CAD Manager's Newsletter (#376)17 Jan, 2017 By: Robert Green
Surf the Software Licensing Tsunami
The move from perpetual to rental licensing is well under way — evaluate your needs and strategies now so you don't get swamped.
It's a new year, and that means making resolutions so we can all become better CAD managers than we were last year — right? Ordinarily, I'd say "Yes," but this year there's something more urgent at hand: the software licensing tsunami that's bearing down on all of us. This change could affect CAD so profoundly that all CAD managers should make reviewing their software environment a top priority.
In this edition of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I'll start the discussion of how imminent changes in the CAD software world might impact us, and suggest some coping strategies. Here goes.
Every tsunami needs a seismic event to set it in motion, and for CAD managers in 2017 that event is a tremendous shift in the way many of us obtain and license software. Some CAD software vendors have been moving toward a cloud-based/rental licensing model for years, but the trend has reached a tipping point as industry leader Autodesk has joined in. Autodesk, which already ceased selling new perpetual licenses, is now aggressively moving to eliminate perpetual software by offering special incentives and changing software package configurations. Autodesk's move portends great change for the industry at large, given the commanding market share the company's flagship software tools, AutoCAD and Revit, enjoy in 2D and 3D CAD and building information modeling (BIM) market spaces.
What does this big push to rental software mean for CAD managers? For starters, be on the lookout for the following:
Costs will go up. If you don't own your software, you can't just keep running it forever after an initial purchase; you'll have make rental payments year after year. As an analogy, it's like renting a house with no option for purchase. While rental makes sense for those who don't want to own a house or can't afford the upfront costs, over time the rental option costs more than ownership for many. Software works the same way. And just like your landlord will throw you out if you stop paying the rent, your CAD licenses will stop working if you don't renew your rental agreement.
Complexity will increase. If you must keep up with rental agreements for various software packages — and deal with the different licensing anniversary dates and terms — bookkeeping becomes more of a hassle. Factor in the increasingly likely scenario that you'll need a unique license for each user (the "named user" mode of software licensing), and now you've got a real administrative mess on your hands.
Upgrades may become problematic. If software companies choose not to offer upgrades for perpetual software, and new software packages are only made available via rental, even companies that currently own perpetual licenses will be forced to go the rental route eventually. Only you can decide if that will be a problem for your company. Read more »
SolidProfessor Announces Introduction to CATIA V5 Course
Training provider SolidProfessor has announced its first CATIA course: Introduction to CATIA V5. This course is designed for anyone new to CATIA, and it covers topics including the Sketcher, Part Design, Assembly Design, and Drafting. Interested parties can create a free account to view the first five lessons in the course for free.
Zuken Launches Online Community
Zuken, which develops software for printed circuit board design, invites users to join its newly launched online community. This resource enables users to discuss Zuken software with colleagues and Zuken staffers. The community also provides access to a library of self-help guides. Registration is free for existing E3.series, CR-8000, CR-5000 and DS-2 customers.
AutoCAD Video Tips: Insert Specific Layers from Another Drawing
You have a drawing with all the right layers and properties, and you want those layers in your current drawing — but how can you get them? Join Lynn Allen as she shows you two different methods for importing layers from one drawing into another. Watch the video »
Autodesk Extends BIM 360 Docs to Android Devices
New mobile construction app enables Android users to join their iOS-based counterparts in managing plans, models, and documents in the field. Read more »
Scope App Demonstrates Potential of Low-Cost Virtual Reality for AEC
IrisVR's smartphone app offers AEC professionals an inexpensive, readily accessible way to share immersive panoramas of their designs. Read more »
123BIM Publisher Plug-in Empowers Engineers to Create Browser-Based Visualizations
New release from RDV Systems seeks to help MicroStation and AutoCAD Civil 3D users communicate more clearly with public works project stakeholders. Read more »
Autodesk University 2016, Part 2: What's New for AEC, Manufacturing Tools
Event report: Product Innovation keynote session delivers latest software news, including a sneak peek at Project Quantum, a fully integrated, collaborative, cloud-based platform for AEC. Read more »
About the Author: Robert Green
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