The big Bricsys interview 9 – treading on developers

This is one of a series of posts covering an extensive interview with Bricsys CEO Erik De Keyser and COO Mark Van Den Bergh. Erik explains that Bricsys won’t trample over its application partners in Autodesk-like fashion, except…

Steve: Autodesk is known for treading on its third-party developers and replacing their market. Can you tell us about your attitude to doing that?

Erik: We have always said that we are not stepping into any application market. We will not do it.

There’s only one exception, that’s where there is no [other] possibility. There was no sheet metal. There is no viable [third-party] DWG sheet metal product in the market today for sheet metal. Then we do it, of course.

For BIM, there are. There is a German product. We have talked to those guys, but the problem is, for BIM the way we do it, it’s so deep in the core, the direct modeling engine that we have build… there’s no way that we could expect, of all the partners that are working on AEC, that one would have the strength and the force to bring the product where it is today. We have worked with maybe 30, 40 people for three, four years to do that. I don’t know of any application partner that has more than ten employees. And then those ten employees do everything.

Mark: Except for Intergraph, of course!

Erik: Except Intergraph! Except Intergraph! In the AEC space, I mean. When it comes to making an architectural modeler, there was no other possibility but to do it ourselves. Then we do it. But what we do then is provide all the APIs so the rest of the AEC community can profit off it. Otherwise, I think we would have lost the AEC space. If we didn’t do that, with what we have shown you today on BIM, we would lose the AEC space completely. That could not happen.

This is the complete set of links to this interview series:


  1. I don’t mind that BricsCAD added a layer palette themselves. But before that we offered JTB Layer Palette for BricsCAD.

    • Yes, it’s difficult. Where there’s what is arguably basic functionality missing and people like you (and me to a much lesser extent) fill the gaps, should Bricsys (and Autodesk, of course) then say “hands off, a third party has that covered” or is it reasonable for them to fill that gap themselves as part of normal product improvement?

  2. I think they have the right to “normalize” it into their product, but if a 3rd party has made a niche for themselves and has it out there “for sale” then 3rd party should be compensated. That would be the right thing to do….

  3. hmm, given that we are buying bricscad which exactly replicates autocad, it would be funny to see someone be unhappy about their product being replicated. I say its open season and if you can see it you can code it.

  4. It’s important to note that Erik’s talking about not stepping into the application market, meaning major add-ons that transform the abilities of the product in a specific area. Developers of small utilities (including myself) that enhance the product somewhat have to expect the core product (AutoCAD or BricsCAD) to develop over time to make our products redundant. We just have to identify new holes to fill.

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