April 18, 2005
The Enabling Future
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
Each AEC Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the AEC industry, AEC product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by AECCafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

About this Issue…

A weekly news magazine featuring important industry news profiles, a summary of recently published AEC product and company news, customer wins, and coming events. Brought to you by AECCafe.

Welcome to AECWeekly! This week Jonathan Knowles was named director of worldwide market development for Autodesk Collaboration Services products and solutions with "a focus on Autodesk's lifecycle strategy and its DWF technology." Knowles' most recent experience was as a senior strategy and marketing executive with both Adobe Systems Incorporated and Apple Computer, Inc. Read about Knowles' plans for DWF in this week's Industry News.

AECWeekly examines select top news each week, picks out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature Industry News, Acquisitions/Alliances/Agreements, Announcements, Awards, Appointments, Around the Web, and Upcoming Events.

AECWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think. Send your comments to me

Best wishes,

Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News

The Enabling Future

by Susan Smith

This week Jonathan Knowles was named director of worldwide market development for Autodesk Collaboration Services products and solutions with "a focus on Autodesk's lifecycle strategy and its DWF technology." Knowles' most recent experience was as a senior strategy and marketing executive with both Adobe Systems Incorporated and Apple Computer, Inc.

His prior accomplishments include launching and serving as the primary spokesperson for Adobe's Intelligent Document Platform and related PDF, Acrobat, and LiveCycle products and solutions for enterprise and engineering markets. Knowles left Apple having served as the Product Line Manager for Apple's QuickTime technology.

Knowles also worked for Autodesk product management in the past, and is excited to be a senior member of the Autodesk Collaboration Services management team, where his role will be defining future product requirements, developing market, messaging and branding strategies, and identifying customer and partner opportunities.

At Adobe, he said that he was working largely with financial institutions. "I wanted to start working with people who make things, i.e., buildings, complex map sets, airplanes, or ships," he said in this week's interview with AECWeekly. "DWF is the foundation of that kind of design. In contrast, Adobe thinks printed magazines, bank statements, etc. when they say 'design.'"

1) How do you see yourself contributing to the promotion of DWF as an industry standard?

DWF is enabling the future of where Autodesk is going. It cuts across all industry segments that Autodesk serves. It is the way by which lifecycle management for all of those segments are enabled.

I will be not only engaged back at the office as part of the management team but also as the primary spokesman on behalf of DWF.

2) As PDF has something in place that is designed to appeal more to architects now, how do you see that capability comparing to DWF?

PDF really doesn't have anything new to appeal to architects. Everybody uses PDF, and if you are in A/E you will use PDF, but you will not use it for building collaboration workflows. I would not go into a building that was built from a PDF. The precision that you get from CAD applications is critical. Everyone uses PDF, but there are things that keep architects from using PDF for design. You can't send it on to your reprographer. You have to send DWF or some other file format. In all of the data research we did at Adobe we found less than 10% in GIS and building AEC using PDF. Significant numbers use DWF architected for precision for GIS and AEC.

PDF and DWF really don't compete, they are completely different. They solve two entirely different challenges.

3) Do you see DWF becoming more of a general industry standard, as PDF has been, or remaining specific to the needs of architects and engineers?

The term "standard" has a specific meaning. PDF is a defacto standard within banking, insurance and other financial services and most publishing applications, but DWF is becoming an industry standard defacto standard for architects and engineers. DWF is to architecture/engineering what PDF is to publishing.

4) Are there specific changes or directions you would like to see DWF take?

What excites me most is where the industry is moving as a whole around what DWF delivers. If we look at the history of design, whether making a part, a building, we used to use paper, then digitally began to use digital tools with smart objects with attributes. Where we're headed now is the model. I One file is a container of all the design information or is connected to data sources that serve up that design information. I can work with it in 2D or 3D. The model includes all the information I need. I can query to see the attributes 3D version of anything in my model using the universal client. DWF is that model and DWF Viewer and DWF Composer are that universal client that lets you view
the design information. Even non-CAD users can now have access to the data. And with DWF Composer, participate in the design review and mark-up workflows.

You will start hearing more from Autodesk on DWF and how it is the foundation for lifecycle management. It's a standards based specification -- DWF is so based on standards that it's really just XML. If you change a DWF to a zip file, you can open and click on it and see the XML in it.

5) What is the difference between the new 3D within PDF and what DWF can do?

There is a big difference. You've been able to embed and display dynamic content in PDF for a while now, and now you can have 3D embedded in it. This is the kind of 3D you'd use in a video game, or in a brochure to show a car spinning. That you can do inside PDF. The 3D U3D spec PDF supports is still under development. It is like a 3D version of Photoshop. People in marketing departments will still use this feature.

With DWF, we're talking about that model notion. We have a variety of 3D tools that let you design and create complex designs in 3D, not just create a pretty picture in 3D. The result is 3D the model. You also get all of the data and metadata that makes up that 3D model, which is all that you expect to see for workflow. This is a must for real world design workflows.


Architectural Data Systems, LLC (ADS) and Architectural Computer Services, Inc. (ARCOM) will roll-out their alliance at the 49th Annual CSI Show & Convention being held in Chicago, IL April 19-24. ADS and ARCOM have formed an agreement to integrate the MASTERSPEC® Architectural/Structural/Civil Short Form library into ADS' Web-based automation software, ADS-Online.


Sun Microsystems, Inc. reported results for its fiscal third quarter, which ended March 27, 2005. Revenues for the third quarter were $2.625 billion, a decrease of 1.0 percent as compared with $2.651 billion for the third quarter of fiscal 2004. Total gross margin as a percent of revenues was 41.3 percent, an increase of 1.0 percentage points as compared with the third quarter of fiscal 2004. Net loss for the third quarter of fiscal 2005 on a GAAP basis was $9 million or a net loss of $0.00 per share. This net loss included the favorable impact of $54 million in additional settlement income from Microsoft, a $69 million benefit related to the impact of a change in foreign
withholding tax legislation, and a $23 million net beneficial correction to the valuation allowance on deferred tax assets and foreign tax provisions. This compared with a net loss of $760 million or a net loss of $0.23 per share for the third quarter of fiscal 2004.

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