LAS VEGAS, Nov. 30, 2006 - At Autodesk University, Autodesk, Inc, announced a collaboration with Microsoft Corp. to seamlessly integrate DWF technology with Windows Vista using the XML Paper Specification (XPS). This initiative will provide users with the ability to view and manage DWF detail-rich design information without requiring additional downloads of plug-ins or special viewing software. The result of the two companies' expanded strategic alliance will simplify and extend project teams' collaboration for greater efficiency and productivity.
DWF files published to the XPS specification can be automatically opened and viewed directly in Windows Vista using the XPS Viewer. Project team members can use Microsoft Corp.'s forthcoming software right out of the box to review designs in digital format. As part of the announcement, Autodesk will incorporate support for publishing DWF files to the XPS specification.
"Together with Autodesk, we are bringing the powerful capabilities of Windows Vista and XPS to the CAD software space, expanding our customers' horizons when it comes to sharing and collaborating on design information," said Sanjay Parthasarathy, corporate vice president, Developer and Platform Evangelism Group at Microsoft. "Today's news is an important milestone in our shared vision for software that works the way people do."
According to Gisela D. Wilson, director of IDC's Product, Project and Portfolio Management Solutions service, "This is a significant development for the manufacturing, engineering and construction industries' supply chains. No doubt, DWF is emerging as an important standard for new product development and introduction workflows. With today's announcement, the DWF platform will become more accessible for secure team collaboration among globally dispersed manufacturers, suppliers and customers."
More Efficient, Productive Collaboration
Windows Vista and XPS will allow CAD users and their teammates to collaborate more easily, work more productively through the operating system's advanced search capabilities, and provide richer, more precise design content for customers. DWF encapsulates the rich details of designs, maps and data in compact, high-fidelity files, so that designers can easily share specific ideas with their suppliers, contractors and customers. The recipient will be able to instantly review designs using built-in Windows Vista tools. Where users once risked loss of detail and communication of design intent to paper and other file formats, they can now know their teams will have specific information, deeper insight and a rich understanding of designs without needing to become expert in design software.
"Working with Microsoft, we're liberating our customers from paper-based sharing and proprietary software that might otherwise limit use and cause costly project or product delays due to lack of clarity or insight," said Amar Hanspal, vice president, Autodesk Collaboration Solutions. "In effect, Windows Vista and XPS's integration in DWF technology democratizes access to CAD data, by making it possible for engineers and designers to share the right information with the right people at the right time."
In addition to automatic DWF file viewing, the Windows Vista desktop search function will make it easier and faster for customers to find relevant design files with Live Icons and Preview Pane features. For example, a product designer can search for files based on specifications, designs, or any piece of related data such as an address or supplier's name. Regardless of where the information is stored, Windows Vista returns Live Icons - thumbnail images of files retrieved - that let the designer see files' general content at a glance and choose the right one, without scrolling through a conventional text directory and checking large files that can take as much as several minutes to open. The designer might choose to search for meta-data tags instead, and use the search function's preview pane to confirm which file is the one sought.