Friday, April 27, 2001
It's been a busy season in the CAE market.
The software developers continue their campaign to push simulation
upstream in the development process, where it can be used not just by Ph.D.s,
but also by the average CAD jockey.
This will save money by eliminating dead ends and false starts,
and facilitating faster design iterations, we're told. The CAE companies have
been backing up their pitch by offering easier-to-use software, lower prices,
and even some ASP models so new users can rent instead of buy.
At the beginning of April, Dassault Systemes (www.dsweb.com) put its money where its mouth is
by announcing it would acquire SRAC (www.srac.com), the maker of analysis programs
And now Dassault is at it again.
On Tuesday, the company announced an alliance with MSC.Software
(www.mscsoftware.com), the maker of
Nastran, Patran, Dytran, Marc, and Engineering-e.com. The deal is that MSC will
develop its next generation of simulation products using Dassault's Version 5
architecture, which is the basis for Dassault applications like CATIA, ENOVIA,
The ultimate goal is to package Dassault's PLM (product lifecycle
management) with MSC's analysis and simulation. With integrated simulation, the
result will be no less than "a step forward in establishing Version 5 as the de
facto industry standard for all PLM processes," the press release trumpets.
Of course, it's not the first time anybody's thought of this
approach. Already, SRAC's COSMOS/Works is a partner product with SolidWorks (www.solidworks.com), and there are many
other examples. The variables in the equation are whether CAD users actually
want to do their own analysis, and more specifically, whether all CATIA users
want to use MSC.