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Autodesk acquires Ecotect!

Anonymous
Not applicable
Hi All!

Now Autodesk acquires Ecotect too!

visit www.squ1.com for more!
55 REPLIES 55

Anonymous
Not applicable
I'm in two minds about this. (Ok, three minds if you're pedantic)

Autodesk already own Green Building Studio - another environmental analysis program. Why do they need another one? I would assume in order to reduce the number of competing programs - take over anything that might challenge them in the future.

It is a very shrewd move as environmental analysis will become very important for all new construction in the next few years. Becoming the main developer should be very lucrative. Why GS/Nemetschek didn't offer some sort of 'financial support' earlier, who knows? It would have been quite useful to have this type of software in their portfolio or even incorporated into ArchiCAD directly. I remember a press release from a few years back saying how well Ecotect works with ArchiCAD, so there was clearly some kind of 'relationship' which should have been leveraged.

On the otherhand, it is good news in as much as something may actually get released fairly regularly that works well, as I guess it was pretty much a one-man-band developing it before. (How long has version 5.60 been promised for!?)

I would also assume there will be some kind of consolidation of the features to some extent. They wouldn't develop two competing programs simultaneously (Well, maybe if they were Nemetschek with the Vectorworks/ArchiCAD weirdness!? but I digress! )

I can't help feeling this was a lost opportunity for GS, but I suppose we should just wait and see what Autodesk does with it in the future now it has some real backing. It may have been the best thing for it in the long run!

Peter wrote:
......
It is a very shrewd move as environmental analysis will become very important for all new construction in the next few years. Becoming the main developer should be very lucrative. Why GS/Nemetschek didn't offer some sort of 'financial support' earlier, who knows? It would have been quite useful to have this type of software in their portfolio or even incorporated into ArchiCAD directly. I remember a press release from a few years back saying how well Ecotect works with ArchiCAD, so there was clearly some kind of 'relationship' which should have been leveraged.

On the otherhand, it is good news in as much as something may actually get released fairly regularly that works well, as I guess it was pretty much a one-man-band developing it before. (How long has version 5.60 been promised for!?)

.......on the flip side, since Revit already works with Green Building studio, chances are that they bought Ecotect (which presumably was plugging in better with ArchiCAD than with Revit) to give it the Lightscape treatment. So.......

Peter wrote:
I would also assume there will be some kind of consolidation of the features to some extent. They wouldn't develop two competing programs simultaneously
.........Bingo!!!!! They will likely cannibalize it for features to integrate into Green Buidlng Studio (if they can) and then euthanize it ala Lightscape by ceasing all further development and support for it in future versions. But you're right in that it's highly unlikely that they'll let 2 competing products continue side-by-side.


Peter wrote:
I can't help feeling this was a lost opportunity for GS,......
.......you think?

If I had a dollar for everytime GS (or rather Nemetschek I suppose) lost an opportunity that was practically begging for them to take advantage of it (Remember Tekla Structures, prior to Autodesk buying it out?), I would be rich enough to be using Gehry's Digital Project for design work instead. To paraphrase an old saying, Graphisoft have never ever wasted an opportunity or a chance to miss or lose an opportunity to improve themselves.

Anonymous
Not applicable

David Larrew
Booster
I'm with you guys on this...

I'm really getting tired of GS losing ground in the competitive/related software markets. They are playing too nicely in the AEC software "sandbox". Pretty soon the bully will have all of the other "kids" in their corner and GS will have no one to "play nice with".


David Larrew, AIA, GDLA, GSRC

Architectural Technology Specialist

a r c h i S O L U T I O N S



WIN7-10/ OSX 10.15.7

AC 5.1-25 USA

Anonymous
Not applicable
Bricklyne wrote:
Graphisoft have never ever wasted an opportunity or a chance to miss or lose an opportunity to improve themselves.
Genuine moment!

QFT, as often said by the younger, hipper, internet-dwelling folk!

Anonymous
Not applicable
Peter wrote:
I'm in two minds about this. :x :? 😄 (Ok, three minds if you're pedantic)

It is a very shrewd move as environmental analysis will become very important for all new construction in the next few years....

I can't help feeling this was a lost opportunity for GS, but I suppose we should just wait and see what Autodesk does with it in the future now it has some real backing. It may have been the best thing for it in the long run!
Yes, it's completely unexpected that environmental & energy analyses would have come to the fore in relevance -- even, importance. Who knew?
I think we should sit back, be very patient, and see what AutoDesk does with this first rate, additional product in their arsenal. Of course, I'm sure hoping that Autodesk makes certain that Ecotect (or whatever its new name will be) works with its competitors' products first and foremost! I mean, you're right: with all that real backing it now has, the ArchiCAD VARs will push an even bigger rock uphill and have yet another reason to rely upon IFCs. (And _they_ probably don't want to know how much extra energy they're expending anyway.)
I think the call for patience must represent a secret and very subtle strategy. Maybe hope is a strategy afterall.

Anonymous
Not applicable
Checkmate!

That's what a colleague of mine has said now that Ecotect has been purchased by Autodesk. A large sustainable Architecture firm here in Chicago is dumping Vectorworks for Revit in part due to Revit's capabilities in this area. Look for Autodesk to cut everyone else out and show Graphisoft how you vertically integrate your software package.

didrik wrote:
......... Of course, I'm sure hoping that Autodesk makes certain that Ecotect (or whatever its new name will be) works with its competitors' products first and foremost! .......

Why in the world would doing this, even remotely be in Autodesk's best interests?

Their primary priority is to their own products and their own customer/clientbase. Whether or not their products are compatible with their competitors' products wouldn't be first and foremost among their priorities - especially if it potentially stands to harm their own bottom-line by keeping away potential customers who would otherwise be forced to use Autodesk products for lack of an alternative. If anything the reverse would be true - I mean what other bigger financial motivation would their be to buying out rival products and consolidating your own formats/products as the industry standards.


Why else do you think they're trying to lock .dwg format ( currently, a de facto industry standard) into an exclusive Autodesk propriety format? l

stefan
Booster
Bricklyne wrote:
Peter wrote:
I would also assume there will be some kind of consolidation of the features to some extent. They wouldn't develop two competing programs simultaneously
.........Bingo!!!!! They will likely cannibalize it for features to integrate into Green Buidlng Studio (if they can) and then euthanize it ala Lightscape by ceasing all further development and support for it in future versions. But you're right in that it's highly unlikely that they'll let 2 competing products continue side-by-side.
Do you think?

3ds Max and Maya
Inventor and Mechanical Desktop
Revit and Architectural Desktop (or AutoCAD Architecture)
--- stefan boeykens --- architect-engineer-musician ---
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Laszlo Nagy
Community Admin
Community Admin
Bricklyne wrote:
Peter wrote:
I would also assume there will be some kind of consolidation of the features to some extent. They wouldn't develop two competing programs simultaneously
.........Bingo!!!!! They will likely cannibalize it for features to integrate into Green Buidlng Studio (if they can) and then euthanize it ala Lightscape by ceasing all further development and support for it in future versions. But you're right in that it's highly unlikely that they'll let 2 competing products continue side-by-side.
I looked at both Green Building Studio and Ecotect about 2 1/2 years ago and they looked pretty different programs to me, Green Building Studio being a simple web-based service with a few functions to give you some sort of idea of the energy consumption of your design, while Ecotect is a much more sophisticated program, basically a complete building design and environmental analysis tool for all kinds of analyses, including solar, thermal, shadow, acoustical, ventilation/air flow, building regulations check etc.

If I look at Autodesk, I usually have the impression that they do not necessarily kill new programs, instead they integrate them in their portfolio and position them in different ways. Look at their architectural offerings: AutoCAD LT, AutoCAD, ADT, Revit. Maybe they think: come to us, we have a product that is best for you, no matter which one you buy just spend your money with us.
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Petros Ioannou
Newcomer
I've post it again but it's interesting:

From the latest RC of Ecotect :

Plugin for ArchiCAD to work directly with ECOTECT
GraphiSoft have developed a plugin to allow you to export your CAD model directly to ECOTECT. Once installed, selecting the Design » Study in ECOTECT... menu item exports the current model as a gbXML file and automatically invokes ECOTECT to load it.



Go figure...
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stefan wrote:
Bricklyne wrote:
.......... But you're right in that it's highly unlikely that they'll let 2 competing products continue side-by-side.
Do you think?

3ds Max and Maya
......don't really compete against each other, do they? Certainly not directly, and certainly not as per Autodesk marketing strategies. 3ds Max is clearly aimed, developed and marketed towards the ArchViz (architectural modeling and visualization) and product viz communities - despite the fact that it does have some animation and character modeling capabilities. Whereas Maya on the other hand is clearly, strongly and intentionally aimed, developed and marketed as a movie studio/hollywood production animation and character modeling tool- again, despite the fact that it has Architectural modeling and visualization capabilities.

Autodesk are even on record as stating as much; certainly when they bought out Maya.
stefan wrote:
Inventor and Mechanical Desktop
.....again, similar functionability, yet clearly aimed at completely different marketbases - at least inasfar as Autodesk are concerned. Inventor was for the longest time positioned as a product design/development tool whereas Mech. desktop is aimed at power mechanics and Engineering design and development. This, of course, isn't to say that there is no cross-over usage or even cross-marketing by Autodesk themselves. At the end of the day Autodesk would rather have you using the wrong Autodesk tool for your job than the right tool from another developer for the same job.


stefan wrote:
Revit and Architectural Desktop (or AutoCAD Architecture)
.......and just how many people do you know who use ADT as a full-on BIM application ala Revit, rather than as an architecturally-dedicated 2D AutoCAD drafting tool with fringe 3D modelling capabilities. Once again Autodesk themselves make no bones about this despite the fact that they see Revit as THE future for Architectural design and ADTon its way out. As far as their concerned, the 2 products are not competing if a)they're not used for the same function - i.e BIM design and CD production b)one of the 2 (typically ADT) is used to complement the weaknesses (CD production, drafting and dwg interoperability) of the other (clearly REvit) and finally c) while ADT still has an actual userbase ( as opposed to just license owners) in a ratio of 5 to 1 compared to Revit, even if they did consider them directly competing products ( which they clearly don't), based on the aforementioned ratio, it would be fiscally imprudent for them from a sales perspective to discontinue ADT particularly as they are currently using it ( and vanilla AutoCAD) as a gateway software to entice their customers to migrate to Revit usage.

On the flip side;- Green Building Studio and Ecotect perform pretty much the same raft of functions and are ( or rather were, prior to their respective buy-outs by Autodesk) aimed at the exact same clientbases. Furthermore, unlike in the previous examples you gave where one of the 2 examples was previously or originally an Autodesk software (3DS Max, Mech desktop, ADT) whereas the other was not (Maya, Inventor and Revit), neither GBS nor Ecotect and natively or indigenously Autodesk products. All the more reason for themto eliminate the duplication of functions and staff and fold one into the other. My guess would be the new kid on the block and the one that doesn't play nice with their own baby and star performer (Revit) - i.e Ecotect (As a fringe benefit you screw ArchiCAD and VW users who now have to depend on Ecotect for Green analysis or at least force them to buy an Autodesk product.

Anonymous
Not applicable
Bricklyne wrote:
didrik wrote:
......... Of course, I'm sure hoping that Autodesk makes certain that Ecotect (or whatever its new name will be) works with its competitors' products first and foremost! .......

Why in the world would doing this, even remotely be in Autodesk's best interests?
Right. From "Wikipedia" comes this insight which may help clarify my earlier, regrettable, architecturally obtuse statements: "Sarcasm can also be used in a humorous or jesting way depending on the intent of the person speaking." (Must I resort to using smiley faces? )

didrik wrote:
Bricklyne wrote:
didrik wrote:
......... Of course, I'm sure hoping that Autodesk makes certain that Ecotect (or whatever its new name will be) works with its competitors' products first and foremost! .......

Why in the world would doing this, even remotely be in Autodesk's best interests?
Right. From "Wikipedia" comes this insight which may help clarify my earlier, regrettable, architecturally obtuse statements: "Sarcasm can also be used in a humorous or jesting way depending on the intent of the person speaking." (Must I resort to using smiley faces? )

..........doh!!!

(there's no Homer Simpson slapping his own head smiley emoticon, so that will have to do)

.......completely missed the sarcasm in your statement. As I pointed out in another thread elsewhere.......very easy to do on these internets and Cyberspaces.

Anonymous
Not applicable
Peter wrote:
I'm in two minds about this. :x :? 😄 (Ok, three minds if you're pedantic)

It is a very shrewd move as environmental analysis will become very important for all new construction in the next few years. Becoming the main developer should be very lucrative. Why GS/Nemetschek didn't offer some sort of 'financial support' earlier, who knows?
Think tank energy analysts, Wall Street energy analysts, and high-level global political "thinkers" have said in joint and several interviews (Charlie Rose show, e.g.) that the United States has got to get serious about devoting the required resources to putting an energy policy in place, to addressing the fundamental problems that the current administration has so far avoided, and so on, or else the United States will be further isolated and become a pariah among nations instead of regaining a leadership position.

Clearly, an intelligent "carbon footprint" object would be a good thing for ArchiCAD users in the States. It would be most excellent if, instead of many firms each developing their own carbon footprint object, Graphisoft managed to post one on their website resources area.

I do not propose this as a substitute for an energy analysis package, but as a fall-back, "Plan B," stop-gap effort until GS introduces its full-blown energy analysis offering.

Does anyone have any info on what ArchiCAD users are supposed to do for energy analysis after the next 178 days go by? What is the future of energy analysis in an architectural package? What is the future of an architectural package without energy analysis, green building toolsets, and other toolsets which are essentially in a tight, functional, feedback loop with design (especially in an increasingly resource-constrained world)?

stefan
Booster
Bricklyne wrote:
stefan wrote:
3ds Max and Maya
......don't really compete against each other, do they?
You should follow the 3D forums... 3ds Max was strong in games and animation and (in the VIZ disguise) was strong in Architectural visualization. It is used to a lesser extent in movies, were Maya is king. But the products have for 80% the same features and goals.
Bricklyne wrote:
stefan wrote:
Inventor and Mechanical Desktop
.....again, similar functionability, yet clearly aimed at completely different marketbases - at least inasfar as Autodesk are concerned.
Bricklyne wrote:
stefan wrote:
Revit and Architectural Desktop (or AutoCAD Architecture)
.......and just how many people do you know who use ADT as a full-on BIM application ala Revit, rather than as an architecturally-dedicated 2D AutoCAD drafting tool with fringe 3D modelling capabilities.
The products have the same goal, similar features. They don't perform similar, but ADT is a full BIM application, with many technical complexities.

So despite it being kept hidden by Autodesk, they are continuing its development. They will not stop AutoCAD either, despite all the pressure to move Mechanical/product designers to Inventor and AEC users to Revit. The product still sells (certainly the LT version).

But with Lightscape in mind, they might kill one of them in the end.

What worries me most is that ArchiCAD users will in the end be relying on applications by Autodesk with no clear future, just like Apple stopped developing Windows versions of the applications they bought (e.g. Logic, Shake).
--- stefan boeykens --- architect-engineer-musician ---
ARCHICAD25/Revit2022/Rhino7/Unity2021/Solibri
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ARCHICAD-user since 1998

Anonymous
Not applicable
Genius move by Autodesk. Acquiring GBS gives them possession of the gbXML schema and a basic free web based service. Then buying Ecotect gives them a robust energy analysis software. I don't think the point of getting GBS was to get their software, so much as it was to get the IP that is gbXML, which is THE format for transferring intelligent geometry between energy analysis software. Whatever you may think about AutoDesk and their software, they are certainly out-positioning the competition for the moment...

stefan wrote:
You should follow the 3D forums... 3ds Max was strong in games and animation and (in the VIZ disguise) was strong in Architectural visualization. It is used to a lesser extent in movies, were Maya is king. But the products have for 80% the same features and goals.
.....well I did actually make that point. Both sets of programs can essentially do the same things and pretty much the same functionality, and are in essence competitive products. But the point I was market was that Autodesk is not positioning them in the market as competing products. There has been a clearly elucidated direction from Autodesk marketing strategists to market and advertise 3DS Max as a Architectural modeling and visualization software (since, of all the fields mentioned its the fastest growing), even while its still used for for gaming, character modeling and even by some studios for CGFX and animation.
Likewise because of its scalability, Renderman pipeline and scripting capabilities, Maya, on the other hand is specifically marketed, developed and positioned as a tool for Hollywood studios, and more and more towards Game developers.

The point had to do with Autodesk's marketing approach.

At the end of the day there's a lot of cross-over and I'm sure that's fine with Autodesk; as long as both are Autodesk products, they don't care nor do they consider them competing against each other.

stefan wrote:
So despite it being kept hidden by Autodesk, they are continuing its development. They will not stop AutoCAD either, despite all the pressure to move Mechanical/product designers to Inventor and AEC users to Revit. The product still sells (certainly the LT version).

But with Lightscape in mind, they might kill one of them in the end.


.......again I agree with you as a whole and on principle. The only point I was driving at in this example was that Autodesk ideally would prefer to kill off ADT, and to a lesser extent possibly even vanilla AutoCAD - and shift their development resources to the higher scale programs in their product line such as Revit, Inventor and Mech. Desktop.

But the stark reality of the market (i.e. the sheer vast number of ADT and plain 2D AutoCAD users out there not just in Architecture, but spread out across the general engineering spectrum), dictates that they simply cannot do this at this point in time, without suffering massive financial implications and heavy customer backlash. Perhaps, in time, when Revit is more robust in its documentation capabilities and ditto Inventor and Mech. desktop, with their drawbacks, they will slowly wean off their customers and slow down development on ADT and AutoCAD.

Lightscape they could afford to kill off almost immediately because despite the fact that at the time it was vastly superior to everything else at the market in terms of its renderer output, the number of users who used it at the time couldn't justify for Autodesk further prolonging development on it. I suspect they'll perform a similar assessment of Ecotect, in terms of the current users and whether or not its current functions and tools can be feasibly absorbed into Autodesk's current other programs, and if the benefits outweigh any potential financial repercussions for them, you can bet Ecotect's days will be numbered. It's just not nearly as established (or even as a field in general, in terms of what it does) as Maya was when they bought it or, even Revit. Nor is GBS. They have far more flexibility in this case.

At the end of the day for Autodesk, practical development decisions are weighed against market realities. There was once talk (shortly after they bought out Alias and Maya) that the 10th version of 3DS Max would be discontinued or rather would be combined with Maya to create a sort of uber-mega- one-size-fits-all modeling and Swiss army knife program. Maybe they even played with the notion in their labs and came up with something usable on some level, but I'm pretty certain when they brought it to their marketing department, the idea was just killed on the spot. Weighing the requirements of Hollywood studios on the one hand along with the millions of dollars in licensing fees you could lose there against the requirements of Archvizzers, product developers and other 3D modelers on the other hand, simply make such a scenario unworkable on every single level.

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