(22.07.19) Improved result calculators support and now out of preview and a supported feature. Bulk calculation of parts and cutting planes, with region support. Improved element query support. Plus updated file readers and added support for ANSYS 2019R2. These are some of the new features in Cloud Components 2.12.0, released earlier today. For full release notes, see https://ceetron.com/3d-visualization-documentation/.

These may seem like minor and somewhat technical improvements to an already fairly mature piece of software, in use by a significant number of tier 1 and tier 2 CAE players with serious cloud-based CAE offerings. However, after a conversation with Fredrik Viken, Ceetron’s CTO, I thought I should use this blog post to say some words about how we in Ceetron process-wise prioritize new features for our SDKs. Some come about as result of internal thinking, and especially on the performance side. However, a significant majority come about as a result of feature requests from our customers. In fact for 2.12.0, 100% out of the most major functional enhancements (including the 4 above) came as a direct result of feature requests from major players in CAE space. Implication for you as Cloud Components customer: Feel always free to contact your designated technical contact person in dev (all our SDK customers are assigned such contact person) with requests for new features. As long as of general interest to the dev community as well as aligned with the overall architecture of our SDKs, we are all ears. Which is why you, as a serious provider of cloud-based CAE software, will never grow out of a 3D visualization solution from Ceetron.

Based on my conversation with Fredrik, I also thought I should share with you what seems to be a major trend in engineering app space: hybrid architectures for engineering apps. Some years ago, I was of the opinion that engineering apps would move directly from old-fashioned desktop-type apps directly to the brave new world of cloud (analogous to the situation in ERP space, say 5-8 years ago). History proved me partly wrong, in particular for products with desktop lineage. Indeed, some of the most interesting projects that we have been seeing in the industry in 2018 and so far in 2019 are based on augmenting or combining desktop-based apps for pre and post with cloud-based compute components + web apps with client-side rendering for storing, viewing (incl. light-weight post-processing), and sharing (across disciplines and organizational boundaries, and along the value chain). The desktop-based part of these apps would typically be built on graphics-intensive legacy software, the compute components on migrating existing solver software to the cloud, and the web apps on Cloud Components (which is why I am reflecting on this issue in a blog post about release of Cloud Components 2.12.0).

These hybrid architectures seem by the industry to be perceived as offering a lower risk approach to cloudification of engineering apps than a complete rewrite, for two reasons:

  • Rewriting or completely replacing the pre/post components for a cloud architecture is a huge and complex task. Applications such as Abaqus/CAE and ANSYS Workbench have been developed over 20+ years and are not easily rewritten for the cloud.
  • The user experience of highly interactive applications running off a cloud-based resource is not on par with desktop apps, and clearly inferior to desktop apps if using traditional server-side rendering (though WebGL-based approaches with client side rendering, like the one use in Cloud Components, offer comparable performance to desktop apps).

The jury is still out on whether hybrid architectures for CAE products with desktop lineage are to be seen as a bridging paradigm (between old world and new world) or as an endgame paradigm. However, rest assured that, whether you target a hybrid architecture or a pure play cloud architecture, Cloud Components will protect your investments in cloud-enabling your software.

Do not hesitate to contact me at grim.gjonnes@ceetron.com if you want to discuss these matters in more detail. I am also happy to set up a conversation with Fredrik, who may add more technical perspectives on and content to these matters.

Anyway and as always, we encourage current and prospective Cloud Components customers to develop using the latest versions of our SDKs. To download 2.12.0, go to https://ceetron.com/developer-zone-downloads/. Enjoy.

Grim
Head S&M in Ceetron