ORLANDO, FL, Jan 20, 2013 - If you had been freaking out about what Dassault might be doing to your beloved SolidWorks, you would probably be reassured here at SolidWorks World 2013.
SolidWorks CEO Bertrand Sicot opens the annual user conference (entire 90 minute keynote on You Tube)
At last year's event, SolidWorks newly appointed VP or R&D, Gian Paulo Bassi stated that SolidWorks future lay in two versions, each relying on different kernels (see SolidWorks: The Kernel Change). One would be the tried and true Parasolid, which SolidWorks has used since its inception. The other would be CATIA's CGM kernel.
Though meant to be reassuring at the time and an answer to FUD* campaigns from competitors, all indications pointed to the upstart CGM being the kernel of choice for the future. After all, CGM was owned by the Dassault "family," whereas Parasolid was owned by a competitor. But with the new engine would come data incompatibility...and who knows what else? Can you rip out the engine from a Mustang and put in one from a Camaro? This led to uncertainty among users and may have even shaken their faith.
Though the show has only wrapped up its first day, there has been little mention of SolidWorks V6, as the CGM version of SolidWorks was known. In fact, there has been little mention of anything by Gian Paulo. After being very much the highly visible champion of SolidWorks V6, he has not even taken the stage, not the main stage or gone up front with the other executives during the media Q&A. Could it be that plans for SolidWorks V6 have been shelved?
At the risk of reading too much into the tea leaves, consider that V6 technology has been rolled out only into Mechanical Conceptual** shown this morning on the main stage. Though underwhelming in its ability (a front-end to SolidWorks rather than a robust modeler) that is far from finished (not released til Fall), it seems to be -- at least so far -- SolidWorks' big announcement.
But sometimes, what is not said is just as important as what is not said. No shakeup. None of the "it's good for you, now open wide." A gentle rollout. Mechanical Conceptual is a tool. Use it alongside your beloved SolidWorks, not instead of it.
Maybe what we are seeing now, is a kinder, gentler Dassault. Or maybe one that just listens.
**Fear, uncertainty and doubt
**Hopefully just a working name. What's wrong with SolidConcepts?