Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Revit or Death?

So I have a brief rant, commenting section on the current track that Autodesk keeps stumbling down. I would say walking, but it's very similar to my 3-year old niece waddling towards a wall at full speed and not necessarily knowing how to apply the brakes or if she should just accelerate on through.

Here's the deal. Autodesk has now released Architecture 2008, Revit MEP, Revit Structure and might soon release Autodesk Contractor. Ok. Autodesk has metaphorically circled the wagons on the building industry. And lately with their acquisition of NavisWorks have made it relatively clear they have every intention of shooting down (or buying) any worthwhile competition. So who is drawing the line and telling them what is worthwhile and what isn't? For example, right now I have to go and buy third party software applications to make Reivt interface with them.

- ESpecs for exporting and creating a semi-comprehensive specification of the materials from the model.

- Innovaya - the only program to create a worthwhile estimate that links to true estimating software such as Timberline (the MC2 plug in is still in development) and project scheduling such as Primavera

- Timberline's software to generate and work in Innovaya.(of course)

- IES or the full version of lighting/energy analysis software. A preloaded version comes with 2008 MEP, but doesn't produce too much worthwhile.

- Lastly, if anyone builds it i will need to buy an atcually useable library of walls that are based off of Revit's decision to use the CSI's Uniformat Code to detail out wall and building component assemblies.

During a User-group meeting last night I just for fun added these numbers up for each station to contain these programs that could very easily be used on a daily basis. (I'm not including Max, Viz, Google Earth/Sketchup Pro, etc... even. ) It's currently 23,000 bucks a station. This doesn't include the required training, or maintenance, support and subscription fees for these programs.

I'm no math whiz, well actually I am pretty good, but at 23 grrr a box, you gotta wonder how many medium to small size firms are going to be able to afford any of this! I just submitted a software proposal to ownership and you could kind of tell I was even a bit embarassed by the cost of all these programs.

I guess where I'm headed with this, is that if Autodesk is truly making the move to be the industry leader in software then they should do it. Otherwise, stop now and let us try and figure out how we're going to pay for all of this. Maybe I'm the only one who sees a huge oppotunity for Autodesk to truly create either an umbrella software package or group packages with these third party software suppliers at an affordable cost.

That's what I got today...architecture software ain't cheap.


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