Nanosoft: turning convention on its head

The challenge: keeping software up to date

When it was founded in 2008 Nanosoft set out to provide an attractive route by which users of unlicensed CAD software could upgrade to legitimate software with minimal transfer issues and at no cost.

“We were inspired by a high level of piracy in the global CAD software market,” explains Dmitry Popov, Product Launch Director. “Our aim is to protect corporate CAD users and their business processes from legal risks and prosecution by offering them a reliable, free and one hundred per cent legal solution. At Nanosoft we believe that professional CAD applications should be as affordable as operating systems or VoIP applications so that everyone benefits from better products at lower cost.”

Nanosoft also wanted to promote innovation and collaboration by building a CAD platform with an open API. “This means that any developer can port applications to nanoCAD with ease and advanced users can also easily tailor preferred applications for use with nanoCAD,” comments Dmitry.

It was a deliberate choice to base nanoCAD on the native .dwg format, one of the most widely used design data formats. Once drawings are made in nanoCAD, they can be used in any other popular CAD systems without conversion or data loss. In addition, nanoCAD can be combined with other CAD solutions to form a comprehensive package that will reduce cost and create a competitive edge for many businesses.

Before the Nanosoft team began the nanoCAD project they had to evaluate all the alternatives for keeping the .dwg files within their software up to date.

The solution: Teigha for development speed

The company decided to enroll as an ODA Founding Member, with full access to the Teigha source code and full involvement in managing the organization. Dmitry again: “It was absolutely the right decision. We had extensive previous experience of using the ODA libraries and knew that the Teigha platform would give us true native .dwg support. It was very important to us to have the freshest .dwg compliance because it is so critical to CAD users.”

As a result, nanoCAD has an intuitive user interface, familiar commands and it opens, edits and saves all .dwg file formats. It has all the most popular drafting, modeling and editing tools, plus a development platform on which users can create their own CAD applications.

"Time is a critical resource for developers. With the Teigha platform we are able to launch new versions and upgrades faster than our competitors." Dmitry Popov, Product Launch Director, Nanosoft

The result: business success

According to Dmitry the development team is now very efficient. “We developed nanoCAD using Teigha as the core engine. Access to Teigha source code helps enormously. We can make all the necessary changes and submit much more detailed bug reports and this enables ODA developers to provide us with fixes very quickly.

nanoCAD is free. The company’s business model is to focus its efforts on reliability and customer care so that it creates a brand that stands for quality and consistency through which it can provide paid-for services. By 2012, less than four years after its launch, the company had more than 100,000 users of nanoCAD and vertical applications in Russia.

The company now has an income stream of royalties from vertical applications based on the nanoCAD platform – developers only pay once when they are actually selling their application; it provides direct support, training and consulting services; and it offers a subscription service for updates.

Dmitry is clear that the ODA has been critical to the company’s growth. “Without the ODA we could not have been so successful with nanoCAD. We get excellent .dwg format support from the ODA. The Teigha platform allows us to provide smooth integration of nanoCAD into customer workflows. There is no problem starting in AutoCAD then moving to nanoCAD, or a nanoCAD-based vertical application, to make changes and then returning to AutoCAD or another Autodesk product.”

Building on the company’s good reputation in Russia, Nanosoft went global by launching nanoCAD worldwide in March 2012. Dmitry concludes: “We are building the product we would use ourselves. That is why we take care of every detail, and subscription to Teigha is an intrinsic part of our strategy.”

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