Monday, November 01, 2010


I recently became aware of Glue. No not the stuff you use to stick paper or other things together but a product and/or services from Horizontal Systems. They have a platform and applications.

From my limited exposure so far their platform is intended to enable direct communication between BIM and Project Management Systems. Here's a paragraph from their site that describes the purpose of the platform:

Horizontal Glue™ brings Building Information Modeling (BIM) to the web as a coordinated system that communicates directly with leading design and project management software. Data formats and exchanges are handled through the Glue Server, eliminating compatibility issues between different software platforms further enabling effective and timely collaboration. The transparency between BIM objects and external project management systems makes it the only base technology where model analysis such as clash detection, estimates, scheduling, and RFIs can all occur within the same live model on the web. Model updates on our Glue Server are available instantly to project participants in offices around the globe.

Their site lists these as primary capabilities:
  • Records and Notices
  • Clash Detection
  • Quantity Take-Offs/Estimating/Budgeting
  • Requests for Information
  • Submittals and Procurement
  • Scheduling and 4D Modeling
Based on that list their applications consist of:

These are delivered via:
 Implemented through a scalable subscription based SaaS (Software as a Service) model...

Sadly, the site is very light on details so I didn't get any real sense for how various people really get work done. A video or two would go a long way to explain how the product actually delivers. With my obvious bias for Revit, I also found it very curious that there are screen images that show a Revit model and the Revit interface but .rvt is not listed under File Compatibility. Either a mistake or the Glue applications rely on some export from Revit (DWG/DXF/DWF?) to Glue a project together. More detail on that would be useful

The FAQ doesn't offer anything meaningful for someone like me unfortunately. They invite us to become a Gluru by requesting a DEMO. That suggests to me that things are still in early development, which wouldn't be too surprising really considering the relative youthfulness of Revit adoption despite being 10 years old now.

In the Dept. of Really Picky they probably ought to spell check references to client names, for example Meridian Systems instead of Merididan. I know that's too easy, to visit a site and be critical of spelling, but it's there for all to see. I'm sure they'll zap that one, it's easy! I also know that pointing it out will invite spelling experts to crush me...

Now that I've taken a cheap shot I will say that they appear to be tackling a scope of work that has been under served in the BIM conversation so far. Based on the firms that appear in their rolling graphics on the left sidebar of their site they have the eyes and ears of some pretty solid organizations. Here's to learning more!


Aaron Maller said...

Were using it on a few projects right now. It works REALLY well, and the interface and functionality is great.

Jason Grant said...

Steve - I have had two demos by them and it is weird that Revit is not listed. I know they have a plugin directly in Revit to send your model to the Glue server. They will be in the exhibition hall at AU this year, would be great for many to see a demo. Awesome nitch they are working on but hard to prove to management that you need it.

Steve said...

Aaron that reply is uncharacteristically brief for you!! Are you feeling okay? 8-)

Steve said...

Thanks Jason. Actually a plugin makes sense to me. If they need a plugin to "export" from Revit to their application then it doesn't support or "read" .rvt directly so not listing it makes sense. They should probably add a section for supported applications that require a plugin to export compatible data?

Kelly Cone said...

Steve, I'll elaborate since Aaron isn't feeling grandiloquent.

We've got it on 4 projects, and we think it is the future of field BIM and BIM enabled PIM. This glue stuff is the shizzle my hizzle.

If you really want to learn more or see a demo let me know. I've got it on my machine, as does Aaron. And, we can get you talking to Jordan Brandt over at horizontal llc.

One added note. It made a BIG splash at the Leica User Conference I attended - they flipped out over a web-based 3D viewer that works well with very large point clouds.

As Paris would say, it was Hawt...

Steve said...

Well Aaron was busy training today in Atlanta no? So I guess he's excused. Thanks for offering the hip responses. I knew that if your firm is listed on the site it must be pretty capable. Just a shame the site doesn't really "say anything" deeper.

Kelly Cone said...

I kind of like it - makes it like a secret or something. That way, none of our competition uses it!

Unknown said...

They have a youtube channel with a good set of screencasts:

Aaron Maller said...

Steve and Company-

I apologize for my earlier uncharacteristic briefness. I replied at 7am right before walking out the door of the hotel, haha! But i wanted to chime in before i walked out.

It uses a plugin, and the plugin exports through as a DWF. Of course, that comes with a few small issues that are inherent in any DWF export, but thats more something weve got to press Autodesk to fix, and not something Horiz. can do much about. Worth mentioning, the development team there was more than willing to take some time to work with us on those small issues, and a perfect workflow for getting around DWF's issues were ironed out within an hour.

The Interface is extremely graceful, and i dont tend to think thats the case with many apps, LOL.

And- though i NEVER thought id buy in originally- the SaaS solution is something i really love, after playing with it. Granted, it doesnt take much horseypower to drive Design Review, but ADR can *ONLY* look at a DWF. A program that can view everyones models? Or a joint IFC? Navisworks? DDR? They eat computers alive. Running it on a 300 dollar POS laptop at my parents house rocks my world, LOL. Plus the local client for Work Offline, and im loving it.