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From software provider to web host—CAD reinvents itself

From software provider to web host—CAD reinvents itself

Once upon a time, a company called Visionary Design Systems (VDS, Santa Clara, CA) had a flagship product called IronCAD. Engineers used this program on their PCs to design new products, and then passed the CAD models on to their marketing and manufacturing departments, who worked with suppliers to make physical products, and then sold them on to customers.

Then the new millennium came, and brought a new design paradigm-CAD programs can be hosted over the Web on someone else's server, and the marketing staff, manufacturing staff, suppliers, and customers can give their input to a product while it's still being designed.

So on April 18, VDS recreated itself as a business-to-business web portal company called Alventive. The new company provides an online, "design to order" community where a product's lifecycle can involve all interested parties. The goal is to achieve a one-to-one relationship between each customer and his product, says VP of marketing John Bruggeman.

"E-commerce is static now, so it's not meeting the Web's first promise, which is direct information," he says. "With Alventive we make it dynamic, so there's two-way communication between customers and manufacturers."

The system works fast because there is no traditional client-server relational database, and because it is deployed through an ASP model, the company says. So anyone with a web browser and the proper permissions can reach any type of data.

So what happened to IronCAD? There will be no more distinct advertising for it, but Alventive insists that it forms the foundation for the new portal. So IronCAD will still be available in the future through the pure ASP model, where engineers log on to create products over the Web.

Additional Details...Contact Alventive, Santa Clara, CA; Tel:(408) 969-8000

; or Circle No. 618


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