Press Release

Tuesday, July 27, 1999 < Prev Next >

Visio Announces Source Code Collaboration Initiative for IntelliCAD Technology

Multivendor Effort to Accelerate Development of AutoCAD-Compatible Technology and Bring Integrated Solutions to Market More Quickly

SEATTLE, July 27 /PRNewswire/ — Visio Corp. (Nasdaq: VSIO) today announced it has formed an independent organization called the IntelliCAD Technology Consortium (ITC) to collaborate openly with other vendors in the future development of IntelliCAD®, Visio's Autodesk AutoCAD-compatible technology. The ITC has been established as a nonprofit corporation specifically for the purpose of licensing and coordinating broad future development of the IntelliCAD platform among its paying members. It follows in the spirit of the OpenDWG Alliance, through which Visio gave technical and CAD drawers unrivalled access to their DWG files by opening up the source code of the libraries acquired from the Marcomp Corp. in January 1998. The consortium will also provide a free license to members of the public for noncommercial use and modification of the IntelliCAD source code.

"Our third-party developers have built on IntelliCAD 98's high degree of AutoCAD programming compatibility to provide a broad range of design solutions for many industries," said John Forbes, vice president, technical products at Visio. "With the formation of the ITC, we've given our partners what they have most asked us for — access to the IntelliCAD source code. Together, the members of the ITC will take IntelliCAD forward by working to rapidly develop and improve the foundation technology that can provide cost-effective AutoCAD compatibility."

Membership in the IntelliCAD Technology Consortium is open to all companies, organizations and individuals. Those members intending to produce commercial products that use the IntelliCAD source code will pay a fee toward sustaining the ITC's coordination efforts and, in return, will be eligible to join the ITC's board of directors. Visio has funded the establishment of the ITC, covering incorporation and initial legal, infrastructure and staffing costs.

Visio will grant the ITC a royalty-free, perpetual license for the source code of the IntelliCAD 2000 technology, to be completed later this year. In addition, ITC members who join the consortium prior to the completion of IntelliCAD 2000 may be entitled to receive preliminary versions of the source code. The ITC, in turn, will license the source code to commercial members in order to more rapidly develop and improve those CAD products based on the IntelliCAD code. Under the structure of the ITC, participants must agree to contribute changes, fixes and improvements to the core IntelliCAD technology to the consortium, so that all consortium members can benefit from the group's collective software development expertise. Commercial members may use the IntelliCAD source code to develop shrink-wrapped AutoCAD-compatible drafting applications, develop specialized CAD utilities, or create integrated, industry-specific design solutions.

"The open source movement, as evidenced by Linux and Apache, has proven that it can produce high-quality software at a very quick pace," said Rod Blum, CEO of Eagle Point Software Inc. "The AEC market should embrace this announcement because it results in a true win-win situation. Through this first step toward an open source model for IntelliCAD, Visio has enabled developers to build on the industry's best AutoCAD-compatible engine, which means that the user benefits from a greatly enhanced price-to-performance ratio."

"Visio releasing the IntelliCAD source code is the best news our company has received in a long time," said Edwin R. Cowherd, president, C&G Software Systems Inc., a well-known software developer with a 20-year history in the land surveying market. "This now allows us to concentrate on issues specific to our clients' needs and will release us from being held back, waiting for those improvements needed by other markets. This is a great commercial opportunity for us."

Erik de Keyser, CEO of BricsNet, said, "BricsNet is committed to playing an important role in the IntelliCAD Technology Consortium. We will not only use the source code in our own architectural solid modeling product, but we will also actively contribute to the further development of IntelliCAD, as we have recently done with IntelliCAD 2000."

BricsNet and its subsidiaries EVOLV and AEC Info offer software, information and collaboration services for professionals in the worldwide building industry. Original developers of the core technology for MicroStation TriForma, BricsNet recently won the CADENCE Magazine Show Stopper award at A/E/C Systems '99 for its IntelliCAD-based BricsNet Architect.

Software vendors interested in participating in the IntelliCAD Technology Consortium should contact Jonathan Solomon of Visio Corp. at 206-956-6000 or at

About Visio Corp.

Founded in 1990, Visio Corp. is the leading supplier of enterprisewide business diagramming and technical drawing software. The Seattle-based company pioneered the Windows-based drawing and diagramming software market when it launched Visio 1.0 in 1992. Since then, it has released additional visual tools that offer users unique and effective ways to think, communicate and work. With a worldwide installed base of more than 3 million users, Visio's powerful product line is the standard for businesses that need drawing and diagramming software to communicate visually. Visio offers customers the support of partner programs and third-party relationships in key market segments. Its products are available in as many as 12 language versions and are sold in more than 45 countries.

For more information about Visio Corp. and its products, customers can contact Visio at 800-24-VISIO (248-4746), ext. 93W, or visit the company's Web site at

NOTE: Visio and IntelliCAD are registered trademarks of Visio Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks, trade names or company names referenced herein are used for identification only and are the property of their respective owners.