CAD Manager's Newsletter (#244)

28 Jul, 2010 By: Robert Green

Cloud-Based CAD, Part 2

CAD managers have no shortage of opinions about cloud computing — but what are the reasons for their skepticism?

I have to confess I was surprised by the amount of feedback and questions I received in response to the previous CAD Manager's Newsletter, which discussed CAD cloud computing. It turns out that a lot of CAD managers are trying to decide how (or if) their companies will deal with cloud computing.

In this edition of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, we'll continue analyzing how cloud computing might affect CAD users, and answer readers' questions as we go along. I'll also include some user feedback so you can see what other CAD managers think about cloud computing. Here goes.

Managers' Perspectives: The Thunderheads Roll In

To give you an idea of the breadth of comments I've received on this subject, let me share two very different reader viewpoints.

On the pessimist's side of the cloud, J. says:

"I think the idea of cloud computing sucks, big time! Of course some firms will be able to manage a decent ROI and some firms would benefit from having access to a quality render farm, but the benefit will be temporary, lasting only as long as the providers are certain that everyone is securely 'on the hook' and then prices go up, quality suffers, upgrades become self-serving, and service drops to a level that is the minimum that will keep things up and running — most of the time."Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox: Keeping VBA Alive in AutoCAD

Autodesk is ending its support for VBA soon. But what if you haven't migrated
to .NET yet?

I've had a number of questions from CAD managers migrating to AutoCAD 2011–based tools that are having problems running their old Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) customization. If you've attempted to run an old VBA project and received a "VBA is no longer installed" error message, you'll be interested in the following. Read more »


Do you have a helpful tip or item for the CAD Manager's Newsletter? Send it to me at If I use your tip in the newsletter you'll receive a cool Cadalyst prize!

:: Resources

NVIDIA Hosts GPU Technology Conference Chats
Visual computing technologies company NVIDIA has launched a live chat series centered around its upcoming GPU Technology Conference. GPU scientists, researchers, and developers answer questions from the community. Recordings of past chats are available on the NVIDIA blog.

Océ Offers Color Printing Whitepaper for Construction Market
Printing solutions provider Océ has released a whitepaper developed by Lyra Research called "Color Construction Documents: A Simple Way to Reduce Costs." The whitepaper, which explores the savings provided by color workflows in building information modeling (BIM), is free to users who register.

Leica Geosystems Launches Chain of Construction Support Centers
This month, Leica Geosystems is opening its first Solutions Center, a factory retail facility designed to support the construction, surveying, and engineering community throughout Georgia. The center offers rental instruments, product training, and repairs of measuring equipment. Eight more locations are scheduled to open nationwide.

Analysys Mason Report Promotes Cloud Services for Enterprises
A new report from consulting firm Analysys Mason explains why service providers should embrace cloud services and bundle them into their solutions for all sizes of enterprises. The report, titled "Enterprise Cloud Services: Worldwide Forecast 2010–2015," predicts that the global market for enterprise cloud-based services will grow to $35.6 billion in 2015.

Aras Publishes Video of XEROX PLM Case Study
Aras, an enterprise open source product lifecycle management (PLM) software solution provider, has made a presentation by XEROX executive Jared Sund available online. "Enterprise Open Source PLM and Global Product Development at XEROX" describes how XEROX changed its worldwide product development processes with the Aras enterprise open source PLM software suite.

First Trace Releases Engineering Document Management Report
First Trace, a provider of engineering document management software, has released a report discussing the results of its 2010 Engineering Study. "Strategic EDM: 2010 Market Study on Manual Engineering Document Management" investigates trends and implications drawn from the 50-firm study. The report and podcast are free to registered users.

FaciliCAD Launches Updated Web Site
FaciliCAD, a developer of facilities management software, has redesigned its web site to take advantage of social media outlets and provide access to more technical support videos, demos, and technical tips. Users can follow the company via LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

Cadac Organice Issues SharePoint Case Study
Cadac Organice, the developer of a SharePoint-based solution for engineering document management, has issued a case study about workflow management in SharePoint. The study focuses on Cadac Organice Workbox, a workflow management solution that can be used to automate business processes. The case study is free to registered users.

Expert CAD Manager book by Robert Green

:: Events

Webinar: ArchiCAD 14 — Open Design Collaboration
Through September 14, 2010
Various times
This webinar from Graphisoft will explore how ArchiCAD 14 turns IFC technology into full-fledged workflow solutions enabling collaboration with engineers. Read more »

Webinar: Balloon CAD Drawings and Create Inspection Reports
July 28–August 4, 2010
Various times
Extensible CAD Technologies will offer four webinars on this subject, explaining how to quickly balloon CAD drawings and create inspection reports directly from AutoCAD, PDF or TIFF files, Pro/ENGINEER, or CATIA V5 drawings and models. Read more »

Webinar: BIM in Vectorworks Architect 2010
August 4, 2010
1 p.m. ET
Intended for those evaluating BIM solutions, this hour-long presentation from Nemetschek will explain how users can achieve a BIM workflow with Vectorworks Architect. Read more »


For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to

:: What's New at

Many Hands Make Light Work of Product Design
Redpoint Engineering makes a case for refining outsourcing by moving design tasks from the one-stop shop to a nimble network of specialists. Read more »

PLM Personalized
Modular 360 Enterprise lets companies build a solution to suit unique product-development needs. Read more »

Manage Point Clouds in AutoCAD Map 3D
Access, stylize, and filter LiDAR data with the new tools in AutoCAD Map 3D 2011. Read more »

Cadalyst Labs Report: 100 Fabulous Freebies for CAD Users
Readers and editors share software tools and tips that are worth their weight in gold, but don't cost a penny. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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