I read this morning through a linkedin update of an individual/firm that is running Revit on a 16-core Intel i7 Xeon 2.67GHz, 1GB Video Card, 12GB RAM workstation, and was asking if anyone was interested in using it for design/rendering/etc. I guess this was only a matter of time, but it begs the question of SaaS entering the AEC Software Marketplace. AutoDesk has Dragonfly that allows to export directly into a Revit format. I am not sure who the target user is for this, although they mention that “it can streamline your next home improvement. ” Again is the regular home user or enthusiast going to pick up dragonfly for an improvement project? Or is some who has a visualization program going to change workflows or programs to use Dragonfly? Or better is it Autodesk trying to work the kinks out of what could become a full blown SaaS (Software as a Service) effort? Certainly, they have to be thinking of this, especially when everyone can spit out SaaS or Cloud Computing fast enough to show they are with it.
What would the pricing model look like, free, freemium, premium, etc? I think it would be important from a data point of view, not a legal who owns the data point of view, but imagine actually having data stored centrally, and and then the building becomes the OS (operating system) and everyone adds value to the building through analysis and management, and 3rd parties writing apps, etc. Not that does not happen now, but it in the standard software, mostly stand alone, environment. Cracking this nut open as a marketplace, interesting to ponder. ANd it could bring a whoel new vitality to the marketplace beyond the current BIM movement. Keep an eye out on Dragonfly it might just tell us.