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No Revit for the Cloud. No Revit for Mac
For those who were hoping that Project Quantum was the future of Revit in the cloud or would quickly subsume Revit with a highly performant system fully (in the cloud) for the purposes of liberating your workflow off of Windows and enable a blissful land of holy-water mac-ness—you’re going to be disappointed.
The Mac alter at which you pray will require you to burn your candles even longer.
Project Quantum is a fully cloud-based set of services and by “services” Lynch and Hauck clarified they mean SaaS (software as a service). But Lynch was frank. “We are not porting Revit to the Mac, this has been an on-going issue—actually not an issue—that’s not fair to say. But you correct me if you don’t agree [referring to Hauck] I would say there has consistently been mild interest in Revit running on a Mac.”
This term “mild” is likely to produce a spontaneous “hmm?” in the minds of many a Revit user. But given Apple’s dreadful Mac woes of late—and this is referring specifically to its recent confessional moment over the Mac Pro and not its outstanding lineup of laptops—I bit my lip and didn’t challenge Lynch’s use of the term “mild” at all.
Anthony Hauck followed up with a true DC-style statement: “On the other hand we are also sensitive for the necessity of affording workflows into multiple environments and so that is also a reason to invest into Quantum because essentially—and although we are not going to be ignoring desktop environments—for things we build on top of Quantum we intend to go web at first.”
This last point on the subject of parity of access from devices is important. Hauck’s comment of web at first means that Autodesk intends to first build the Quantum platform itself. It is a cloud-based platform with a set of API’s that will enable both savvy client end users and third-party developers to hook into Quantum for the purposes of data flow sharing and collaboration.
It means folks like Tekla, an example Jim Lynch used early in our conversation, can write to these API’s so that Tekla’s BIM systems can have a place within the Quantum platform. The better term would be “client” as Hauck and Lynch referred multiple times that Revit too will be just another client on the Quantum platform.
Quantum is built on Autodesk Forge, which Architosh has written a wee bit here. Forge is to Autodesk what Watson is to IBM. No, this doesn’t mean Forge or Autodesk are into AI and machine learning. It means that is how important Forge is to the future things at Autodesk.
“Quantum is built on Forge—the technology and the platform,” says Lynch. Forge is not open source technologies but the API’s are opened up to third-party developers and partners. I didn’t get a full sense if Forge API’s are going to be opened up to mortal enemies too. But Tekla, which is owned by Trimble, was mentioned multiple times as being a client on the Quantum platform.
This is a brave new vision for Autodesk. Recognizing that they can never own the whole pie is a huge moment for the entire AEC industry and what it means for interoperability. Autodesk plans to deliver workable late beta versions of Quantum sooner than I expected, which may surprise many.
[Editor’s note: This article has been updated slightly, after post, 2:30 PM EDT.]
Note From The Editor
Architosh will have more features about Autodesk and its AEC Media Summit happening this week in the near future. Stay tuned!