Autodesk this week announced that it is providing key 3D design applications in a browser as an industry first. The applications that will soon be available in a standard HTML-5 based web browser, running on any device, will include Autodesk Revit, Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk Maya and Autodesk 3ds Max.
Run Revit inside Safari or Chrome
For the first time ever customers can access full-fledged 3D design, engineering and entertainment software from Autodesk to work directly inside a web browser without sacrificing performance, power or functionality.
This means users can use Autodesk Revit inside Safari or Chrome running on OS X.
Thin Client Meets Powerful Server
This week’s announcement builds on Autodesk’s collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and OTOY and debuts in technology preview fashion an important expansion of the remote access capabilities Autodesk is providing through its “newish” Autodesk Remote software.
Autodesk Says More Access
“Designers and engineers face deadline pressures and efficiency targets that demand work be more mobile than ever,” said Jeff Kowalski, chief technology officer at Autodesk. “It’s no longer a requirement to run sophisticated 3D design applications such as Inventor, Revit, 3ds Max or Maya on a powerful workstation. Now all you need is a simple browser and an Internet connection. We are excited to be first in the design industry to provide this capability.”
In August, Autodesk Remote was made available to Subscription and rental plan customers worldwide. Remote allows users to drive Autodesk software installed on their primary computer from a remote PC or iPad, utilizing its full power in their 3D design and modeling work regardless of the device. The collaboration with AWS and OTOY expands on this capability to include access to Autodesk applications hosted in the cloud.
“OTOY and Autodesk worked together to provide customers with a turn-key solution for accessing 3D design applications through their HTML5 browser,” said Jules Urbach, CEO of OTOY. “For the first time ever, design and engineering professionals can access all the features of Autodesk 3DS Max, Autodesk Maya, Autodesk Revit and Autodesk Inventor software to perform major design work, without ever having to download a piece of software to their local PC. OTOY’s OctaneRender further enhances this experience by adding real-time, path-traced GPU rendering inside Autodesk applications. All of these pieces will be cohesively hosted on the cloud, leveraging the unprecedented scale and efficiency of Amazon’s on-demand EC2 GPU instances. We believe this solution will not only translate to major cost savings for consumers, but greatly impact the mobility and efficiency of their workflow.”
“With the launch of G2 instances for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) today, we are enabling the delivery of high-quality, client-agnostic 3D experiences to customers around the world,” said Matt Wood, General Manager, Data Science, AWS. “We are working closely with leading organizations such as Autodesk to leverage these powerful capabilities to meet the needs of designers and engineers around the world.”
“Design professionals need fast, fluid interactivity with their digital creations to fully realize their vision and express their ideas,” said Jeff Brown, general manager of Professional Visualization and Design at NVIDIA. “With the availability of NVIDIA GRID GPUs and Autodesk applications in the cloud from Amazon, high-performance graphics are now available to power the most demanding and advanced applications on essentially any device.”
This is not the first time we have learned of Revit running on platforms other than Windows. In our 2010 Architosh BIM Survey Report a major four-letter acronym architecture firm in the US is completely interviewed in the report claiming that they were having great success running Revit off of powerful Athlon-based servers serving the application over gigabit-based ethernet to a multitude of clients, including Macs. They used Citrix to transform basically Windows apps into what Citrix calls “Windows-as-Service” (WaS) clouds.
Autodesk is making the argument that designers need more freedom to compute and work from anywhere, at anytime, on any device. This is a real phenomenon in IT. But it is part of a larger IT phenomenon of the “consummerization” of the enterprise IT landscape and the BYOD (bring your own device) mentality that is firmly taking place.
What is happening is that Apple has partly upset the enterprise market. They have done this via the iPhone and now the iPad–and famous “halo effect” for the Mac has largely worked. The net result is that organizations are embracing the BYOD strategy resulting in happier staff, clients and partners.
While a cloud-based version of Revit may not satisfy the power-hungry needs of Revit power users, this announcement, like the ability to run Revit within a Citrix virtualization model, adds an incremental step forward for individuals and firms who are seeking Revit on OS X.