24 Apr 2024

Autodesk and Nemetschek: Openness unleashed with Design and Make Platform

Interoperability Agreement: Autodesk and Nemetschek

To help our customers achieve their business goals more effectively, Autodesk continues to open its environment to partners—and even competitors.

Think about the last time you captured a brilliant photo 📸 on your smartphone. Perhaps you edited it with one app, applied shiny AI touchups with another, and then effortlessly shared it with your friends across the globe via social media. You probably did all this without worrying about file formats or file size — and you did it with apps that were all likely made by different companies.

This fluid experience, quality, and speed are only possible because of open platforms.

Platforms have changed the lives of consumers with innovative, easy-to-use, end-to-end solutions. Open platforms and software interfaces enable apps to work together, allowing developers to build upon each other’s work, with information flowing fluently and securely between tools. It is time for professionals in the industries that design and make to see these same benefits, which is why Autodesk is committed to building an open Design and Make Platform. We are committed to the success of our customers and to leading their industries into the future.

Our Interoperability Agreement with the Nemetschek Group is a recent example of this commitment to building an open platform. Autodesk already has several Strategic Alliance Partnerships with companies such as Esri, Eptura, Ansys, and Haas. We also have thousands of developer and industry partners whose data and workflows have been incorporated into our ecosystem. However, what sets this interoperability agreement with the Nemetschek Group apart is that Nemetschek and Autodesk are traditionally viewed as competitors.


How this helps customers

The interoperability agreement illustrates both companies' recognition of the changing ways people work today. Professionals in the architecture, engineering, construction, and operations (AECO) and media and entertainment (M&E) industries want real-time access to their data, and they want all of their tools to work in concert to make them more effective at their jobs. This interoperability agreement is a significant step in that direction. We want to improve open collaboration between AECO and M&E stakeholders by enhancing existing interoperability between our industry clouds and desktop products.

Under the terms of the interoperability agreement, Autodesk and the Nemetschek Group will provide each other access to their APIs and industry clouds. At present, this openness will allow improvement upon existing data exchanges and the ability to open new data-centric workflows that span disciplines and industries.

Enabling open, interoperable workflows across disciplines and vendors has the potential to power automation and unlock valuable insights for better decisions at every project stage. We can’t yet say exactly what new tools and processes will emerge from this agreement, the same way no one could have predicted what apps developers would end up creating for smartphones thanks to its open developer ecosystem. However, we are confident that our commitment to openness and customer-centricity will improve how projects are designed, delivered, and managed and provide increased value to our customers.

We’re not simply guessing at what customers want. We’ve asked them. In our 2024 State of Design & Make report, industry professionals widely reported that their world has changed rapidly over the past half-decade, with an unprecedented demand for new work—driven by demographic shifts, sustainability requirements, and the need to retrofit the existing built environment. They also told us that the work itself has changed, with labor shortages forcing companies to seek out tech tools and workflows that allow their people to be more productive.

Above all, our customers repeatedly expressed the importance of data and digital transformation in helping them achieve their most important business outcomes.

62% said that digital transformation enhanced their firms' productivity, and digitally mature companies were significantly more likely than others to report benefits such as improved performance.


Business Resilience Insights, AECO

More digitally mature AECO companies are also more process-mature
Source: Business Resilience Insights, AECO - 2024 State of Design & Make

However, some leaders identified data management as an obstacle to their digital transformation efforts. This is something we hear all the time from customers, even outside the context of the report: It’s easy to generate data; and it’s relatively inexpensive to store it; but it remains very difficult to access and use the right information —with the right people, at the right time (early and often)— to generate insights that drive business value. 

An open environment with open platforms will be vital to solving this challenge and helping our customers unlock the full benefits of digital transformation. At Autodesk, we are committed to building such a platform in partnership with other innovative industry players.


A relentless commitment to openness

The interoperability between ecosystems is powered by Autodesk Platform Services (APS), which includes Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and web services that enable customers, partners, and software vendors, such as the Nemetschek Group, to connect to Autodesk’s industry clouds and design solutions.

Our three industry clouds (Autodesk Forma for AECO, Autodesk Flow for M&E, and Autodesk Fusion for Design & Manufacturing), all powered by APS, are meant to break down data silos and give industry professionals access to real-time data at the exact moment they need it. The goal of APS is to enable connected teams, connected data, and connected workflows. This means that customers can move beyond files so information can flow securely in and out of the platform as needed, fluently connecting business systems, dramatically speeding up decisions, and reducing errors.

For example, APS is leaping into the future with new data-centric APIs like AEC Data Model, Manufacturing Data Model, and Data Exchange. These deliver capabilities for customers to leverage granular properties in new ways. APS is making customer's data more accessible than ever, connecting a multitude of innovative workflows from authoring to publishing through optimization and coordination, system integration, data visualization, and many more. Customers already rely on APS to enable seamless information flows by supporting over 60+ file formats with translation and extraction web services (Model Derivative API).

All of these web services help to radically simplify the interoperability experience without worrying about file formats or size.

In addition to supporting bi-directional interoperability, Autodesk actively champions open industry workflows. As a member of the buildingSMART Strategic Advisory Council, Autodesk is deeply involved in advancing openBIM practices. Notably, several Autodesk products are IFC-certified by buildingSMART.

The industries that design and make — and the vendors that serve them— are entering a new era. It is an era where vendors must recognize that open platforms provide tremendous customer benefits. And it is an era where industry professionals will no longer need to waste their time hunting down information and performing redundant rework. Rather, they will be able to focus on optimizing their projects with automation, AI, and insights.   

Ultimately, we believe, this will be an era that changes our ideas about what is possible for the companies and creators working in the industries that design and make. And it starts with moves like this one.

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