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October 29, 2010

PTC takes the wraps off Project Lightning with new Creo suite

But deliverables not expected until mid-2011

By Jason Stamper

Parametric Technology Corp (PTC) finally took the wraps off its much-anticipated ‘Project Lightning’ yesterday, revealing it to be a suite of CAD products that it says revolutionises creativity and productivity for a variety of different kinds of staff. But it says the new suite, Creo, won’t be available until "mid-year 2011".

Creo is claimed to be a suite of interoperable, open, and easy-to-use product design applications. The firm says it has recognised that product development involves many different users with different needs at different points in the product lifecycle, so it’s adapted its various products to address those different needs but with a single underlying data model.

"Creo is being specifically created to solve the big problems remaining in the mechanical CAD market: usability, interoperability, assembly management and technology lock-in," said James E. Heppelmann, president and CEO, PTC. "By providing the right-size product design apps for each participant in a company’s extended product development team, Creo will enable more people to participate earlier and more fully in the product development process, significantly expanding innovation capacity."

Sanjeev Pal, research manager, IDC, confirmed that there is a need for such an approach in PTC’s press release, saying, "Historically companies have made significant investments in CAD applications that bind them into inflexible business processes and design practices dictated by the specific visual authoring or simulation application that they pick. PTC’s game-changing vision to release a highly flexible CAD application in a new code base, while sticking to existing file formats under the Creo portfolio, is expected to rejuvenate the mature CAD market and open up a path for non-PTC CAD users to move easily on a flexible visual design platform."

PTC said that AnyRole Apps gives customers the "right tool, for the right user at the right time", while AnyMode Modeling will, "provide the industry’s only true multi-paradigm design platform, enabling users to design in 2D, 3D direct, or 3D parametric".

AnyData Adoption will enable users to incorporate data from any CAD system, PTC claimed, while AnyBOM [Bill of Materials] Assembly will give teams the power to create, validate and reuse information for highly configurable products.

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As a result of the integration between the various products that is now possible, PTC said it will also be rebranding a number of its existing brands: Pro/ENGINEER becomes Creo Elements/Pro; CoCreate becomes Creo Elements/Direct and ProductView becomes Creo Elements/View.

PTC had a solid fiscal fourth quarter announced on October 26: total sales were up 9% year-on-year, with product lifecycle management (PLM) license revenue up 27% and CAD license revenue up 25%.

PTC said the Creo products will be available in "mid-year 2011", and said that all data created in its existing products will be upwards compatible with the new Creo family of products.

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