I've seen a couple comments on here (and the MDT section) plus Sean Dotson's site regarding MDT (and its files) and Inventor 2013 - due to concerns can we get an official statement from Autodesk how we are meant to manage our old data.
From my understanding Inventor 2013 has removed the MDT import optionm, presumably due to the end of MDT's support life - but surely the termination of MDT's support shouldn't terminate Inventor's support of those files?!?
To give you some understanding of my concern and reason for questioning - we have been manufacturing products for the last 60odd years, obviously before CAD and MDT, and we have those hand-drawn sketches for ref as/when needed - in the same way we still have our MDT data from the many years we used it prior to Inventor. Once in a blue moon we need to view this old data as components change (or become obsolete) and assess the need to update the product/assembly - if there are any changes then we import into Inventor and work with the data there. Almost as a rolling update as/when needed - and we have been working this way since about Inventor 6, but we still have a LOT of old MDT data that hasn't been converted which we may (or may not) need to access in years to come. Only this year I had some work evaluating updating an old product we've sold since 1998, so I had to go through the history of the product and can you guess what software that data was in?
How do Autodesk expect us (and the multitude of similar companies) to be able to access and assess our legacy data in the way we have up until now?
Yes, I know we have known for years that MDT was stopping with 2009 and its support would cease 3 years after, but I honestly believe support for MDT does not equal support for MDT files within Inventor. Inventor is the valid/present software and has had the feature to access MDT data for years - therefore it is part of Inventor's support. I am fully aware it has required the use of MDT to import data into Inventor but why hasn't there been the incorporation of MDT import into the core Inventor sofware with the termination of MDT support (even if it means a dumbed-down dumb-solids import instead of the full feature-history)?
As far as I understand we are unable to even authorize our MDT2009 software if we needed to re-build a pc tomorrow - is that the case, even if we have had an ongoing subscription from the days of MDT?
I am greatful for any official statement/information from Autodesk regarding this.
I guess long-term support of your own former data formats just doesn't have that sexy steak-sizzle their sales department demands for the brochures. All we can hope for is that some cheeky competitor builds in seamless MDT imports into their core products; maybe -maybe- Autodesk will respond in kind.
I looks like we will have to maintain both Inventor 2012 and Mechanical Desktop 2009 until all of our data has been converted. It's not a that big of a task for us but I know there are companies with huge datasets, some are even still using Mechanical Desktop.
I completely agree.
Yup. No Sparkles and sizzles to doing it. I'm sure it's drudge work for them, but if they want to convince us that they are a company who stands by their products, it needs to get done. They want to us to buy their subscriptions and tie our businesses to them, then they need to show they'll stand by their old data.
I'm in an industry (like many of their other customers) with product cycles much longer than that of the digital world. They need to understand that and get this resolved. I won't lie and say I'm jumping ship today, but my loyalty is taking a big hit. My ears are always open to better &/or cheaper alternatives and if they povide the conversion and support for our legacy files, I'll be able to seriously consider them.
I want to believe in Autodesk, but for now I have to juggle business risks and be careful not to be tied so closely that it hurts the company down the road.
Related thread on the same issues.
The way the terms of your subscription read...and how I understand them...
You can continue to use MDT2009 indefinately with up to Inventor 2012 to perform the full translation of the files with feature to feature mapping. Since MDT2009 is no longer supported due to legacy status that just means they are not programming it any more to work with the newer versions of Inventor and the translation of an MDT file requires MDT to be installed. If you wanted this feature in Inventor 2013 then essentially you must have MDT installed with it and cannot expect it to just be in the software like a Catia translation that doesn't do the same thing as MDT translation. Even with Inventor 2012 you need to install a special flavor of MDT2009 to get it to work properly.
You can still activate valid subscription licenses and any Standalone licenses (that were never on subscription) as of today as well, it just has to be a seat you have kept on subscription. That is the hitch...you drop subscription, you drop the ability to do this. Its true this process has been 9 years in the making and I understand the buisness case lined out in this thread, but it just means you can't go beyond 2012 with the translation effort and you would have to take a second step and migrate the files to a newer Inventor version if you wanted to stay up and current on your file scheme.
This MDT legacy question has been quite a fumble for Autodesk especially with it now becoming legacy. I have users that just found out last year that MDT was going away. Can you beleive that? And previous discussion with Autodesk had always been contradictory on the subscription use where they would tell you that you could ONLY use 3 versions back, which if you have been on subscription for 5 years, technically in the agreement you can use 5 versions back to that date, not 3 at any given time. This created a lot of mis-information about end of life and legality of even using MDT2009.
I know that up until 2012 you have needed MDT installed to import MDT files but why? I'm not after a technical "it's to look at feature x and recreate into Inventor" I'm more thinking the bigger question of why on earth has it needed MDT from the get go instead of being a stand-alone import like step/iges or the wealth of other cad software import tools that we now have like SolidWorks, Catia, etc. Without this in place then how can AD remove the MDT import command without it being a massive problem for their long-term customers managing their old data?
I still stand by my statement that the MDT import command is an Inventor command, accessed in Inventor and thus falls under Inventor support and shouldn't be ignored because they're washing their hands of MDT. If the powers that be chose Inventor import to call up MDT software then that was their choice - if they choose to discontinue MDT then they should have already set inplace a replacement to keep the same overall Inventor functionality. It's frustrating because I've posted a few times in the last few years that the MDT import needs to be self-contained into Inventor to allow for it's easy termination...
I know it's not ideal, but if it comes to it I imagine most of us would be happy with a dumb-solid featureless import instead of nothing - surely that's possible as the DWG viewer is able to view MDT files as 3d parts, so the MDT data is able to be rendered without MDT - why can't Inventor import these files using the same 3d code as the DWG viewer?
As for MDT licence... My company has had an active subscription of a few seats for years (know they added my seat to their contract back in 2002), so obviously back well before MDT2009. I'm pretty sure that if I managed to dig out an old copy of Inventor 6 (from the same constantly active subscription) it would fail authentication as I beleive I have read on here in the past that they terminate the authentication servers at a similar time to the termination of support. If this is the case then this suggests that even if I rebuilt my pc tomorrow with Iv2012 and MDT2009 I might not be able to register MDT2009 (despite having a constant licence). Has anyone tried to install MDT in the last week or 2, do we know this??? Even if it is able to register today then there will surely come a time that it wont - what happens then?
But what about other situations... If we employ a new cad user tomorrow we would want their system to be installed the same as the rest - with MDT alongside Inventor (as we all access the same data-set). We have had a constant subscription and are now wanting to add a new seat to it - it's now impossible to get MDT working for them? Taking myself (and my company) out of the equasion; what about those that lapsed their Inventor subscription due to lack of funds (there's been a few problem years recently) but still have old MDT data - surely they're still entitled to access their old data?
I'm sorry to sound like a pain but I am really wanting AutoDesk to be part of this topic to explain how they expect long-term customers to work in the future.
I activated a seat about three weeks ago, so that activation process has not been discontinued.
And you are right, it can import DWG solids in a dumb fashion like Catia and SW files, but for the translation to actually be there, you have to have MDT loaded working along side it. In fact if the last software you open before translating is not MDT (lets says its AutoCAD Electrical), then it fails because it needs to call to MDT for certain things. Things that would add an enormous amout of code to Inventor if it was in there by itself. That is probably why it was never incorporated into the software because it was easier to call to the native program for mapping of features.
As for lapse in subscription...yes, that is a true folly here and those years when they are back up to speed with feel the most pinch from not staying current and not taking the time to get the models over to Inventor sooner. Thats why we created a routine and a service for those clients to get files translated and keep the MDT heirchy, but that costs money compared to a company absorbing it in a daily work cycle. We just translated 3000 files for a client into Inventor from MDT and resolved all the folders structures and links and it took time even with our programming. Time that company didn't have to do it, but realized they needed those files going forward.
I don't think I would hold my breath waiting for an ADSK response on this one.
Buy one share of Autodesk stock, show up at the next shareholders meeting, and publicly raise this issue as a concerned stock holder and user.
Though these days, mere non-corporate humans probably aren't allowed at such events.
Buy one stock of Microsoft and ask why you can't run any 16-bit software anymore in Windows 7 and why they no longer support DOS 6.22. It's ridiculous. You might as well ask for Angry Birds for your Palm Pilot. MDT life support was extended years ago and then was formally announced EOL back in 2008. If you haven't taken the time to convert all of your drawings and learn the new software, then you only have yourself to blame. Subscription allowed MDT 2009 to live until version 2012. At some point, you have to cut the apron strings people. Autodesk doesn't have to come here and weigh in on the issue. They did it in 2008 and prior. You should be happy they allowed the download and activation thru 2012 to give you time to migrate. In fact, knowing that MDT was going away years ago, anybody who saved a single MDT drawing after the 2004 format should have had their head examined. Now forgive me, but I have letters to write demanding support for my Commodore 64 and Atari.
In the mean-time, enjoy this deprecated copy of 64-bit Inventor. haha!