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NX Professionals

AFR: NX is used by various segment professionals in product development -- such as industrial design and styling versus say simulation and engineering -- what segment professionals are more apt to already be interested in using Mac OS X as their NX workstation platform?

(JS): We have only anecdotal evidence on this so far, but we clearly have a lot of interest from design folks, style centers and smaller suppliers. There is also quite a bit of interest coming from those on other UNIX operating systems.

AFR: What flavors of UNIX in particular are you talking about?

(JS): Oh, nearly all of them. HP-UX, IBM AIX, Sun, and Novell Linux.

AFR: So Linux folks are interested in NX on OS X?

(JS): Some. Linux itself is actually finding traction on the computational side -- it is great for that.

AFR: Are there any key customers of UGS NX that are interested in a Mac OS X version of NX and if so who are they?

(JS): We have not asked anybody to be a spokesman for NX on Mac OS X just yet.

AFR: Let's shift gears a bit. What is the "essential" message UGS wants to broadcast to the world today about NX on Mac OS X and what does that say about how UGS sets itself apart from its key competitors?

(JS): The message is that soon Mac OS X users will have the most powerful CAD/CAM system available to them and this is a reflection of UGS' openness strategy I mentioned earlier.

AFR: Clearly the openness strategy is a good thing, but what is this costing you? How will support of Mac OS X differ from saying supporting other UNIX operating systems or even Linux for that matter?

(JS): Well the fact that OS X is UNIX certainly helps. Like any company we have to do the business case and we think this decision is sound. We have decided that we are going to start marketing this, telling the user groups about it, telling the world about it.


NX 5 and PLM

AFR: Let's dig into NX 5 itself. What does it take, what does it do, what are its primary features?

(JS): As I said UGS NX is the most powerful CAD/CAM system available. Our Active Mockup technology, the new technology in NX 5, allows you to have tremendously large models. This is very very useful to digital assembly, where you have thousands and thousands of parts, like the parts in a tractor. NX requires 1.5GB of RAM for the application itself but there is no practical limit on model size.

They need to put those parts together in the model first, before they physically prototype. This happens now in NX 5 and using geometry you can actually build manuals for taking things a part.

There are four great new powers in NX 5. The first is NX your way. We've greatly improved the user interface and its customizability, so you can work your way, with multiple tuned interfaces. Next is Active Mockup, which is more powerful than digital mockup. You can wikipedia that term for a full definition.

Third is, you work within an integrated knowledge environment, there are rules within the system. They determine things like the capture of information, the management and sharing of these rules.

AFR: What kind of rules?

(JS): There are a variety of rule types. Engineering rules, IF statements, best practices, et cetera.

There is a generation of engineers in this country that will be retiring and they hold a wealth of information in their heads. How does this information get passed on? With NX you can load parts and their assemblies with a wealth of information so that this data gets passed on, stays with the company.

The fourth power of NX 5 is "design freedom." It allows you to work effectively with all legacy data to maximize reuse without redesign. In addition, NX 5 cuts through the constraints of parametric models enabling compressed design times and reductions in costly errors.

AFR: What apps are you competing with with NX 5? What is your competition?

(JS): We compete with CATIA, ProE and in the mid-range with solidWorks.

AFR: Do you compete with Autodesk?

(JS): UGS Solid Edge is our competing 2D to 3D product.

AFR: What about third-party apps for NX and TeamCenter support on OS X?

(JS): UGS Teamcenter will not be supported on OS X yet. But NX data management will be on OS X. There are quite a few third-party applications and even internally we have a lot. We just need to make sure we provide the support to allow OS X development around NX 5.

AFR: Well thank you for taking the time to answer these questions about the upcoming NX 5 for Mac OS X. Once Leopard ships this will become an exciting new opportunity for many.

(JS): You are welcome, thank you.


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