Two of the largest BIM software producers, Autodesk and Trimble, have entered into an agreement to increase interoperability between their portfolios of architectural, engineering, and construction software.
Under the terms of agreement, Autodesk, which makes Revit, and Trimble, which produces Tekla, will take steps to accelerate interoperability by exchanging Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and developer tools to build and market interoperable products.
Interoperability is a critical issue for BIM, and this agreement could be the largest major shake-up since Autodesk and Bentley Systems agreed to exchange APIs in 2008.
According to a joint press release, the agreement will allow the two companies to improve upon existing data exchanges, as well as open up new workflows between their products.
Tighter product-to-product integration will enable design and construction professionals to share models, project files and other data between select Autodesk and Trimble solutions.
As yet the companies have not confirmed which products will be selected, and no date for the seamless exchange of data between Tekla and Revit has been set.
Jim Lynch, vice president of the AEC division at Autodesk, was quoted on Engineering.com saying that the agreement will push interoperability to the next level, past IFC and COBie, and could accelerate interoperability across BIM.
Lynch said: “I think IFC is good, it serves an important purpose in the industry and I think COBie does the same. But, with those types of exchange formats or industry standards, you’re somewhat limited in what you can actually do.
“Today, those products [Revit and Tekla] do interoperate via IFC, but when you take it to the next level of APIs, you get much stronger and more direct interoperability.”
Amar Hanspal, senior vice president of Autodesk said: “The strength of a company is best measured by its willingness to do what is right for its customers and the industry at large. This interoperability agreement, like others we’ve signed, speaks to Autodesk’s commitment to openness. This collaboration with Trimble speaks to our shared dedication to making the building process more efficient and productive for all involved.”
Bryn Fosburgh, vice president at Trimble, added: “This collaboration demonstrates our mutual commitment to provide design and construction professionals with a seamless experience from both Autodesk and Trimble design-build-operate solutions. As a result all stakeholders across the construction lifecycle can optimize their workflow efficiency.
Today, those products [Revit and Tekla] do interoperate via IFC, but when you take it to the next level of APIs, you get much stronger and more direct interoperability– Jim Lynch, vice president of the AEC division at Autodesk