Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Family Browser Product

CAD Technology Center is offering a new product called BIM List. They've provided several videos to help get acquainted with the application.

I've embedded the first video here.

Uh oh, now I'll toss out a little of the opinion part of my blog...(a reader once told me that I don't really offer opinions enough)

The product image uses the phrase/name Family Browser which happens to be the chosen name for another company's product (Kiwi Codes Solutions). Sorry, the sales team probably would rather I not bring that up? It's the first thing that came to mind though...(pink elephant in the room? I see it!). I know the words Family Browser have some instant recognition/association because of Project Browser (at least for Revit users) so I understand the attractiveness to do so. I'd have tried hard to steer clear of sharing it with another product though. My first thought was "Family Manager" instead. As it stands now, the first "roadblock" is, "Is that the one from New Zealand?".

After watching their videos, my initial reaction is that BIM List appears to be a bit "heavier" than KiwiCodes approach, thus the "Family Manager" name I mentioned before. To me, judging by "covers alone", the Kiwi Family Browser is less complicated or intimidating looking (I've used it a fair bit, but don't own either) as well as a pretty easy experience overall.

The search dialog portion (of BIM List) had me wondering if scanning those lists of fields/data is any less daunting than scrolling for loaded families anyway. My sense is that it will appeal to a different sort of user or Revit manager than those who are already using Kiwi Codes app. The price certainly seems pretty easy to cope with.

Then again, I've not used it (BIM List). If I had more time I'd consider a comparison post between the Family Browsers. Maybe someone will pick up the "review" ball and run with it?! Having some options/choices to help cope with content isn't a bad thing though is it?

Happy "browsing"!

P.S. I'm still mystified why Autodesk doesn't resolve this within Revit itself???
P.S.S. I don't benefit financially or otherwise from either product or company.


Tim Grimm said...

There's a third option too: familyManager from familit. I've only used Kiwi Codes Project Browser, and really like it. I've been thinking of doing a comparative review of the three over on my Revit Add-ons blog ( I'll try to squeeze it in.

Unknown said...

We were also a little surprised by the name choice as well as some of the naming within their product ie. Groups and Tabs ;). Then when we thought about it, imitation is the best form of flattery.

But seriously competition is a great thing and just give us more inspiration to push the boundaries and create a better product.

BTW our next release of is a ripper ;)

Phillip Miller
Kiwi Codes Solutions Ltd

Alex Cunningham said...

I have downloaded the trial of BIM List and currently I am a user of Kiwi Codes Family Browser. They have a strong product but could use the input from people who will be using their addin. I would encourage CAD Technology Center to seek out "testers" for their software. I have a few comments I would like to share with them with the way their software functions in the Revit environment.

P. Lawton said...

You stated that

P.S. I'm still mystified why Autodesk doesn't resolve this within Revit itself???

This can be said about dozens of flaws in Revit, as well as in other software offerings from these folks over the past 25 years.

The answer is simply that they don't listen first to their paying customers, they listen first to their shareholders.

Become a shareholder, then if profits don't exceed 10% per year, threaten upper management, who will respond with a 'subscription' business model, which will force the flow of revenues, and guarantee sub-standard products. The software will have many large, obvious flaws, and when they mete out annual 'improvements' they can charge full boat for simple fixes, like the ability to import an Excel spreadsheet (see Revit MEP 2018).

It's less a mystery, really, than an immensely irritating rip-off.


Valkin said...

Steve you and I were on the same page it seems I wrote a short comparison of four family browsers over on my blog,

CTC - Revit Express Tools said...

I work at CTC (CAD Technology Center) and have been involved with the development of BIMlist.

The naming convention of Groups and Tabs actually came from AutoCAD (yes, you old ACAD users remember this) and were selected because users already recognized the terminology.

As Steve mentioned, BIMlist is different from other family browers. BIMlist is a family browser AND family management tool. It has capabilities that other tools do not. These unique features appeal to more sophisticated users that would like more management and control of their families.

The other family browsers out there are great products that may appeal to some users. BIMlist improves family browsing and management by offering features that were not previously available.

(866) 941-1181

Joe Stott said...

Another very similar product to throw into the mix would be Content Studio. We currently have it deployed in multiple office, all sharing the same library..So far so good..Worth a look.

Markku Seppänen said...

After using familiit and Kiwi codes BIMList looks very promising to me, especially becouse of it's administrative functions. Unfortunately installing BIMlist crashed Revit 2013. After six weeks of discussions with CTC support and dozen of log and db files emailed I had to give up: they couldn't bring any solution or fix. I'm afraid the software don't seem to be very robust or code well-defined if their own team can't solve the problems.