To Belgium and Back

For many years, I have been looking for a reliable CAD platform to embed into our product line. The inclusion of CAD platform makes sense because it reduces the software acquisition cost without sacrificing product capabilities. Every year I searched the world over to see if anyone, anywhere has created a suitable CAD platform but to no avail. One fine evening, Romy asked me if I had made my annual enquiry of the world regarding a CAD engine and I said I would look into it tomorrow. The next day before I had a chance to do so, I received a call from a representative of a CAD software manufacturer asking me if I would be interested in porting our software to their CAD platform.

It turned out the company is based in Belgium and their CAD platform had good potential for inclusion into our software. From the users’ point of view, this CAD software worked well and had a similar user interface and operation to that of AutoCAD. Of course my first choice was always to use AutoCAD OEM, but for many years, I couldn’t convince Autodesk to offer a reasonable OEM solution to help us create a complete plant design solution.

It was decided that we would indeed begin the process of porting our software to run with this CAD software. This necessitated a trip to Belgium to meet with their team during a conference they arranged for companies such as ours. So off to Bruges I went.

I spent a couple of days in informative and cordial meetings. As I was about to leave the conference, the last question in the last presentation was put forward to this CAD manufacturer by a blogger from India whether they were considering an OEM version of their CAD software much like Autodesk’s new AutoCAD OEM. I stopped dead in my tracks – I was quite surprised by the news because I had discussed this issue in the past with Autodesk to provide us with AutoCAD OEM without success. This was good news indeed!

Upon arriving back in Calgary, the first call I made was to our Autodesk Developer Network manager, and yes he confirmed that AutoCAD OEM is now a reality and that it had been released just a few weeks earlier. The news was going to be sent to developers within a couple of weeks. We immediately get the process going and started working on the PapriCAD software leveraging our popular 2D piping and electrical software with AutoCAD OEM platform.

This only goes to show that life sometimes works in strange and mysterious ways; I had to travel all the way to Belgium to find out the news from California by an Indian blogger!