An Overview: Porting CADWorx to BricsCAD

Porting CADWorx: 18 Months, Four Modules, 400 Commands, 3.5M Lines of Code…

Today, Intergraph’s premier Plant Design software works on BricsCAD. First, the team porting CADWorx wanted a single code stream for AutoCAD® and BricsCAD. Next, CADWorx users needed an identical user interface and workflow on both platforms. Finally, users wouldn’t be happy unless the performance of CADWorx was similar on both BricsCAD and AutoCAD®. Was this too much to ask for?

Not at all. The Bricsys team, helmed by CTO Luc De Batselier and Head of Development Hans De Backer, opened their doors and their minds to Intergraph in November of 2015. The coding project began in May of 2016 with 20 licenses of BricsCAD in use by the CADWorx development team. Most noteworthy, the CADWorx developers logged over 250 support requests with Bricsys over the life of the project. As a result, by February 2017, the CADWorx team were using 60 seats of BricsCAD for the quality assurance testing of the completed CADWorx suite!

The Numbers are Impressive…

Managing each of the four CADWorx modules as separate projects was Job #1. Bricsys development fielded 68 support requests for the Plant module and 87 (!) for the P&ID module. The Structure and Equipment modules generated 20 and 15 support requests, consecutively.  Last week at Bricsys HQ, Luc De Batselier told us that some of these support requests required completely new functionality to be added to BricsCAD’s BRX API.  More than a few of the support requests involved multi-month development efforts to bring the required functionality to the CADWorx team.

The Benefits are Even More Impressive

Both Intergraph and Bricsys are enjoying great benefits from this collaboration. Today, Intergraph’s premier Plant Design suite now runs on a modern, affordable DWG-based CAD system. As a CADWorx user, you now have freedom of choice to choose your CAD platform.

We’re most excited about the positive changes that this collaboration brought to the BRX (BricsCAD Runtime eXtension) API. BRX now complies with Autodesk’s ARX 2015, and includes overrule functionality. Additional enhancements to BRX include the completion of the Boundary Representation (BREP) API. Finally, a brand new AcGsGraphicsKernel architecture and access to AcGsView for both 2D and 3D graphics devices round out the enhancements to BRX.

The release of BricsCAD V17.2.03 on 31 March 2017 enabled CADWorx 2017 R1 to run on BricsCAD. Intergraph finished porting CADWorx with their release to manufacturing (RTM) on the same day, and the Intergraph press release went public on 06 April 2017. We send massive kudos to both teams for a job most excellently done!

If You Develop in ARX, You Gotta Meet BricsCAD!

I wanted to bring the details of this massive porting project to the community. We want all ARX developers to understand just how accessible BricsCAD and BRX are today. Think about how cool it could be if you gave your users the freedom of choice – BricsCAD or AutoCAD?

We’re here to help. If you’re interested, contact us here at Techevate or register as a developer on-line at


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