Project Showroom has been given an extreme makeover.
For more information about Project Showroom, you can see
We at Autodesk Labs have absolutely been killing ourselves working on Project Showroom. It was a tremendous amount of work but we are "in love" with the results. What was once:
Project Showroom is a technology preview that establishes a vision for a service for home furnishing suppliers to enable their customers to visualize their products in real-life room settings. Our software as a service example shows how photorealistic rendering can be done using just a browser. We demonstrate this by providing some kitchen scenes where you can configure the items and surfaces and see a realistic looking results. So have fun with this and let us know what you think at email@example.com. We welcome your feedback.
When I posted the article "What does SaaS mean to you?", Dan D. Gutierrez made the comment:
My firm launched the web's first web-hosted database service in 1999 when the SaaS industry was called Application Service Providers (ASP)...
IMHO the distinction between SaaS and ASP is very subtle. Andreas Müller of WIN-Verlag GmbH & Co.KG recently asked me:
Where do you see the difference between Application Service Providing and SaaS? Why do we need this new acronym?
SaaS is typically delivered through an Application Service Provider (ASP). So SaaS relates more to how a product is sold – how you as a customer have chosen to purchase. ASP is the delivery mechanism that enables us to get it to you. If you buy a book online, it’s currently delivered to you by mail; however, there are companies that are experimenting with delivering chapters online through a subscription model. It’s the same with software. Autodesk customers purchase Collaborative Project Management solutions like Buzzsaw, Constructware, and Streamline, and energy analysis tools like Green Building Studio with subscriptions. We deliver it to them via the Web.
Do you agree with my assessment? Are am I splitting hairs? Let me know what you think at TheLabs@autodesk.com.
Pondering the meaning of four one-thousandths of a picture is alive in the lab.
In June we released an API as part of Project Draw 0.7.4. Based on feedback from programmers, we expanded the API in Project Draw 0.7.5. The feedback on the API continues to pour in. We are happy to provide API keys to all who ask. One astute developer, Mike Tuersley, shared his Visual Basic sample with us. He gave us permission to share it with you. His sample code allows you to test out the Project Draw API from your Microsoft Windows® desktop:
What a guy! Mike works for Ohio Gratings Inc. as a Senior Programmer/Analyst and focuses on enterprise level automation using the latest Microsoft technologies. If you would like your own API key, please navigate to:
There is no charge. Sharing samples from enthusiastic users is alive in the lab.
If you're my age, you've probably heard Aretha Franklin's "Respect":
Find out what it means to me.
Take care TCB.
I've never understood that take care TCB part.One thing I think you'll understand is the ASTP.
Find out what it means to you.
Advanced Simulation Technology Preview.
OK - so I'm no lyricist. On the other hand, I do know how to add technologies to the Autodesk Labs web site. Inventor Product Manager, Ravi Akella, and Software Development Manager, Joe Doyle, provided me with the installer for the ASTP. I was happy to add it to the site:
For now, check out the introductory video:
There is a 32-bit version and a 64-bit version. This is a free download for your system. It is compatible with Autodesk Inventor Simulation Suite 2009 or Autodesk Inventor Professional 2009. Please try it and send us feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org. ASTP runs through June 1, 2009. Take care TCB.
Sharing early versions of technologies to get feedback to chart their futures is alive in the lab.
Many of you have expressed your opinions that you feel Project Draw is a cool technology in the area of design software. For more information about Project Draw, see:
For those who don't need no stinkin' information, you can immediately take a test drive at:
Yesterday we posted another update of Project Draw. Project Draw 0.7.6 includes the following:
The big deal of the day is Project Draw-Project Freewheel integration. That's right. I am not making this up. Among other things, the Autodesk Labs team is responsible for the development of Project Freewheel and Project Draw, so we thought we would put them to together. You can now upload your designs from AutoCAD, Inventor, and Revit into Project Freewheel as DWF files and see those designs as editable images in Project Draw. In Project Draw, you treat them like any other image in that you can connect them to other shapes, draw on top of them, etc. When you double click on them, it brings up Project Freewheel so you can pan, zoom, orbit, etc. We are all giddy about this feature.
For more information about Project Freewheel, see:
For those who don't need no stinkin' information, you can immediately take a test drive at:
We tested Project Draw with Internet Explorer 8 BETA. There are a few quirks, but so far, so good.
Thanks to your enthusiastic testing, it also includes fixes for:
As suggested by Pete Maxfield, to get started using your designs with Project Draw, look for the DWF icon that appears in the Project Draw menu:
In addition to these improvements exposed through the user interface, we've also been hard at work to help programmers who want to work with the application program interface, In fact, there's so many of you out there that we've set up a web-based process for obtaining a Project Draw API key:
For those of you who think you don't need no stinkin' API key, I'll just use the API, you do need an API key. Using the API allows you to manage your diagrams on your own servers. The API key site contains several API examples. So whether you are a user or a developer, Project Draw 0.7.6 has something for you.
Evolving our software as a service technology preview for creating designs is alive in the lab.
I was looking at the download data for the UI Technology Preview for Inventor 2009. Though the United States is a fair amount, we have representation from all parts of the world (OK except Antarctica).
We actually have representation from 88 countries. I had to group several into OTHER to make the pie chart not explode. So keep that feedback coming via email, the discussion group, and comments to this blog. Thanks so much.
Usability Specialist, Alison Kather, is looking for people who work with design documents from designers/engineers but are not the actual designer or drafter of these documents. They can be users of DWF and Design Review, but we ideally would like them to not be familiar with AutoCAD, Inventor, Revit, or any other design application.
We are running an activity called a usability study online Monday August 4th, 2008 through Friday August 15th. All those who participate will interact with a prototype of some software and answer questions as we go along. Each person selected would participate via their own computer and phone and will receive a $30 gift certificate for their time. We will not use anyone’s information for any sales or marketing purposes and all information will remain confidential.
Requirements for participation:
If you know someone who might be interested, have them sign up at:
If they fit the criteria, Alison will contact them to schedule a session. This is a chance to help the Design Review team create a better product to work for people who are not familiar with design programs.
Thanks so much!
Alison (Ali) Kather
Platform Solutions and Emerging Business Division</p>
If you have a computer and a web camera, you can navigate your designs without a multi-touch wall, Wii remote, or even a mouse. Using Autodesk Design Review and the Boomless Chameleon Navigation Add-in, you simply attach your camera to your laptop, point it at a target, and when you move your laptop, Autodesk Design Reviews navigates your model accordingly. Move your laptop closer to the target to zoom in. Move further away to zoom out. Turn left or right to orbit.
NOTE: The add-in requires Autodesk Design Review SP1. Be sure you have downloaded an installed SP1 before you install the Boomless Chameleon add-in. You can get SP1 at:
You too can give this a try. Download the add-in and let us know what you think: TheLabs@autodesk.com.
Experimenting with ways to interact with computer models is alive in the lab.
Andreas Müller of WIN-Verlag GmbH & Co.KG recently asked me:
What does Software as a Service mean for you?
We are all familiar with software sold as a boxed product. You buy a software application. You pay for it once. You install it. You use it as much as you like. What you have purchased is a packaged application. Software as a Service (SaaS) is delivered on-demand; it ties the price you pay to what you do with the application, and it’s fully maintained and managed by the vendor with configurability available to the end user. It’s like when you buy a hand-held drill. You get a drill. Imagine if Sears handed out free electric drills, but collected 10 cents every time you drilled a hole. Many people would prefer that option. They would rather have the flexibility of paying for actual use rather than having to worry about the care and storage of a drill, as well an assortment of drill bits. So perhaps people will pay for software based on time of use or something like number of files created since elements like these reflect a direct relationship to the value they receive.
So how would you have answered the question? What does software as a service mean to you? Let us know your thoughts at TheLabs@autodesk.com.
Inquiring minds wanting to know are alive in the lab.
Joseph Wurcher has published the Autodesk University 2008 class schedule:
Of note you may wish to check out:
|BU301-1||When Your Customer
Doesn't Speak "CAD"
8:15 am -
|GD305-3||Five Free Tools to Make
Your Job Easier
10:15 am -
Sharing our excitement about Autodesk University is alive in the lab.
One of the Autodesk Labs key missions is to explore and prove the viability of new approaches to design. Rather than take a purely theoretical approach, we want to involve customers along the way. That’s why we provide several Software as a Service (SaaS) technologies on http://labs.autodesk.com. One of our SaaS services, in fact, got enough good feedback to graduate and become part of the 2009 release of AutoCAD and Revit. What used to be known as “Content Search” on Labs is now Autodesk Seek.
We continue to have other SaaS technologies on Labs:
Project Freewheel is our technology preview to experiment with the idea of design visualization. We allow customers to post their 2D and 3D designs to our server. They view their designs using a browser. Other colleagues or customers can freely view and comment on the designs – so it is a powerful tool for collaboration. There is actually another instance of Freewheel that has graduated - called Autodesk Freewheel. People loved Freewheel but were reluctant to base their businesses on somebody's "science project."
Project Draw is our technology preview for 2D design creation. Again this uses just the browser. Anyone can sign in and create a vector-based drawing. This could be especially helpful to a designer who frequently works with colleagues or clients who are not well-versed in CAD. They can sketch their ideas, and you as the designer can bring those ideas into a drawing. A picture is worth a thousand words. It can also save time and rework.
Project Showroom is our technology preview for realistic rendering. This experiment allows users to customize a bathroom and see their choices rendered in real time. Our aim is to make the rendering look more and more realistic as advances in hardware and rendering technology advance.
The potential drawbacks to a SaaS approach are "perceived security risk" and network latency. Regardless of advances in technology, some people are not comfortable sharing their data outside of their own corporations. SaaS solutions can be made secure, but not everyone is comfortable with this yet. Though technologies like remoting, provisioning, and virtualization attempt to squeeze as much CPU and bandwidth as hardware allows, there will be times when demand is high and slower performance is experienced. While it is true that SaaS is based on an Internet connection, many people perceive that they must always be connected to be able to leverage SaaS. We have shown, using Project Draw as an example, that offline modes are viable.
It was Father's Day. My wife, Sheryl, decided to make some brownies. Here was the set of instructions on the box:
Notice anything unusual? Unless you read carefully, perhaps not?
Look at the first requirement in the "FOR 20 BROWNIES You Will Need" section:
Now Look at Step 1:
Sheryl preheated the oven. She selected an 8" square glass pan. She greased the pan. She proceeded to Step 2.
She did this. Now she had a greased 8" square glass pan full of batter. On to step 3.
When she looked at the lower left of the box, she saw a footnote associated with baking time:
Why wasn't this part of step 1? It's a little late to put this in step 3. She already had a greased sqaure glass pan full of batter - she wasn't about to switch then. Do you have examples of instructions are not correct? Hopefully not any Autodesk documentation. This is exactly the kind of mistake that could be corrected with web-based instructions on a Wiki. The community could catch and correct these types of issues. On the other hand, who is going to fire up her browser before firing up her oven? Probably very few of us. What if the oven had a built-in web browser?
Venting is alive in the lab.
You asked for it. You got it. I seem to be saying that a lot lately. Autodesk Labs is happy to announce the availability of an update for the 2D to 3D Tool for Inventor:
This update adds support for 64-bit. The installer has been updated to MSI installers for 32-bit and 64-bit applications. You select the one compatible for your application, unzip it from the ZIP file, and double-click it to run the install.
Expanding a technology preview to accommodate larger data sets is alive in the lab.
The MEP Analysis Extension for AutoCAD MEP and Revit MEP has been an immediate hit. Part of the initial feedback was that the install did not always work on Windows Vista and 64-bit versions of Windows XP. This update corrects that issue.
Yesterday a Mr. Richard Feder from Fort Lee, New Jersey wrote in:
I downloaded and browsed through the calculators in the MEP Analysis program. The layout seems convenient, and the options seem appropriate; however, the expiration date at the end of October makes me wonder why I would learn to use the program, then integrate it into my work flow, just to see it expire in 4 months. It doesn't make sense for me to spend time on this.
The purpose of putting things on Autodesk Labs is to get feedback from users. We recognize that this is a time commitment on your part. We appreciate it. Feedback from users like you helps shape the future of our technologies. Ones that are well received may move on to become products. Ones that are not so well received die a quick death before we spend any more time and resources on them. So if the type of data you work with involves an analysis of a mechanical, electrical, or plumbing nature, then now is the time to check that the MEP Analysis Extension meets your needs. The benefit that a productized version of these tools could provide is intended for users like you. Now is your chance to make certain that this is so. The last thing that you want is a productized version of this down the road that you attempt to use and discover that it does not meet your own business needs. Thanks for contacting us. I do hope you will try the MEP Analysis Extension.
Actually this advice applies to all of the technologies and utilities available on Autodesk Labs. Keep those cards and letters coming in: email@example.com. Responding promptly to customer feedback is alive in the lab.
How many of you recall the movie Brazil? If you do, you'll also remember that it's all about the ducts.
AEC Product Manager, Stephen Roth, shared some of his insights on the MEP Analysis Extension for AutoCAD and Revit. The extension is available for download from the Autodesk Labs site:
One of the many responsibilities of HVAC engineers is to size air duct systems for buildings. Duct systems supply cooled and heated air from the central air conditioner and furnace to all of the rooms so as to ensure personal comfort. It is very important to properly size the dimensions of individual duct runs throughout the system so that:
Two utilities in the MEP Analysis Extension allow engineers to address both of these issues. The first utility is a “Duct Sizing Calculations” utility that performs duct sizing based upon air-flow, velocity, duct material type, and additional inputs. The results contain duct size dimensions (for rectangular, round, or oval shaped ducts), pressure loss values, and other pertinent information. One convenient feature is the “slider-calc” functionality that allows instantaneous results as the user ever-so-slightly increases or decreases different values using a slider control:
The second utility is the “Duct Fitting Pressure Loss Analysis” utility that allows engineers to determine the pressure loss in an individual duct fitting (such as an elbow or wye). Using these results, the engineer can determine the total pressure loss for a duct system. Some of the inputs that are required by this utility include the air flow, duct inlet and outlet dimensions, and air temperature. The final calculated result includes the total pressure loss through the duct fitting.
An engineer can use a combination of the above utilities to design simple duct systems in a building, ensuring that duct runs and air handlers are properly sized so that energy is not wasted on powering oversized fans.
So let us know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feedback on additional use cases that you would find valuable with the MEP Extension will help shape the future of this technology.
We are performing some maintenance on our Project Showroom servers in anticipation of an upcoming update. The service may be unavailable at various points during the day. We appreciate your patience and thank you for your continued interest in Project Showroom.
You asked for it. You got it. Autodesk Labs is happy to announce the availability of Project Freewheel build 220.127.116.11. The focus of this release is your ability to customize how you can present your designs using Project Freewheel. What's new in this release includes:
Customization of the Project Freewheel User Interface - You can turn commands off. You can customize the look using your own style sheet. This is very cool. See our customization samples for examples. Getting started on embedding your designs in your own web pages is documented on web developers page.
Markup List Grouping - A collaboration session can consist of more than one design. You and your reviewers can start with one file and load in others. You can also switch between 3D and 2D. There are also different camera views. The markups you create as part of a real-time or whenever-it-suits-you electronic review process are now organized this way: File, Sheet, View. Each markup has a reviewer name, time, and color associated with the reviewer.
UI Elements Performance - We made performance improvements to how our UI elements are handled. It's not dramatic, but we want to bring you the best experience possible.
And, as always, thanks to your diligence, use of Project Freewheel, and the invaluable feedback you provide, we have corrected some defects:
So take the new Freewheel for a spin and tell us what you think: email@example.com. Be sure to send us links to your sites showing Project Freewheel embedded with a customized UI. We know of use cases for mode=ViewOnly but this opens up a whole new ball game.
Evolving our technologies based on your requests is alive in the lab.
GBU Product Design Manager, Itamar Lima Medeiros, alerted me to the following article:
Highlights: ...128-screen hyperwall-2 ...capable of rendering one quarter billion pixel graphics ...quickly explore datasets that otherwise would take many years to analyze ...23-foot-wide by 10-foot tall liquid crystal display...
I want one! CAD models for AutoCAD, Inventor, and Revit published as DWF and examined using Autodesk Design Review with multi-touch would be so sweet.
To support our vision for Building Information Modeling and strengthen our portfolio of sustainable design solutions, Autodesk has packaged 25 useful utilities for energy efficiency in a "green" MEP Analysis Extension. I was thrilled to post the extension for download free of charge on the Autodesk Labs site. The MEP Analysis Extension helps engineers reduce costs as well as energy and environmental impact while improving the performance of building systems. The MEP Analysis Extension operates with AutoCAD MEP 2009 and Revit MEP 2009.
The MEP Analysis Extension calculates cooling and heating loads for commercial and residential buildings, U-Values, and psychrometric properties of air. Running these types of ventilation calculations through the MEP Analysis Extension saves time and improves accuracy, potentially saving thousands of dollars and kilowatts of electricity. The MEP Analysis Extension also contains utilities for sizing duct work, piping, and HVAC systems - helping engineers and architects identify the most appropriate building equipment early in the design cycle.
The MEP Analysis Extension is chock full of useful utilities:
|Calculations||Single-state psychrometric calculations|
|Mixed-air psychrometric calculations|
|Duct sizing calculations|
|ASHRAE duct fitting pressure loss calculations|
|Rule-of-thumb commercial HVAC load calculations|
|Simple residential/light commercial HVAC load calculations|
|Swimming pool heating calculations|
|Sizing||General pipe sizing|
|Hot/chilled water pipe sizing|
|Steam pipe sizing|
|Low pressure gas pipe sizing|
|High pressure gas pipe sizing|
|Refrigerant pipe sizing|
|Analysis||Fan cost analysis|
|Fan curve analysis|
|Pump curve analysis|
|Utilities||Wire sizing utility|
|Glass moisture condensation|
So if you are an AutoCAD MEP or Revit MEP user, check out this extension and let us know what you think: firstname.lastname@example.org . When you do, please mention if you are an AutoCAD MEP or Revit MEP user. I am curious to see which group is more talkative. :-) If you like these tools, please let us know. If you do not, also please let us know. Your feedback shapes the future of our technologies. The extension will run through October 31, 2008. Happy Halloween.
Adding more and more to our arsenal of free utilities to garner your feedback is alive in the lab.
Based on your feedback, the Autodesk Labs site is in the process of getting a minor makeover. You may recall that this blog was incorporated into the Autodesk Labs site using the RSS feed:
This week we changed that. The Labs site now hyperlinks to the TypePad instance of this blog. As such, the Autodesk Labs home page contains the last 5 blog entries as hyperlinks to the full blog postings here on this TypePad hosted site.
For those of you who have bookmarked:
instead. The advantage of this approach is that there is no longer two sets of comments - those on the TypePad site and another set on the Labs site. Now all users can see what everyone else is saying. For those who read blogs using an RSS reader, please continue to use:
Making it simpler to communicate is alive in the lab.
On his SaaS Blogs - understanding the Software as a Service revolution, Sinclair Schuller asked the question:
Andreas Müller of WIN-Verlag GmbH & Co.KG recently asked me:
Which pricing models and use models for 3D-Software do you think will prevail in the future? What are the odds that SaaS will establish itself in these markets?
This is hard to predict. Suppose you were in the movie business in 1980. You had one screen, and life was good. With the advent of multi-screen complexes, movie goers could frequent your establishment and have a choice. Business was booming. How could it get any better than this? Then came the VCR. Suddenly people were renting tapes and not showing up at your complex. The video rental store became king. DVDs replaced tapes and shop owners no longer had to admonish patrons for not rewinding. :-) How could it get any better than this? Along came the internet. Now people don’t want the hassle of picking up/dropping off the movies. They want the movie. They don’t want the disc.
It’s all about what’s really desired. Cable TV attempted to eliminate the hassle but customers had to watch movies on the movie channel’s schedule. Before the advent of the DVR, people were disappointed with this. Will software follow the television industry? Free with commercials (ABC, CBS, NBC), subscription (HBO, Showtime, Cinemax), or pay per view? People want solutions. They don’t really want applications. They will use an application as a means to an end – but it’s all about the end. The demand for SaaS models in these markets shouldn't be fundamentally different nor need to veer significantly from other models currently in the market. There are some unique areas we can work on with our customers to provide more value, and we are evaluating these, but our approach will not be considered unorthodox. In general we are trying to broaden the way our users access our technologies and how we can provide our technology to the widest possible audience in an affordable way.
I am old. I have been using computers for a long time. So I have been following Software as a Service with a grain of salt. In May of 2006 I had a blog posting:
The point of that article regarded how the personal computer was tied to a server for the convenience of the IT department. I lamented that my computer, with its own powerful CPU, was being turned into a VT100 terminal. But actually SaaS offers some advantages:
Delivery - A software service is typically delivered via the web. Oftentimes, an installation is not required. This eliminates the IT burden for the customer. This also allows the solution to reach a larger set of users – perhaps those running on different standards of hardware and different operating systems. This could be great for universities who need to set up hundreds of machines at the beginning of each semester – often machines not running on the latest and greatest hardware or operating system; or for organizations building large projects with several design, engineering, and construction teams across the globe who all need access to the same building information and processes.
Pricing - Software services are often sold based on usage. This opens a door for the occasional user whose usage is not sufficient enough to warrant purchasing a full seat of an application. Sticking with the drill analogy, a carpenter can either purchase a drill of his own or rent the use of one only when he needs it. SaaS is also attractive to large organizations with expensive data centers. With the rising cost of energy, virtualization and online delivery models become more attractive.
Updates - As newer versions of the software are released, customers automatically receive the updates. This relieves the burden of having to keep track of and install the updates. This is especially taxing for users who lack administrative rights to their machines.
Community – SaaS fully leverages the internet. It is possible to do things in real-time rather than have people work individually using their applications and exchange different versions of files back and forth. As my colleague, Autodesk Labs Senior Strategic Designer, Doug Look, likes to say: “Collaboration can encourage user participation, harness collective activity, provide an engaging experience, and enable use of diverse content.“ This approach reduces sales cycles for buyer and seller by enabling a fast evaluation process, enables application configuration as opposed to the need to customize code for finicky customers, and moves away from reliance on an IT infrastructure to a service level agreement structure.
Scalability – Since the service provider owns the hardware that runs the software service, the user can leverage a provider’s entire hardware arsenal for brief periods of time. For example, on a single machine, an analysis may take many hours to complete. By farming portions of the analysis out to hundreds of servers, the analysis may only take seconds. Having a large bank of computers is not practical for most businesses. Why incur the expense to do something so quickly if it is not done that often? It is better to rent a thousand computers for 60 seconds than to buy a thousand computers or wait 60,000 seconds for a task to complete.
Perhaps we can have the best of both worlds? Since SaaS de-emphasizes the power of the hardware on the client side and leverages the power of the server, in many cases treating the client like a VT100 terminal, why not minimize the power of the client? Many of these low cost "personal computer over internet protocol" portal devices do just that. It will be interesting to pay attention to this approach for computing. The mainframe is back. It's called the internet. Sun Microsystem's slogan of 1995 may come true - the computer is the Internet.
User Assistance Manager, Chris Blocher, used to write documentation for Autodesk Design Review. One day he sent me the following:
Chris noted how viewing designs had evolved from Autodesk View, WHIP!, and Volo View to Autodesk Design Review.
Chris also couldn't help but notice that the same was true for publishing to the web. Design viewing and collaboration has even gone so far as to evolve into Project Freewheel which allows the design data to be viewed using just a browser. The 3D/2D ShareNow Add-in for Autodesk, Inventor, Revit, and Design Review makes publishing to the web as easy as one click.
Having a chuckle on a Friday, the 4th of July, is alive in the lab.
Our old pal and super programmer, Senior Manager of Worldwide DevTech, Kean Walmsley, has an article about Project Draw on his Through the Interface blog:
Recall that Project Draw 0.7.5 featured a new API call to delete all sessions. The suggestion for this method came from Kean who had been working with the API. Check it out.
The Read Me for the UI Technology Preview for Autodesk Inventor 2009 is available at:
OK - don't everyone click at once. I am familiar with the fact that not everyone reads the read me. On the other hand, many people read this blog because the content is brought to them using an RSS reader. So allow me to note a few of the items from the read me:
This UI technology Preview can be applied to the following flavors of Autodesk Inventor 2009:
Autodesk Inventor LT Technology Preview 2009 is not supported.
The UI Technology Preview cannot be installed if you have previously installed any service packs or hot fixes for Inventor 2009.
You must have Administrator privileges on your local machine to install the UI Technology Preview.
The UI Technology Preview for Autodesk Inventor 2009 and Autodesk Inventor 2009 use the same file formats (.iam, .ipt, .idw, .ipn, .idv, .ide). All file types can be interchanged between these versions.
The last run version of Inventor must be Inventor 2009 to install/run the UI Technology Preview.
The UI Technology Preview consumes the same license as the last run version of Inventor 2009.
You can start Inventor 2009 and the UI Technology Preview side-by-side.
Unlike Office 2007, the drop-down arrow at the end of the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) is not for customization. Use it when there are too many buttons on the QAT compared to the horizontal size of Inventor application window.
The UI Technology Preview can be installed with localized Inventor, but both English and localized text show in the UI.
When using on Microsoft Vista, do not remove .NET 3.0 components; otherwise UI Technology Preview crashes in the Startup. (Windows Control Panel > Programs > Program and Features > Turn Windows features on or off > Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0).
Sharing information about technologies, one way or another, is alive in the lab.
If you migrated your AutoCAD 2008 CUI settings when you installed AutoCAD 2009, you need to manually add the ShareNow icons to an existing toolbar. ShareNow and ShareDSD are available from the command line independent from this action.
I was testing ShareNow with AutoCAD 2009. I installed the add-in but had no ShareNow icons. My AutoCAD 2009 looked like:
This was puzzling to our ShareNow developers who got results that looked like:
Upon further investigation it turned out that I had migrated my 2008 CUI settings from AutoCAD 2008 to 2009 when I installed AutoCAD 2009. Hence a subsequent install of the ShareNow add-in did not result in the icons being added to the Quick Properties toolbar. If this happens to you, please use the AutoCAD CUI user interface to add the ShareNow and ShareDSD icons to a toolbar of your choosing.
Now I can share my designs with others right from AutoCAD by clicking an icon. The others do not need AutoCAD or additional plug-ins - just their browsers. For more information see:
Scratching our heads but finding the answers is alive in the lab.
From their web site: Shipman King Proprietary Limited is "an Australian designer, manufacturer and distributor of equipment for below ground and above ground storage systems used in the petroleum and chemical industries."
Manufacturing Systems Division Product Marketing Manager, Tyler Barnes, provided me with a question / answer document from Shipman King Pty Ltd. He asked that I add it to the Autodesk Labs site:
Now that I think of it, many of you may not have noticed the links available in the third column of the Autodesk Inventor LT Technology Preview 2009 page:
Providing technologies and information about the success of those technologies is alive in the lab.