Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Update to my CAD Work Content Browser Post

I recently posted about the CAD Works Content Browser, see that article by clicking here. I got some great feed back from the folks at CAD works. Below is an excerpt from an email I received from Joel Karr a BIM Software Architect at CAD Works. My thanks to everyone at CAD Works for the quick response. If you have ideas about improving their product, I suggest you add comment to this post. I have a feeling it is being watched.

Why we require the install:
 
When we first started working with manufacturers they had two main concerns.  The first was with the pace that Revit is changing, they didn’t want outdated versions of their content floating around in BIM Managers libraries.  It would be nearly impossible to notify every BIM Manager each time an update was made on a piece.  The second reason was that since they didn’t want to pay to have their entire catalog created in Revit right away, they wanted to know what content was being used so they could focus on similar content next.  So requiring the content be delivered through the browser solved both issues for us.  As we move forward with more manufacturers, we hope that it will actually simplify our users in getting the new content since they will not have to go and find the content on whatever website and download it piece by piece or get a huge zip file they must sort through.  When new manufacturer libraries come online, we will notify all users and they will just have to add the library to their same local install.
 
Future Path:
 
Of course it is always harder to get started from nothing so it has been a very steep uphill battle to get a content browser in place and start getting users.  Now that we have a solid user base, we are going back and trying to make the best application we can.  I believe that this really starts with the BIM Managers.  We are in the process of creating what we are referring to as a Content Management System which will allow BIM managers much more control including custom catalog creation and user management.  Our main goals are to simplify the BIM managers process of receiving and organizing content, while also simplifying the engineer's experience in getting content into their projects.  If an engineer wants a specific piece of content, they shouldn't have to worry about look up tables, type catalogs, and IES files.  They should just pick the family they want and be able to use it right away.
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