The C# dwg file format hacking engine. AutoCAD? software is the 2D drafting and detailing and 3D design tool used by more designers worldwide than any other CAD drawing software. There are literally billions of AutoCAD? DWG drawings present worldwide. At the same time, there is need for this design data to be available on the internet. Consequently, there is an increased demand, in the engineering community, for tools that allow access to AutoCAD? drawings on the internet and within other custom applications. The DWG Class Library for .NET imports and programmatically exposes a DWG drawing as a familiar object model for programmers to utilize in their solutions.
The C++ dwg file format hacking engine. DWGdirectT, based on OpenDWG?, the industry standard format supported by hundreds of commercial software vendors, and used by millions of engineers, designers and architects. OpenDWG is based on the DWG format used in AutoCAD, as developed and sold by Autodesk. While OpenDWG is designed to provide as near to perfect compatibility with DWG as is possible, it has several advantages that have made it a safe choice for even mission-critical applications. First and foremost, it is documented, with no hidden encryption, and no obfuscation. Second, it is supported, with a dedicated team of technical professionals focused on fixing any problems that may crop up from time to time. Third, our OpenDWG software libraries are clean, written in object-oriented C++, and designed to impress even the most fastidious commercial software developers. And fourth, our OpenDWG software libraries are updated, providing compatibility with all versions of DWG from 2.5 to 2004. (Our OpenDWG libraries also support DXF and DWF, using the same API, and with the same high-quality and attention to detail.)
Historically, computer users have always benefited from open standards.
The IBM PC standard caused the rise of a huge industry for the creation of productivity-enhancing tools. The Ethernet standard led the way to networked, interoperating computers and client-server computing on a large scale. Most recently, Internet standards for mail, file transfer, and document display have caused the greatest explosion in computer interoperability the world has ever seen.
The CAD world has its own standards, such as IGES and STEP, for transfer of design file information from one software package to another. Yet the number of files stored using these standards is vastly outnumbered by those stored in proprietary formats (most notably the DWG file format used by Autodesk’s AutoCAD.)
Our most basic statement of philosophy is this: It is users who own their design data, and it is users who should control that data.
This philosophy is reflected most prominently in our support for two design data standards: OpenDWG, which is our version of the undocumented and proprietary DWG file format used by Autodesk’s AutoCAD, and OpenDGN, which is based on the file specification provided by Bentley Systems.
Our OpenDWG and OpenDGN libraries put control over valuable design data back where it belongs — in the hands of the users who created it.
RealDWG License Application
RealDWG™ 2009 software is sold and licensed as a software developer toolkit (SDK). To apply for a license, please download and complete the RealDWG application form with all required information. Valid only in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and Europe. For Asia-Pacific, contact your local Autodesk office.
Criteria for RealDWG licensure:
- Autodesk must approve all licensees’ applications before SDK will be provided.
reserves the right not to license the RealDWG SDK for use in software
applications that compete with existing Autodesk software applications
- Licensee must agree to Autodesk trademark and logo terms.
- Use of the RealDWG toolkit is subject to the RealDWG license terms and conditions.
- Initial license fee (1 year contract) US$5,000/€5,000
- Annual license fee $2,500/€2,500
shown are for development of a single application. Customers developing
multiple applications would pay $2,500 (€2,500) for each additional
Join the ODA
ODA members are a collective group — each with unique requirements for the ODA software libraries. The membership levels accommodate these varied requirements and different levels of participation:
- Associate Members use the binary ODA libraries in-house but cannot distribute them. The ODA sends an invoice for your first-year handling fee of US$ 250 payable by credit card. The Associate Membership Agreement is valid for one year with the ability to renew annually. The current annual renewal fee is US$ 100.
- Commercial Members can distribute 100 copies of the binary ODA libraries per year. The ODA sends an invoice for your first-year membership fee of US$ 2,000. Thirty days prior to the anniversary date of your membership you will receive an invoice for your annual membership fee, currently US$ 1,500.
Sustaining Members can distribute an unlimited number of copies of the binary ODA libraries each year. The ODA sends an invoice for your first-year membership fee of US$
5,000. Thirty days prior to the anniversary date of your membership,
you will receive an invoice for your annual membership fee, currently
Founding Members have an unlimited distribution license, have access to the source code, and can be involved in the management of the ODA. The ODA sends an invoice for your first-year membership fee of US$
25,000. Thirty days prior to the anniversary date of your membership,
you will receive an invoice for your annual membership fee, currently
Membership levels allow members to develop their business while working on their CAD applications. When a member decides to upgrade to another membership level, the first year fee from the current level is deducted from the first year fee of the new membership level.
progeCAD and similar products continue to win user confidence as low cost substitutes for overpriced CAD. And American corporation “Autodesk” is getting mad. Passive resistance to DWG clone technologies has developed into all out war, both in the court room and in the board room.
The Open Design Alliance (ODA) is a nonprofit consortium of CAD companies cooperating in a rare way to clone one of the few major reasons people still pay Autodesk prices - the binary DWG AutoCAD file format. The ODA posts regular updates of their robust DWG and DGN libraries on a website for member use in their own software - software like progeCAD.
When Autodesk itself was invited to join the ODA, the company declined. Gradually Autodesk began a long series of legal attacks on the ODA. On November 13 2006 they officially filed suit for their “Trusted DWG technology” which superficially warns users about opening DWG files that didn’t come from their own AUD$6000 CAD system. They are also litigating for ownership of the letters DWG as a trademark belonging to Autodesk. The problem is that the USA trademark office doesn’t recognise file extensions as “trademarkable”. DWG is really just another file extension like “.doc” or “.txt”.
Meanwhile, Autodesk finally realeased their own “RealDWG” toolkit to compete with the ODA, the caveat being that any applicant must meet with Autodesk’s approval as a developer that will not compete with any of the Autodesk high-priced product line. It was quite an effective move to begin cherry-picking “realDWG” converts from important ODA contributors, undermining it. ODA gets its funding from its members.
Autodesk has quickly made their next move in this apperantly two-prong gambit to weaken the ODA. Following at the heals of the completed million-dollar Autodesk assimilation of Moldflow, Autodesk has announced a new “cooperation” with their next unlikely target, Bentley Systems(Microstation). At one time, Bentley was a serious AEC market competitor. Then, in February 2008, a key Bentley developer changed sides to Autodesk. Strangley, Bentley Systems has now been approved for use of the Autodesk “RealDWG” toolkit. A press release was posted celebrating this “Advance in AEC Software Interoperability”. Now think, would you let your worst enemy watch your house while you were away? The truth is that Autodesk is as unconcerned in promoting real file interoperability as they have ever been. The endgame in this gambit really stood later in Bentley’s own reaction, stating that their ODA was “now irrelevant”. There is further speculation that Bentley Systems is next in line for Autodesk assimilation.
progeCAD is a product that reads, writes, edits and converts Autodesk DWG format files in a CAD interface very similar to AutoCAD
2002. Some consider it a clone. Recently this product has become very
stable and robust so that even large companies are saving thousands by
replacing expensive AutoCAD installations with progeCAD.
It is obvious that Autodesk is now at a de facto state of all out war against such products. Should they win, businesses will have no choice but to pay big AutoCAD prices. My gut tells me that Autodesk is scheming something parallel to their 2010 release to finish the ODA for good. Is the world’s best hope is that the EU will take the same anti-trust motions against Autodesk as they have against Microsoft? Maybe the ODA needs to move to Europe?
Posted by CADDIT at 1:28 AM
- Abid Shahzad said...
great work b ODA.
- July 22, 2008 1:17 AM
- Paulo said...
I just noticed that the most recent versions of Autodesk AutoCAD are refusing to open .dwg not generated by them. Earlier versions were just warning that the file was "not genuine" .dwg. This is bad because most companies uses AutoCAD and a small Engineering company that used ProgeCAD will not be able to work for those companies. Please tell me that there is a hope against this. May be something like a converter that makeup the .dwg file and make it acceptable by AutoCAD.
- October 21, 2008 11:14 AM
What Is TrustedDWG?
by Autodesk, and comprising the core file format for AutoCAD® software
and AutoCAD-based products, DWG™ technology is the original, efficient,
and accurate way for storing design data created using AutoCAD and
AutoCAD-based products. With DWG files circulating throughout virtually
every design industry, DWG technology has made the DWG file format one
of the most commonly used design data formats.
AutoCAD® 2008, and AutoCAD® 2009 software include TrustedDWG
functionality. At the option of the user, the software will notify
users when the DWG file they are opening was saved using an application
that was not created by an Autodesk product or RealDWG™
software licensee. This identifies files that Autodesk may not be able
to support and alerts the user that Autodesk cannot guarantee the
integrity or compatibility of that DWG file with AutoCAD or any other
Autodesk application. Much like functionality that allows Internet
users to choose which files they download from the Internet, TrustedDWG
does not repair defects or identify or correct integrity or
compatibility concerns that may exist in the file, but enables the
AutoCAD user to choose whether or not to use DWG files that were not
last saved by an Autodesk or RealDWG licensee product. The TrustedDWG
notification may be easily disabled by checking the box identified for