AU2013 has come and gone, what a blur. Opposed to detailing every class I attended and everything I saw I am going to summarize the experience in what I’m calling the good, the bad, and the meh

meh [mɛ/] = Indifference; to be used when one simply does not care.

AU2013 - The Good, the Bad, and the Meh

The Good

Jitterbit - On-Premise & Cloud Integration Made Easy

On-Premise & Cloud Integration Made Easy

Tuesday 8AM PL2759 Autodesk PLM 360 Connect. This class should have been called “Come see Jitterbit” as that what it was about. If you haven’t heard about Jitterbit it is a “middleware” whose sole purpose is sit between and connect different business systems…. And it does it very, very well. I was very impressed by how easy it was to build links between Salesforce and PLM360 and between PLM360 and Netsuite. They also showed a bi-directional link between Vault and PLM360 including using the Workflow system in PLM360 to manage the lifecycle of the item in Vault. Jitterbit is all wizard based that you need to know almost zero about javascript or SQL querying or any other programming language. The Jitterbit stuff is very impressive.

What’s interesting is the responses from Autodesk towards Vault and PLM360 integration. The official word is to look at Jitterbit, but if you read between the lines it seems that Autodesk is still deciding if and what to do at the lower end of the scale. I compare it to when Autodesk acquired Intent (which has become Inventor ETO), which provided high-end configuration. They then filled the lower-end of the spectrum with iLogic. if I was a betting man I’d say we either going to see a Jitterbit “Lite” or an Autodesk homegrown solution to provide a link between Vault and PLM360.

Autodesk CAM360

CAM 360…. Its heeerrrrre! Well, kind of. We got the official announcement and were told to expect beta of CAM 360 in December.  I’m going to leave the full review of CAM360 to the other Design & Motion guys but it has become very clear why Autodesk purchased HSM.

The CAM group is operating under the what they call the “95/5” rule meaning that 95% of the code base is platform independent, and 5% is platform integration. They are hoping to have the Inventor HSM CAM (not the free Express which is already out), CAM360, and HSMWorks for Solidworks all at the same level (very soon), meaning that as they roll out updates and new features it will be rolled out across all three at the same time. It will also get to the point where certain elements, like the tool library, will be stored in the cloud so that it doesn’t matter which CAM platform you are using, you’ll have access to your common elements.

The Bad

What we saw of Publisher 360. Autodesk was obviously hoping to be further along with this product as they had nothing to show. I don’t understand why they even bothered, except I guess to keep us interested on what’s upcoming. They are planning a alpha / beta testing period in January so we’ll have to wait for that.

Bigger than the disappointment of not really seeing Publisher 360 might be the plans to maintain Inventor Publisher as it is, with no plans to add any new features of significance. This product needs major enhancements or should just be killed off… but probably they are waiting for the 360 version to become established.

My ideal situation? The existing Inventor Publisher product is included in the Design Suite and a workflow is created to use it as the Inventor IPN environment. Inventor Assemblies are “pushed” into Publisher to create the exploded views and then “pulled” back into the Inventor Drawing environment to generate the drawing views. Its win-win… Inventor Publisher gets a new life, Inventor users get a better exploded view generator

The Meh

The keynote address: It wasn’t bad, just not overly compelling; it was just meh. A couple notes for now until I can watch it again

  • Penn & Teller were awesome
  • Jeff Kolwaski (Autodesk CTO) was great, as always. He talked about looking outside instead of inside. He focused on four main topics: insight, tools, people, and work. The one statement that Jeff quoted that really stuck with me was from Alvin Toffler The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
  • Carl Bass highlighted a few customer successes, the ones that stood out to me were: Denver Airport, Orphanage Guitar, Aston Martin, Biolite, and Bot & Dolly

You can watch the recorded keynote here

I’ll be back again with my thoughts on the last day of AU and will expand on some of the things I learned and saw.I’ll look back at my predictions and see how I did