A new game has taken SolidWorks World 2010 by storm. Count how many times the word “cloud” (as in cloud computing) is spoken. At one point, it might seem that entire speeches consist entirely of the word “cloud cloud cloud cloud cloud cloud cloud cloud cloud.” There’s a message somewhere. Oh, that’s right. Cloud computing is the future of SolidWorks and the rest of the Dassault Systemes applications (maybe even for high security customers).
Cloud computing has many advantages over traditional installed software, according to Jeff Ray, CEO of SolidWorks. No matter how good SolidWorks is, it is still limited by the computer upon which it is installed. A significant investment is required to purchase computers that are powerful enough to get the most out of 3D CAD software. Also, installed software tends to be limited by computer operating systems. SolidWorks, in its current form, will not likely to be ported over to run natively on a MAC OS. Instead, SolidWorks will bypass these limitations with cloud computing. With cloud computing, “SolidWorks” (in whatever form it takes) may run on any platform. In fact, the user’s computer power will play very little roll. CAD files (even hugh assemblies) can be accessed instantly and edited on practically any platform, such as Microsoft, MAC OS, Google OS, Firefox, and iPhone. This is all accomplished without installing any software. They even discussed SolidWorks running seamlessly with ENOVIA V6, maybe even sometime this year.
According to Ray, the new cloud technologies will be rolled out as they are ready. The customer will choose when (if ever) to implement. These improvements represent a “completely new design environment”. Ray also stated that these new techologies where developed in secret and “run like a start up”. Technically, all this cloud talk represents nothing more than vaporware right now. However, if Dassault Systemes delivers, they may have a massive game changer on their hands.