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Archicad Development Roadmap

Emre Senoglu
Enthusiast
Every major Architecture or Visualization related software has a roadmap these days, and some let people vote on what's most important. Various software use different websites for their needs, main ones being Trello and Productboard. Here are some examples:

Corona Renderer: https://trello.com/b/EfPE4kPx/corona-tentative-road-map-3ds-max
Twinmotion: https://portal.productboard.com/7pu88c9kpmqtzt8hwg6arujh/tabs/5-in-progress
Unreal Engine: https://portal.productboard.com/epicgames/1-unreal-engine-public-roadmap/tabs/20-unreal-engine-4-26-...
Revit: https://trello.com/b/ldRXK9Gw/revit-public-roadmap

In my opinion Archicad needs to create a development roadmap that is public and easily understood. Even better if users are able to vote (much like in this forum, but in a more structured way - no need for the user to create their own poll with varying poll options). The current forum wishes section seems to be working fine, except there is no way for a user to check if the wished function is being worked on or not.

I think that the previous argument of "competition stealing ideas" is pretty invalid now that AC's arguably biggest competitor is publicly displaying their upcoming features. If this is still of concern to Graphisoft, the roadmap could simply be made private to forum users only. If this level of privacy is still not enough, I'm sure there could be a middle ground.

I think GS has perhaps been using the element of surprise as a wow factor to keep people excited about new releases, but this itself is not good enough selling point anymore seeing as a 'surprise' feature could go both ways. Happy to hear some thoughts about this.
Archicad 22 TUR / 23 INT - Ryzen 2700x / Geforce GTX 1660Ti
Corona Renderer // Quixel Suite // Twinmotion // Rhinoceros
İmge Mimarlık // instagram
31 REPLIES 31

DGSketcher
Advisor
Well if Revit's road map has gone public it kind of eases the need for confidentiality. GS don't need to expose their full map, but they would gain a lot more credibility if they started listening to the screams for features that have been on the wish list for too long. A curated list of potential developments that we could influence would be great if they are then brought to fruition in a reasonably short timeline e.g. don't put Feature X on the map and then take 18 years to add it! But also don't ignore those desperately needed features even if they are difficult to implement. This would also be a good time to alleviate the expectation/frustration of feature filled/limited annual releases so those of us paying maintenance fees have a reasonable idea as to what improvements to expect. We could then hopefully move to updates as new features are completed.
Apple iMac macOS Big Sur / AC24UKI (most recent builds)

henryL
Participant
DGSketcher wrote:
This would also be a good time to alleviate the expectation/frustration of feature filled/limited annual releases so those of us paying maintenance fees have a reasonable idea as to what improvements to expect. We could then hopefully move to updates as new features are completed.
Perfectly true. Graphisoft already have my yearly maintenance subscription for a software upgrade, but I don't know where it's going.

Emre Senoglu
Enthusiast
DGSketcher wrote:
... but they would gain a lot more credibility if they started listening to the screams for features that have been on the wish list for too long.

On the Revit roadmap, you can see that they have already embraced this. There is a color tag next to the features that have originated from their forums. I'm not sure how democratic / picky they are with their added features, but it seems like a great way to immediately see how much is coming from user wishes and how much is based on company wishes.



None of this is revolutionary really. Dropbox has had a feature voting system since pretty much the start of their product, which must be a good 10 years by now. Being locked to a yearly contract sounds absolutely unimaginable to me in 2021. Corona for example has a very nice flexible plan that lets you pay monthy - you can cancel anytime and that's it.
Archicad 22 TUR / 23 INT - Ryzen 2700x / Geforce GTX 1660Ti
Corona Renderer // Quixel Suite // Twinmotion // Rhinoceros
İmge Mimarlık // instagram

DGSketcher
Advisor
Perhaps this line from from one of Minh's (GS) recent posts holds a clue of coming changes...
"I have forwarded your suggestion to our Wish list database (please refer to it as IDEA-312) to be considered in a future release.". Previously we would have seen "(please refer to it as Wish #13066)"
Apple iMac macOS Big Sur / AC24UKI (most recent builds)

Podolsky
Newcomer
Yesterday I wrote my comment here - but now cannot find it. Or I didn't press submit button, or someone did like that I'm writing what I do really think without trying to be politically correct.

So, what I want to say: Transparent Development Roadmap is absolutely democratic movement. In general every ArchiCAD user is not the same buyer from supermarket, who is getting ready product from fixed amount of money. Software is something that never ready. Originally software was something, that you cannot buy, it was always shipped together with hardware. Every phone (I'm talking about old phones with buttons) every calculator has a software inside. Apple is keeping this classical model - you cannot buy from them computer without operative system for lower price (and install Linux for example). And also this is the reason why exist GPL supporters worldwide - who think software must be open and accessible for everyone as books in library.

If it's paid software - that means every person, who bought the license (and ESPECIALLY who is on the annual subscription) - are investors into further software development. We, ArchiCAD users, are saying: "ok, we like this software, we agree to use it in our practises, even if some important parts are missing and there are bugs, but we trust you that bugs are going to be fixed and missing functions will appear soon".

But we, ArchiCAD users, have all rights to know - for what we gave the money? Where development will go in several next year? Do I agree with development course, or it's better to stop and switch to another software? If I want to improve use of ArchiCAD in my office and develop my own tools and libraries - how could I know, that in next version I will not see the same tool, that I wanted to develop?

Finally much more ArchiCAD users can take part in future development, if this communication would be more advanced than just this forum.

sboydturner
Newcomer
Podolsky,
I do not think that someone one who purchase a product has a ‘right’ to know the future plans / development strategy for the product / company.
Take, for example, you purchase a new car, as an owner of that car do you really expect the manufacturer to lay out the development roadmap and features for their new models? No, you have purchased that car and possibly an extended warranty and service plan (subscription), you have what you have paid for. How is software any different from this?

Regards
Scott
Scott Boyd-Turner
HP ZBook Studio 15: i7-6820 ,16Gb, 1000Gb SSD, Quadro M1000, Win10 Pro
AC 23 AUS

Lingwisyer
Virtuoso
Emre wrote:
Being locked to a yearly contract sounds absolutely unimaginable to me in 2021. Corona for example has a very nice flexible plan that lets you pay monthly - you can cancel anytime and that's it.

Different payment models. ArchiCAD Rental, Dropbox and the Corona SaaS license are Pay to Use, so when you stop paying, you lose access*. ArchiCAD Full, Solo and Corona Box on the other hand are Buy to Use, with ArchiCAD SSA being support for a full license plus a free upgrade.



Ling.
AC18-23 AUS 7000
Self-taught, bend it till it breaks.
Win10 | E5620 x 2 | 24GB | K2200

Podolsky
Newcomer
I disagree with the statement - that you are paying for ready product when start using ArchiCAD. Because it's not a car, computer or vacuum cleaner and because it's never ready. It's constantly under development and nobody knows where development is moving.
Also, because nobody knows how software shipping, development and maintenance must happen (we have only approx. 35 years of commercial software existence in human history) - nobody can strictly say, how it must happen. Let's not to forget, that was time when ArchiCAD wasn't BIM program at all, because BIM didn't exist!
So, if big company like AutoDesk have decided to publish their development roadmap - especially after serious critique from Revit users, and it makes sense - Graphisoft must do about it also.
In general I like Graphisoft product a lot. But sometimes things are just too much - for example to wait YEARS for appearance free form modelling tool like Morph.

henryL
Participant
sboydturner wrote:
Take, for example, you purchase a new car, as an owner of that car do you really expect the manufacturer to lay out the development roadmap and features for their new models? No, you have purchased that car and possibly an extended warranty and service plan (subscription), you have what you have paid for. How is software any different from this?
In my opinion the car is a wrong example:
- the software decisions i take today have consequences on my future workflow for 3-4 years at least. In one day i can buy a new car and sell the old one without any problem.
- a car doesn't produce files that I may have to read/edit in 10 20 30 years.
Also users who pay an Archicad subscription actually pay in advance without knowing the next version features, and this is frustrating.

Podolsky
Newcomer
Another thing, that is not clear - it is where the whole development is moving. If we compare car with ArchiCAD, the situation is different, because we know that car is vehicle, that can drive us in any direction. Of course the new version of the car can use less gasoline, or work from electricity, be safer and faster, have more advanced on board computer systems etc. But car is car. It's working how it is and if take any car model, there was no situation that "this car is working, but sometimes it is not" or "you can use the car in the town, but cannot drive it to the sea".
The software, how it is, is not final product. We all know - something is working, something is not yet. But how it's going to work - nobody knows. If compare possibility of any architectural program (and ArchiCAD too) with industry request - it cannot handle all tasks. This is why in reality always present mixed style - something is done in BIM, something just in Excel spreadsheet. Some problems are solvable how it was done even before computer era.
But idea is to have limitless system, that allows full automation of AEC process. As ArchiCAD users, we don't know the whole idea of Graphisoft - will we able in next 5 years to have software, that will cover ALL needs of structural engineering, MEP, interior and landscape design and virtual construction. If not - then what we are waiting for? This subject is very unclear.
If initially ArchiCAD philosophy was Virtual Building - that means one day we must able to build complete digital twin with all details in 3D and have full documentation, needed for procurement and construction?
Today IT technologies became so advanced, that it is possible to program almost anything - most important to know what exactly. When I see last technologies in 3D and visual effects - product of Next Limit, or new features of Maya - I'm wondering, why I do not exist similar complicity simulation systems in architectural field? Why for example I cannot create the building in 3D and run simulation based of earth gravity, that will show me, will building crack or collapse, or how fire and smoke will be distributed in the building. These are very important things - to improve security of modern buildings.

Braza
Newcomer
Hi Podolsky,
If you don't mind, could you tell us what is your professional background? Architecture? Engineering? Both?
Cheers,
Paulo Henrique Santos, Architect
AC24_INT#3008 / I7 / 16Gb / 512Mb SSD / Windows 10

Podolsky
Newcomer
I've got architectural background. But past several years I was involved into construction. We tried to implement BIM into construction process, that included all stages - building BIM model to level of details 5, coordination with engineers, quantity take off, manufacturing, procurement, information delivery on site in digital format (we used BIMx for that). I might say we tried Virtual Building concept (as it was initially proposed by Graphisoft many years ago), and have found a lot of limitations in this field (even with a lot of custom GDL programming involved).
Interesting fact, that in our team were produced Revit models too. But Revit was able to produce less useful information for construction than ArchiCAD. But still - a lot of tasks, that must be obviously simple and fast, just impossible to do.
I know some companies, who tried to solve it by purchasing many different software - to cover all needs of construction. But this is not working either. Companies don't have time to learn all features of different packages plus there is always something lost during import/export.

I hope everyone will agree with me, that any architectural project must be developed to the stage that it can be built in reality. Otherwise it's just paper (in our case VR) architecture.

Braza
Newcomer
Podolsky wrote:
I've got architectural background. But past several years I was involved into construction.
Thanks for the feedback Podolsky. So now I understand your frustration expressed all around various topics here on the forum.
But honestly... I think, in most of them, you are "barking at the wrong tree". I mean, the broad of needed capabilities which you have mentioned, should not be developed by GS alone. It is more a job for Groups like Nemetschek, Autodesk, Bentley, etc... GS is mostly doing what they are supposed to do, which is Architectural Software for Architects. I really understand and agree with the majority of issues you have raised. Graphisoft is not the only culprit for the lack of communication among players in the AEC industry. Actually GS is doing A LOT in this area for a few past releases, at a huge cost in the Architectural user base spirit/moral.

Anyway... I think we have to first define what is exactly is a "Development Roadmap". Is it just a simple list of users wishes/suggestions/requests/ideas with statistic information, or it has to include the first, plus all classified information regarding strategic moves, with totally new tools and workflows? I think the first is already here on this forum and it is very simple to achieve... It "only" needs more committed feedback from GS's board of directors. The second: I think its not fair to ask, because we all know that "the secret is the soul of the business".
Cheers,
Paulo Henrique Santos, Architect
AC24_INT#3008 / I7 / 16Gb / 512Mb SSD / Windows 10

Podolsky
Newcomer
Sorry, I'm sick and tired to hear that ArchiCAD is software for architects only. Architect - it's a person who must do everything - including engineering and construction. Architect translates from Greek as Chief Builder. Or Master Builder. Let's be right in this first point. So, I'm barking on right tree, unfortunately.
And second point - Graphisoft introduced concept "Virtual Building". They even trade marked it. Virtual Building - it's a copy of real building in virtual space - isn't it? So, can building be only structural, or electrical, or architectural? Have you seen even built only architectural building without structural part? We cannot separate AEC to only "A", "E" and "C".
And also I'm wondering, why in ArchiCAD 7 was introduced Construction Simulation tool (that time it was software for construction? or why we need construction simulations for architects???) - and now we don't need such a tools because since there ArchiCAD became software for architects only?

Lets ask Gabor Bojar - what is his opinion? He created this software.

Braza
Newcomer
So... I presume you have a degree in Architecture and Civil Engineering and is the lone responsible for all trades in a project, right?
But I am pretty sure you won't find an unique software that does all what you want. Even the Autodesk environment is based on a myriad of specific apps that communicate with each other and produce individual specialties. And this is also not fair to those of us that don't do all of the trades, and still have to pay for all of them, right? (At least I think we all agree that I am still allowed to delegate concrete reinforcement calculations to a certified Engineer).
Of course, the Architect should have a holistic view of a project and tons of common sense regarding the implications of other trades on the final Architecture. But the current complexity of projects, doesn't allow you to work alone. I agree, that for the one man show doing some small/medium size projects, there should be some tools for small MEP projects that doesn't worth a dedicated Engineer. For structural details, I think PARAM-O could be a good solution for, lets say, concrete reinforcement elements. Where one could create a parametric element for simple beams and columns. But no calculations or stress simulation, as this would surely increase complexity and therefore the development pace.
Regarding construction simulation: It looks like you see or want the Construction Simulation inside Archicad as an starting point for a project management tool, like MS Project. I think a Construction Simulation inside Archicad doesn't need to be that complex. Just a tool to graphically communicate mainly with the client, not the contractor.

Podolsky wrote:
Lets ask Gabor Bojar - what is his opinion? He created this software.
That would be awesome! I think we have never had the honor to have Mr. Bojar here on the Forum...
It would be like that Matrix moment when Neo talks with "The Architect".
Paulo Henrique Santos, Architect
AC24_INT#3008 / I7 / 16Gb / 512Mb SSD / Windows 10

Podolsky
Newcomer
I think I have very specific point these days - BIM software must be able to make BIM. Complete. Increasing complicity of tools must be covered by AI algorithms, that connects all small details into one element without endless manual input. In general work on the project must be controlled by systems, not elements - for example placing all walls on the floor at one go instead of drawing them one by one.
Physical simulation tools must prevent building from collapse, increasing fire safety, optimise lighting and ventilation, and optimise building material delivery and elements installation.
The software must be able to give complete digital twin of the building - and doesn't matter who is going to use it - engineer, contractor, architect, student...
I also might say, that architecture includes all disciplines: structural engineering, MEP engineering, interior design, landscape design, construction engineering. In theory yes, architect must know all that.

And the last - Autodesk isn't good example. They just buying different companies and after creating connections between pieces of software. And then selling their bundles for big money - big American extra extra large packages for architecture.

Bricklyne Clarence
Participant
Podolsky wrote:
Sorry, I'm sick and tired to hear that ArchiCAD is software for architects only. Architect - it's a person who must do everything - including engineering and construction. Architect translates from Greek as Chef Builder. Or Master Builder. Let's be right in this first point. So, I'm barking on right tree, unfortunately.
And second point - Graphisoft introduced concept "Virtual Building". They even trade marked it. Virtual Building - it's a copy of real building in virtual space - isn't it? So, can building be only structural, or electrical, or architectural? Have you seen even built only architectural building without structural part? We cannot separate AEC to only "A", "E" and "C".
And also I'm wondering, why in ArchiCAD 7 was introduced Construction Simulation tool (that time it was software for construction? or why we need construction simulations for architects???) - and now we don't need such a tools because since there ArchiCAD became software for architects only?

Lets ask Gabor Bojar - what is his opinion? He created this software.



I'm sorry, and with all due respect, this is pure and utter nonsense.

Perhaps its different in your location but in most other places an Architect is most definitively (and in some places even, by law) NOT responsible for other aspects and areas of the construction process like engineering and the actual construction.
Nor would most architects want that responsibility (read : LIABILITY).

We're not trained for those other aspects of design construction, and while it's a benefit to our own area of design to be relatively well versed in some aspects of them, I no more would want an structural engineer or a mechanical engineer telling me how I should design the building and what design language to use, any more than I imagine any of them (or the client) would want me taking responsibility for their areas of the scope of work and telling them how to calculate their live loads or what structural members to use.

And these clear divisions and demarcations exist for a very good reason, or rather reasons.

It might be different where you come from, but once again, in most locales I've worked in, this simply isn't the case.

Also Architecture may have been one thing some 4 to 5,000 years ago when the term was first coined by the Greeks, but we don't live in the world of 5,000 years in the past.
We live in the present, and in the present the definition of the past has evolved to what the functions of the job are today.

Again... for good reason. As societies develop and become more advanced, skills, tasks and responsibilities become more specialized and discretized so that you hardly have any more of those kinds of 'one-person-does-all-the-tasks' type of professions anymore.

The reason you keep getting reminded that ArchiCAD is a tool for architects, is because....well....,. ArchiCAD is a tool for Architects, first, primarily and mainly.

It's literally in their founding mantra: 'A tool created FOR architects, BY architects'.
(I might be paraphrasing a bit here, but that's the gist of it)

What you're suggesting here has been tried a couple of times in the past with not so great results when they dabbled in creating a construction simulation and construction design platform ( I forget what it was called), among other ill-fated initiatives to make it a tool for more than just architects.

It's clear from the arguments you're making here and in other threads that you're a new user with not that much idea of how much and of what has gone on in the past with regards to the development of this software that long-term users like myself are adamant that they should remain focused on making it a better tool for Architects - FIRST and FOREMOST - and quit the adventurism into other areas that seem to leave them stretched thin for development resources.

If you really want to use tools for construction, engineering or some other fields, there are plenty of focused tools for those fields specifically that serve their purposes relatively well. Why are you using archicad and expecting it to do those tasks?
Aren't you looking in the wrong place for what you want?

So I'm going to have to STRONGLY disagree with you that ArchiCAD should be anything but focused on providing the best tool for the field it was intended rather than trying to be some jack-of-all trades, but master-of-none, that just ends up diluting all its core functions and really pleasing no one at all.

Bricklyne Clarence
Participant
DGSketcher wrote:
Well if Revit's road map has gone public it kind of eases the need for confidentiality. GS don't need to expose their full map, but they would gain a lot more credibility if they started listening to the screams for features that have been on the wish list for too long. A curated list of potential developments that we could influence would be great if they are then brought to fruition in a reasonably short timeline e.g. don't put Feature X on the map and then take 18 years to add it! But also don't ignore those desperately needed features even if they are difficult to implement. This would also be a good time to alleviate the expectation/frustration of feature filled/limited annual releases so those of us paying maintenance fees have a reasonable idea as to what improvements to expect. We could then hopefully move to updates as new features are completed.

Revit developers' (i.e. Autodesk's) decision to go public with their roadmap and be more open with their development process might actually have more to do with a strongly worded letter they received last year from some for their rather big name customers who were not happy with the direction the development of the program was going and how their subscription fees were being spent.

And I'm talking BIG name architects (some of the biggest globally in the industry).

Unfortunately here on the ArchiCAD divide, Graphisoft have been (in my opinion) rather clever in how they've played the game, having their most recent versions mostly addressing the needs and the larger firms over prioritizing the needs of smaller and more mid-sized firms.
So the chances of such a strongly worded letter happening on this side are slim.

That being said, everything else you noted is on point, and drives home the notion that having a roadmap and being more open with users about the development process could actually work in their favour rather than against them like they seem to believe.

They could use such a process first and foremost, to manage user expectations as to what's being worked on and expected to come in future releases, and what isn't.

I think this "keep everything secret and then WOW everyone with a new release" strategy has now come to become a demonstrable failure of PR and perceptions management.
You set expectations too high as to what's to come,....so high in fact, that you're simply never ever going to be able to meet them.......and then you're left dealing with the fallout of collective disappointment when you don't deliver the sun and the stars.

And now we're at the point were user enthusiasm for new versions is at rock bottom, because successive underwhelming releases (front-loaded with those secrecy-laden heavy pre-release expectations) have now conditioned us to expect.......maaaaaybe, one or two features that might perhaps be useful in our workflow.....maybe........and also assuming the year is right.
Because really, now it's just a lottery.

And that's just sad.
Especially for people who are on subscription.
It literally is a lottery for them.

Or perhaps people just set their expectations low now because that's the best way to manage the inevitable disappointment when the actual release happens.
At least that's where I'm at.

The last version I was excited or at least interested in its release was probably version 21, and that was because of the new Stair and rail tools that had been badly needed for the longest time.
I wish they had kept at it and kept improving it, but that's simply not their way.
I suppose the Curtain wall improvements in 22 were also nice,.....but since then...... A hole in the wall and a structural analysis model.
Geeez.

Anyways, I think a roadmap and some sort of managed forum that facilitates honest and open dialog between developers and users might be to not just our benefit, but if implemented properly would be to Graphisoft benefit as well, I feel.

But what do I know?

Podolsky
Newcomer
Mr Bricklyne,

I'm not sure that the tone of angry primary school director is suitable for this forum. Explaining me that I'm non mature ArchiCAD user... Sorry, man, I'm using ArchiCAD since version 5, and probably know this system better then you.

This is typical explanation about "responsibility" of engineers and "law" of people, who don't really have a clue what is BIM or Virtual Building and in which direction progress in this field is moving. The reason why I started to share my thoughts on ArchiTalk (that I know by ages, by the way) - is to share my experience and make a message that ArchiCAD today is incomplete, when, by another hand it has strong potential to take bigger market.

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