12, 2022



In 2006, we developed a simple web cad viewer based on Vdraw Api from a Greek company. That project never got off the ground, Today in 2022 we should be seeing awesome solutions from the big CAD companies. None.


I certainly agree on the moving desktop apps to cloud everything I’ve see and read indicates turning an existing CADsolution into full cloud means pretty much starting from scratch. It’s been sort of done with office suite over many years but they bought technology to achieve that and still isn’t at feature parity, adobe seem to be heading this way long term with their latest purchase too I am betting that will underpin future cloud apps.

Autodesk also abandoned their efforts to turn fusion 360 into a browser app (project leopard) they now cloud wash to keep up with the competition by offering fusion 360 hosted on Amazon appstream. While this was a good thing to do to support education during covid it’s clear that in education Onshape has seen wide adoption and has the opportunity to displace desktop or thick client tools.

One of the originators of Onshape talks about how hard it would be to take a desktop app to the cloud in this excellent overview of how their platform works


My understanding from reading and watching lots of PTCs communication on this the past couple of years is Creo is not going to be in browser. Instead it is going to use the Onshape data model, so they are building out the atlas platform to accept different applications.

This is what they have done with other apps like vuforia you get versions, branch and merge, basic pdm functions for those who don’t want or need PLM.

If they can pull this off there is value in this, as a path to cloud without on premise infrastructure especially if they make it seamless and banish that save button. While they can continue to offer local software for those who aren’t ready for cloud.
How this then works with windchill and arena is another question.

As you say Dassault have been trying to do this for years with SOLIDWORKS so it’s not a given they will succeed.

However given the progress to date I would not bet against PTCs strategy. They have already succeeded moving some applications and Onshape and Arena are growing well ahead of the market it’s just not the lightning progress SOLIDWORKS saw in it’s early days, so much harder to displace the incumbents today.

Ralph Grabowski

Thanks, Alan, for your insights!

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