Autodesk VP in our product development group, Brian Mathews, was on our team when he invented the DWF format. Our first foray into sharing design data via the internet was a WHIP! plug-in for the Netscape Navigator browser. Internet Explorer had not really emerged on the scene yet. Sun Microsystems had just released Java, so we wanted to call our files whip files (.whp) so you could whip design data all around the web. Autodesk VP, John Lynch, worried that people would not associate the solution with Autodesk, so we called them Drawing Web Format (DWF) files (.dwf) instead. When applications other than AutoCAD were able to create these files, the name evolved to Design Web Format (DWF). So I have been a DWF proponent from the very onset. My first blog was Beyond the Paper that was based on what could be done with DWF files instead of just printing them.
Customers first noticed that there was no release of Autodesk Design Review for 2014. They feared that Autodesk was dropping support for DWF. This was of particular concern to Autodesk Vault users where DWF files are an integral part of the solution. This is also a concern for reprography shops who took our advice and archived data as DWF files instead of TIF since DWF files could be scaled up or down to fit the paper without loss of visual fidelity.
Technical Program Manager, Susan Scott, has also been with DWF since the early days. Susan recently worked with some developers to update Autodesk Design Review. It is available for download:
This update of Design Review includes:
- Proper support for Windows 10
- The Design Review toolbar now includes shortcuts to A360, BIM 360, and AutoCAD 360.
- Design Review now includes InfoCenter, which is a tool that enables you to access product-related information sources.
- Design Review no longer supports HP Instant Printing.
Autodesk will continue to offer subscriptions to desktop applications bundled into Collections for years to come; however, eventually, you are going to want to do everything from your mobile phone or tablet device. Yes, we could port our powerful applications to iPhones and the wide variety of flavors of Android devices, attempting to account for the particulars of each one, or we can use our Autodesk Forge platform to make our applications available as services from servers in the cloud with lots of CPU power and memory suited to the job. Rather than port solutions like Autodesk Design Review to the cloud/mobile/social world, we will offer cloud-based services to supplant the functionality. Until that time, customers can download, install, and use this latest Autodesk Design Review.
The "cloud architecture" is the way forward. Solutions will start with the public cloud and then eventually move to the private cloud. One day it will be possible for a customer to have a local server in locations where there is no internet connectivity. Scientists, engineers, and workers (i.e., all team members) will all be using desktops, laptops, phones, and tablets to look at one source of truth (i.e., the big data on the server) via a local area network instead of everyone having their own copy (i.e., DWF file) that could be out of date. Offline mode support for temporary disconnections from servers (like when people travel on airplanes, although more and more flights nowadays seem to be equipped with internet access) continues to improve as part of our cloud solutions. We are the design/make/use software company that walks and chews gum at the same time.
Collaboration is alive in the lab.