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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Autodesk Exchange Apps Cross over the One-Millionth Download

 
June 30th, 2015 by Susan Smith

Autodesk recently celebrated the one-millionth app download on the Autodesk Exchange Apps, a web-based design and engineering app store created for the Autodesk community. In three years since launching, the site has published 1,800 apps from third-party developers, which are available for download in 14 different languages and in 191 countries.

CADtoEarth 2.2 for Autodesk® Revit® extending a family of add-ins that establishes a bi-directional connection between CAD environments and Google Earth or Google Maps. The CADtoEarth 2.2 add-in now allows users to create personal accounts on the CADtoEarth web application and provides individual control over the visibility of uploaded data.

CADtoEarth 2.2 for Autodesk® Revit® extending a family of add-ins that establishes a bi-directional connection between CAD environments and Google Earth or Google Maps. The CADtoEarth 2.2 add-in now allows users to create personal accounts on the CADtoEarth web application and provides individual control over the visibility of uploaded data.

The online platform provides designers and engineers with a centralized location to access apps that advance efficiency and productivity while using Autodesk software, and makes it easy for app developers to reach Autodesk customers worldwide

Autodesk Developer Network Sr. Director Jim Quanci said that the Exchange Apps have 25 or 16 different stores – one each for the different main product areas: Revit, Civil 3D, Inventor, AutoCAD and Navisworks with different storefronts.

“We’ve built our software partner network from the ground up to continually bring the Autodesk community convenient access to innovative new tools, and also give third-party developers the support they need,” said Quanci, Senior Director, Autodesk Developer Network. “We’re thrilled to reach our millionth download and plan to continue adding great apps that offer value to hundreds of thousands of Autodesk customers.”

BIMobject app for Autodesk Revit. This app has all of the latest features including cloud integration, direct download, product information updates and version checking. It also includes integrated BIMail™ functions, a news section and a toolbar with featured manufacturers.

BIMobject app for Autodesk Revit. This app has all of the latest features including cloud integration, direct download, product information updates and version checking. It also includes integrated BIMail™ functions, a news section and a toolbar with featured manufacturers.

The younger the apps the more downloads they get, perhaps because with the young products you get more people who are early adopters, Quanci said. Or perhaps there are more gaps and holes in the products so there is more need for apps. “So is the driver the need or is the driver the personality type that is more open to adopting new things? The install base of AutoCAD is triple that of Revit.”

The apps provide functionality not offered in Autodesk products. The really popular apps provide something customers need for repetitive tasks that make their tasks quicker and easier. Companies such as CadEarth, and Arcom, that allow you to take a terrain model from Google Earth and bring it into Revit. Anybody designing a building likes the idea that you can stick on real terrain and that it costs nothing. Google Earth has a complete terrain model of the complete planet in it.

“One of the most popular apps for Revit is AutoSection. This app takes a process that Revit users do frequently, and instead of 20-30 clicks it turns it into a few clicks,” said Quanci. “There are two or three apps for concrete reinforcing dealing with rebar that are really popular. You do your concrete foundation design or your structural concrete columns and beams etc. Detailing rebar is a tedious task, as you have hundreds and hundreds of reinforcement bars with in a slab of concrete.”

For Civil 3D there’s a pipe slope design app that is the most popular paid app. If you are laying drainage pipes, then this saves a lot of time.

All those who are users of the apps are specific products users such as Revit users but not all are on a Revit or other product subscription.

There are some standalone apps but users need to have a way to run them. “We want to make it easy for people with Revit, Civil 3d, AutoCAD, etc. to be able to launch the app and not go searching around for it,” said Quanci. “All the apps in the store put something in one of the toolbars. So the apps in the stores won’t run independently. You can go to the publisher of the app and get an independent version. Some of them are things like calculators. One of our partners has a curve speed calculator. Given the radius of the road and given the friction coefficient, it will tell you what the maximum safe speed is. If you’re a transportation engineer you might like that. Calculator apps are popular.”

Autodesk does deliver a number of their own apps through Exchange but of the 1800 apps in Exchange, less than 100 are from Autodesk. The bulk are from third parties.

“Customers needs vary in a big way, when it comes to engineering and design, you’re planning a house vs. a skyscraper, they are pretty different. If you’re designing a hospital vs. a school, if you’re building in North Africa vs. Australia the kind of structures you build, how you build are all different, based on historic design preferences plus climate and environment. That’s why we rely on lots of partners building tools to help deliver on that variety of needs of our customers,” said Quanci.

The number of downloads for AutoCAD is 439,00, Revit 403,000. AutoCAD in the last twelve months is 194,000, Revit 223,000. In the past six months AutoCAD 101, 000 while Revit has climbed to 123,000. Quanci thinks maybe it’s because the Revit users are more innovative and BIM is relatively new, and there are more early adopters. Or could it be that Revit is relatively new so it doesn’t do everything people want?

One popular apps for Revit is called ScheduleSync, which gets the schedule data out of Revit into a Excel spreadsheet. This is definitely useful for the construction professionals, who want to know what to order, when to deliver and what it’s going to cost.

– See more at: In the Fold

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