June 26, 2006
UGS To Support NX And Teamcenter On Mac OS X
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by Jeff Rowe - Contributing Editor
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UGS Corp., announced plans to add native support for Mac OS X version 10.4 "Tiger" to the list of supported environments for its NX digital product development, and Teamcenter digital lifecycle management software solutions. With existing support already established for Windows, UNIX, and Linux environments, UGS continues to set the standard for openness in PLM with the industry's most complete list of supported operating system platforms.


"Consistent with UGS' open business model, we are proud to offer our products on Mac OS X in order to help even more companies transform their process of innovation," said Chuck Grindstaff, UGS' executive vice president of Products. "As the first major PLM supplier to offer its software products for Mac OS X, UGS can now give worldwide Mac users access to best-of-breed PLM solutions that take advantage of the excellent performance, security and stability of Apple's innovative hardware and software."


A limited edition version of NX is available for PowerPC-based Macs under UGS' Early Adopter Program. UGS plans to add support for Intel-based Macs as part of a future product release. UGS also plans to make Teamcenter Engineering Integration for NX available on Mac OS X in 2007.


Commentary

by Jeffrey Rowe, Editor


Many moons ago (late 80s, early 90s) there were actually a number of CAD products available for the Mac platform, including AutoCAD. I believe the first Mac release was R10, and the last one was R 13 or R14, if memory serves correctly. Initially, it was badly received because it required typing DOS-like commands to perform drawing functions, and this, of course, was considered very un-Mac-like. It was common knowledge that many CAD users at the time considered Apple's own ClarisCAD to be superior to AutoCAD, at least functionally. Anyway, Autodesk ultimately left the Mac arena. There have always been and still are MCAD products supported on the Mac platform, most notably Ashlar Vellum
Solids (now called Cobalt). For the most part, though, the Mac CAD products most supported today seem to be predominantly in the architectural space.


Stepping forward in time, it was only a matter of time before a major mechanical player reentered the fray and ported MCAD/PLM applications to the Mac platform, in this case UGS applications running under Mac OS X. Since the underlying basis for Mac OS X is UNIX, an operating system that UGS is quite comfortable with, porting NX and Teamcenter to the Mac platform, while not simple, was quite doable.


We spoke with Jim Phelan, Director of PLM Media Relations at UGS about the company's motivation for porting NX and Teamcenter to the Mac. He said the decision was based on two basic factors. First, UGS had received customer requests to do so. Second, since the company was already porting to Linux, it determined that availability on the MAC could be accomplished at a reasonable cost. When asked about what UGS perceives as the potential market size, Phelan said that the company is gauging the size of the market, and the market potential will be based on the response to its early adopter program.


I understand that porting NX and Teamcenter to the Mac is relatively straightforward, based on the Linux connection, but what about the smaller siblings Solid Edge and/or the Velocity Series? Phelan said that there are no published plans to do that at this time, but again, the company wants so see what the initial response is for NX and Teamcenter before committing to anything beyond that.


Currently, I am not aware of any other major MCAD vendor with plans to port their applications to the Mac platform. I've asked several vendors recently about the likelihood of porting to the Mac and have been met with one of two responses - "no comment" or "not interested." However, if UGS realizes at least some degree of success with the platform, they could have competitive company before too long, especially as more powerful Intel-based Mac workstations and notebooks come onto the market.


Is there more to this move by UGS than just as a novelty? Time and response from the market will tell.



The Week's Top 5

At MCADCafé we track many things, including the stories that have attracted the most interest from our subscribers. Below are the five news items that were the most viewed during last week.



At the RoboBusiness Conference and Exposition 2006, Microsoft Corp. showcased the community technology preview (CTP) of a new Windows-based environment for academic, hobbyist, and commercial developers to create robotic applications for a wide variety of computing platforms. In addition, early adopter companies, universities, and research institutes offered demos and provided support for the new Microsoft Robotics Studio development platform. The community technology preview of the Microsoft Robotics Studio is available for download at http://msdn.microsoft.com/robotics.



SolidWorks Corp. announced that elevator systems leader Wittur Turkey has standardized on SolidWorks, enabling the company to shorten its design-to-manufacturing process by more than 40 percent. Wittur Turkey identified time and cost savings in several development phases, including planning, design, bills of material management, order confirmation, and production. Switching to SolidWorks 3D CAD software has given Wittur Turkey the ability to work more intuitively and creatively, resulting in better products moving more quickly to market. The company relies on SolidWorks software's ability to automate the 3D design of metal sheets and plates that need to be precisely bent, cut, drilled,
lasered, punched, and welded.



Geometric Software Solutions Co. Ltd. has signed an agreement with IBM to jointly provide services assisting clients in accelerating the deployment of PLM solutions. IBM and Geometric Software have worked together to serve clients in this space for past several years. The new agreement provides a framework with the objective of driving tighter collaboration between the companies' respective sales management and services capabilities on a global basis. The agreement also entails the building of solutions which integrate IBM's middleware and hardware into joint PLM solutions offered to clients. IBM's global customer engagement experience, and project management and software technology
capabilities are complemented by Geometric's ability to support a wide range of PLM platforms, its global delivery capability and the expertise in building PLM technologies to suit specific market needs. The relationship also calls for Geometric to build skills and technologies based on IBM's suite of middleware to meet IBM customers' PLM enterprise and supply chain integration needs.



Altair Engineering has entered into an agreement to acquire the Mecalog Group and its RADIOSS product family of CAE software technology. Headquartered in Antony, France, Mecalog is a global developer of transient, non-linear CAE technology to simulate safety-related performance as well as other impact events. Under the terms of the acquisition, Mecalog's global sales force, software development and support staff will also become part of Altair. Specific financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.



UGS Corp., a provider of PLM software and services, has acquired the technology for a new product that is creating significant business value for the global manufacturing industry by revolutionizing the part reuse process. UGS acquired the technology from software design & management AG (sd&m), a software and consultancy firm in Germany. sd&m is a Capgemini Company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The UGS offering, which has been named Geolus Search, is in production use today and was formerly sold as geolus SHAPE. It is a "shape search" application that lets manufacturers locate 3D models of digitally defined parts from large heterogeneous data sources on the basis of
geometric similarity. The technology acquisition paves the way for UGS to build advanced geometry-based search applications that promote reuse and eliminate the time and expense associated with designing or purchasing duplicate parts.



Jeffrey Rowe is the editor and publisher of MCADCafé and MCAD Weekly Review. He can be reached
here or 408.850.9230.


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