Autodesk Project Quantum: the future of BIM?

Revit turns 17 years old this year. Its heritage dates back still further, to an older system called Sonata. This makes it a senior citizen in the software world. On the plus side, it enjoys a significant pedigree. On the negative side, most software companies feel that most code has, at best, a tenyear lifespan.

So it’s no surprise that, for years, there have been hints that Autodesk was working on a successor to Revit, perhaps cloudbased, to match the company’s vision of software as a service and the web delivery of all its products.

With the arrival of Autodesk Fusion in 2012, the company took a fresh approach to product design for the manufacturing market – cloud-based with a new user interface, powerful new constraints-solving and, importantly, a platform-independent approach, in a sharp break from delivering only Windows-based applications. The aim was to replace Inventor, and more specifically, to take aim at the market-leading SolidWorks application owned by Dassault Systèmes, a company that was by then also hinting at a nextgeneration solution.

When software companies move to a new generation of applications, there are in general two ways to go. First, they can start afresh and not burden themselves with the constraints of supporting previous methodologies (see, for example, Autodesk Fusion.) The benefit of this approach is that the vendor is liberated from older applications and can freely begin introducing cutting-edge tools and processes. Customers of earlier products, however, may not be so happy.
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