Wednesday, March 01, 2006

AutoCAD 2007


Today, 1st March 2006, all beta sites are allowed do discuss about the next release of AutoCAD.
Named AutoCAD 2007 it will present several exciting new features specially on 3D, Visualization and Render engines.

Regarding to the programming side, there are several and important issues related to this new release. I will discuss them further but I would present below a brief introduction about these impacts:
  • Binary Compatibility Break: AutoCAD 2007 is being compiled with new Visual Studio 2005 which uses MFC 8.0 and .NET Framework 2.0. This will cause a binary break on your ObjectARX applications and they will need to be recompiled with the new ObjectARX 2007 SDK and Visual Studio 2005. Once you compile your application with the new ObjectARX 2007 SDK you can't load it on previous version so, for a couple of years and until your clients don't upgrade too, you will need to live with two releases using side by side versions of AutoCAD, ObjectARX and Visual Studio;
  • UNICODE support: AutoCAD 2007 requires that your ObjectARX application fully support and use unicode. This will require a full review in your code converting all non-unicode string variables and calls to unicode. This can take long time depending on how your code strings are used and organized;
  • New Solid and 3D API: AutoCAD 2007 brings several features on 3D solids modeling and 3D visualization. The Render engine was totally redesigned and now supports new types of materials, tranparency, visual styles and much more;
  • Several .NET API improvements: New CUI API and Tool Palette Management. AutoLISP interoperability from .NET (now you can call LISP function and send/receive parameters from .NET).

There are much more and you really need to see by yourself.

I'm working on a new set of tutorials and documents to explore the new Visual Studio 2005 compiler, ObjectARX 2007 and AutoCAD 2007. Stay tuned for the upcoming articles.

As soon as the AutoCAD 2007 is released Autodesk will make available the new ObjectARX 2007 SDK for downloading. Stay tuned on Autodesk website during the next days.

Fernando Malard.

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