I am an interior designer, and most interior designers I know are quickly becoming loyal users of Google SketchUp. They prefer Google SketchUP over AutoCAD Arch, Revit Arch, and 3Ds Max. This is a trend I see around the country and from speaking with friends abroad (London), internationally too. It seems that Autodesk's Revit and AutoCAD are taking big hits in sales because of Google SketchUP. With the new and easy to use plug-ins and its user friendliness, alot of former AutoCAD users are shifting to Google SketchUP and Vectorworks. Again, from my experience both locally (Wisconsin) and abroad (London), small firms and some large design firms do not want to switch to Revit. The backwards incompatibility of Revit is one big reason why designers do not want to switch to Revit.
Autodesk Sales Agent Scott talked about subscription, but he and Autodesk should also look into the fact that small businesses cannot afford to change to a new release every year. While it is important to keep up with technology, it is also important to make a program flexible. Afterall every program is pages and pages of code. If Adobe and Microsoft and even other Autodesk products such as AutoCAD can have backwards compatibility, why not Revit?
"designers I know"
People who sketch buildings and interiors are talented artists who use a wide variety of drawing
tools. SketchUp is somewhat popular for that, as is 3Ds Max Design. There are many of these
drawing programs because these artists all like something different for drawing. With the Revit
2010 release, Autodesk expanded the massing tools to allow these artists to work closer to Revit.
No conceptual drawing program is really more popular than another. And either those drawings
will export to a .skp , .dwg, or .rvt, and Revit likes them all to start building a construction model.
The Backward Compatibility Issue is starting to wind me up, I work for a surveying company and we have a subscription where we get the new releases as they come out. I like it seems alot are restricted to using older versions because the majority of our clients do not have subscriptions, It's not just small companies, some of our clients have 10k staff all using autodesk software and they obviosly see it as unfeasable to upgrade 10k licenses of every piece of software their staff use every year I wouldn't dare imagine the maintenence costs of that all of which get passed on to the end client. Not only that I don't think I've ever seen £1000 worth of improvements from one years upgrades, a few tweaks here and there normally, and alot of the time fixing and adding things that really should have been there in the first place.
Most annoying is when our clients aren't properly educated in the software they purchase, we have signed a fair few contracts now where the MD's assume they have the "latest" software even after we say you use Revit 2013? "yes the latest" is normally the reply, we issue a Revit 2013 file to have it immediately sent back to us with a grumpy reply "We can't open this our CAD guys say they need a 2011 version" because they only upgrade every 3 years, so much of my hard work is alot of the time for nothing. They still happily pay and realise their errors and make do with an IFC file imported to their version, but it winds me up when i've spent alot of time and effort building intelligent content that doesn't get picked up by an IFC file.
Just bring Back backward compatibility like in the other software you produce, and stop thinking about ways to Monopolise the market for once, Why not try and provide a really useful product that your clients say, Yeah Revit's fantastic, no complaints here, Sometimes it's not about lining your pockets it's about having a little pride in what you produce.
Flippin Monetized system, it drags us all down!!!
we issue a Revit 2013 file to have it immediately sent back to us with a grumpy reply "We can't open this, our CAD guys say they need a 2011 version"
If 2011 could even OPEN a 2013 file, what would 2011 do with
all that 2013 information, besides choke on it? Think about that.
Its not a hard one to think about, it would just omitt the additional information that it can't handle from 2013, as I mentioned I work for a surveying company, all we provide our clients (mainly Architects) is an-As built model, in terms of the models we produce everything in 2013 can be done in 2011, it just handes the information better in 2013 making things a bit more efficient, we don't really add a lot of information to the families add anything that 2013 can do that 2011 can't.
just like all other softwares do they leave iout what they can't understand from newer versions, in the case of our models it would be nothing, but from producing IFC files it loses so much information from families including the parameters, materials, and even basic physical properties like voids.
Perfect world would be that everyone paid for the maintenance that Autodesk bully their clients into. but evidently the reality is that alot of customers do not pay for the maintenance, this is causing a lot of people a lot of grief, and looking through this thread is even turning people away from using Revit.
I just think that they should include backward compatibility, even with a small loss of data that could happen, peaople accept this happens in AutoCAD, Max etc. It would make for a much cleaner end product for Autodesk, make it more saleable, and will redeem a bad reputation the program is getting becauses of it.
Just wish AutoDesk would take more pride in their work rather than thinking how best to be profitable.
So I'm not the only one that noticed Subscription gets paid, whether we make a profit or not. We've had to let a lot of good folks go. My neck is on the line every day over this Revit deal. I work in Mechanical design. We need to be in 2013 for a few reasons. Now I have to figure out a process to coordinate with a few Arch clients still in 2012. My firm is fed-the-Hell-up with spending money for no return. I'm the one who said "Revit is great". I wouldn't be surprised if they decide to kill the messenger (me).
As I said before, Autodesk is really ignoring the masses out there in the design community who are either independent designers or people who work for small design firms. Even though many users dont really use the programs full capabilities, they are forced to keep up with the yearly releases which is costly.
Maybe it is time for Autodesk to consider a lighter version of Revit and include backwards compatibility in that version? This newer version should therefore be affordable and it will meet the demands of the currently dissatisfied users of Autodesk's Revit.
Or is this already being considered by Autodesk, and that's why AutoCAD Architecture is starting to look and function like Revit? The new AutoCAD Architecture 2013, in my opinion has many new features that were previously only available in Revit.
Sigh. Fine, I'll bite.
Revit can be exactly as backwards compatible as AutoCAD can. If you export a CAD file from AutoCAD, then you're just exporting lines to lines. No problem. If you're exporting from AutoCAD Architecture to a previous version of vanilla AutoCAD (i.e. an AutoCAD release that is pre-ACA), then you get just that, CAD. Not walls and doors, but lines and blocks. A dumbed down version of what you had previously, with a ton of lost functionality.
The same is true for Revit. You can't "save down" per se, but you can export to IFC, and then re-import that IFC file into a new Revit file from a previous version. Will it import and open? Yes. Will it be exactly the same and fully functional? No, probably not.
While you may consider this inconvenient, or some great travesty, it is not.
Ross, sorry I'm so long getting back to you. Your solution does work. Most of the coordination between consultants (that I do) concerns the location of various components. The most important data for this task (X, Y, Z) didn't change.
Overall Revit falls short with many issues. One of which are the fact that autodesk continues to issue new versions each year and forcing people to pay for the subrscription or pay for a complete upgrade. There is no need to issue small changes year after year that are often full of bugs. Instead perfect the version and release a new version every 3 years. Another issue is its compatability with deciplines outside of mep, structure, and architecture but that is a whole other topic.