2D Drafting / General-Purpose CAD

With Launch of ARES Kudo, Graebert Completes Its ‘CAD Trinity’

26 Oct, 2016 By: Cyrena Respini-Irwin

New browser-based application joins ARES Commander and ARES Touch to provide interconnected solution for DWG editing across desktop, mobile, and cloud platforms.

Graebert has been in the CAD business for decades: licensing its ARES engine for use in other vendors’ solutions, selling its own ARES Commander desktop product, and more recently, moving into mobile devices with ARES Touch. But at Graebert’s Annual Meeting last year, leaders of the Berlin-based company shared their enthusiasm for something new on the horizon: a cloud-based CAD offering. ARES Kudo was created to deliver the functionality of the full ARES CAD platform in a browser-based, installation-free format. "The goal is: You should be as productive as you are on the desktop," said CTO Robert Graebert.

During this year’s Annual Meeting, Graebert introduced the first version of Kudo, which will begin a gradual rollout next month. In the initial stage, only the sharing and viewing capabilities of Kudo will be available; additional functionality, including editing features, will be released over the coming months.

"The editing features of ARES Kudo will be released in future service packs because we want also to keep working on the performance and some UI [user interface] elements," explained Cédric Desbordes, sales and marketing executive for Graebert. "ARES Kudo is fast to edit files, but we noticed that some types of files are long to open/load. We will work on these performance aspects before we deploy the editing features in order to offer a smooth experience."

Kudos to the Testers

Kudo’s development has been shaped by feedback from the early-adopter test group, Desbordes noted. “We realized, for example, a strong interest to share a view-only access right to partners and customers. The file may be created with ARES Commander on the desktop, but instead of sharing it as a PDF you will share a URL to see it in ARES Kudo, where the file is always up-to-date and the owner can add or remove access rights. The recipient of this link would get a free access to ARES Kudo but in a restricted mode, where he can view and even turn layers on and off, but could not save any changes.”

ARES Kudo users can grant view-only access rights when working with customers and other outside collaborators. Image courtesy of Graebert.

The test group also expressed strong support for the following Kudo capabilities, Desbordes observed:

  • serving as a centralized hub where users can search for, browse through, and open all the DWG files from all their existing cloud storage providers (including Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, and industry-specific solutions) simultaneously, and can see who has been granted access to each file;
  • acting as an “editing companion” to edit, for example, DWG files that were created in ARES Commander on another computer; and
  • running on a wide variety of hardware configurations, including low-cost options such as Chromebooks.

"ARES Kudo is also helping us to bring the benefits of cloud inside our desktop and mobile versions," Desbordes continued. "A side panel is coming inside ARES Commander 2017 to access the same hub of files in the cloud that we created for ARES Kudo. The same is coming for ARES Touch."

Realization of the Three-Point Plan

In addition to enabling users to create, edit, and annotate DWG files from any Internet-enabled computer, Kudo also fulfills Graebert’s longtime goal: A fully interconnected, cross-platform CAD solution that encompasses desktop, mobile, and cloud.

The new ARES Kudo browser-based solution is the final component in Graebert's "ecosystem" of CAD products that spans mobile, desktop, and cloud platforms. Image courtesy of Graebert.

"With the ‘trinity of CAD,’ our ambition is clearly to offer the best user experience for DWG-based CAD software," said CEO Wilfried Graebert. "The transition to mobile and cloud in the CAD industry will obviously take years and, in the meantime, we will see desktop, mobile, and cloud coexisting. Our customers don’t want to be forced into only one of these options. We believe that high synergies can be achieved by combining the three into a unique user experience."

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