CAD Tech News (#52)

12 Oct, 2016 By: Cadalyst Staff

▶ AutoCAD Gets First Update of the Post-Perpetual Era

Autodesk claims that smaller, more frequent updates to its software will reduce training time and improve the user experience.

By Cadalyst Staff

As Autodesk has transitioned away from selling perpetual software licenses, it has naturally touted the benefits of its subscription licensing model, including more-frequent updates. In contrast to its traditional schedule of annual updates, Autodesk can now distribute updates at any time.

Some CAD users — and CAD managers — have concerns that an ongoing series of updates throughout the year will mean that they're constantly having to learn new features, but Marcus O'Brien, senior product line manager for AutoCAD, stated that the learning burden will decrease instead. "Actually, users should be able to spend less time on training and learning new features as new items are introduced periodically throughout the year in easily consumable releases. More frequent releases increases continuity and reduces the need to do large, complex training sessions covering a high volume of content," he explained.

"The benefits of more frequent releases are twofold," O'Brien continued. "First, feature enhancements can be delivered more quickly, enabling us to rapidly respond to user feedback; secondly, as stated above, it reduces the learning curve for customers by delivering fewer features more frequently. Our goal is to deliver pain-free updates that continuously improve the product while preserving functional consistency."

AutoCAD 2017.1: The First of Many

The first subscription-only update for AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT 2017 went live last week, for users on a subscription license or maintenance plan. When an update is released, it appears in the Autodesk Desktop App, where users can accept it — or not. Some may wish to put off an update until a particular project is completed, for example.

"There is no 'duration setting' in AutoCAD Desktop App that controls whether users need to accept an update, it's totally up to them. This gives our customers full control over when they accept an update," explained O'Brien. "Then customers that do not accept the update, will not have access to the latest features and bug fixes. It's a choice." He noted that in a centrally managed IT environment, individual users do not typically have control over whether they accept or reject updates.

The AutoCAD 2017 update is available as a download through AutoCAD Subscription. Users can access it from the Autodesk Desktop App when they are logged into their Autodesk account.
The AutoCAD 2017 update is available as a download through AutoCAD Subscription. Users can access it from the Autodesk Desktop App when they are logged into their Autodesk account.

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