Evan’s final comments suggest that he feels Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based CAD is a distinct possibility even if there are, in his view, no CAD or SaaS vendors yet moving in that direction.
Done right, it [SaaS] can have real benefits for users, particularly in shifting maintenance and procurement costs to vendors, and in converting front-ended loaded overhead costs into scalable variable costs. Yet, I don’t know that any of today’s major CAD vendors are anywhere near the point of being able to deliver serious SaaS solutions. And I don’t know that the current SaaS platform vendors are anywhere near providing the kind of capabilities demanded by such solutions.
I wrote a few posts about CADaaS earlier this year (posts here, here and here), but – on reflection – perhaps nobody wants to reinvent CAD for SaaS as CAD could be superceded by SaaS-based building information modelling (BIM) – will that end up dubbed BIMaaS?
Coincidentally, as well as linking to Evan’s interview, my feed-reader also pointed me to Randall Newton’s latest post from 3D Basecamp where he briefly describes the views of a Pennsylvania architect who has been using Onuma Planning System, and where he overheard mention of “a new open source web-based product about to come online… BIM Server: http://bimserver.org/“. This holding page from Dutch e-construction business e-Bouw.org in turn links to blog pages containing a mixture of Dutch and English postings, and a wiki page about the product.