Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Revit in a Browser

Things have been shaking up quite a bit over at Autodesk. It is very exciting to live in a time when so much is going on, yet it can also be overwhelming. 

Just as we got over the idea of Renting Autodesk products, they slipped in this new product called Remote.
Remote allows subscription customers and rental customers the ability to remote into their PCs from offsite locations and access thier Autodesk software back in the office. You know what that means? Yea, we never have to stop working now! Good times, yes good times.

Anyway, yesterday I am informed that Autodesk is kicking it up a notch again.

In conjunction with Amazon Web Services and OTOY, we can now run Inventor, Revit, Maya, and 3ds Max, from a web browser. To be clear this means the computing power comes from the web and you run Revit through a browser via Autodesk Remote. I have not tested this yet, but the promise seems to be, no more slow PC. Maybe just a slow connection. With near limitless cloud power users can access their software anywhere, anytime they can access the web.

This is crazy significant. It's like seeing the first music CDs knowing that your album collection will become a museum piece. 

Make no mistake things are fundamentally changing here, not just the delivery method. It's a pretty good bet that prices structures, plans, and subscriptions will have to adjust for things like "pay as you go" Revit or AutoCAD. I am thinking it will be more like cell phone billing than anything. If you require cloud processing you can pay separate like some people pay for unlimited data.

Honestly, the ability to access what ever software you need from the web, just puts another nail in the coffin of the traditional PC. If I can do it all from a tablet..... I probably will.


Peter in Maryland said...

If the program lives on a remote server farm, where does the actual data reside? We definitely cannot permit our client's confidential and secure building design to be stored outside of our server. So how does this make sense at all, unless you surrender all control of your data to the always-shareholder-friendly autodesk?

Todd M Shackelford said...

Certainly that data can still reside on your firm's servers. There are a lot of options for keeping data safe in private clouds and the such. I propose this. Where is your money? Chances are you and your firm have virtualized your money years ago and you don't share the same fear you might for virualizing your design data. It's an observation.

Peter in Maryland said...

"Certainly that data can still reside on your firm's servers" ~ so let's break that down: We would have to 'dial out' to get access to some software, then thru that program, dial back into our own server to access the files. Is that efficient or forward-thinking?

The analogy to finances breaks down pretty quickly. My money is just a liquid asset, and it's guaranteed by FDIC. If it's lost, it will be replaced, up to $250k. If design data is lost, it can't be so easily replaced, it has to be re-built. Further, autodesk explicitly refuses to take responsibility for losing ANY of your data, should that happen on their servers.

Here's the real kick in the snout, tho: From autodesk's 360 license: “You hereby grant Autodesk (or warrant that the licensor of such rights has expressly granted) a perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, royalty-free, paid-up, worldwide, sublicensable (through multiple tiers) license to store, display, reproduce, modify, use and transmit Your Content, and further waive “moral” rights or other rights with respect to attribution of authorship or integrity of Your Content that You may have under any applicable law and under any legal theory.”

If you have clients paying you to design their buildings, which of your clients would utterly relinquish control of the design for which they are paying? Has anyone asked THEM? Coupling this truth (that autodesk wants complete control) with the fact that autodesk wants to bear ZERO responsibility for any data loss makes for a very one-sided 'agreement', that benefits ONLY autodesk. The sole purpose for the cloud is to prevent software piracy - all the flaws can be papered over by the attorneys.