This is one of those things that you'll really want to see. Dan Staples is going to join in a discussion about the relative merits of Direct and history-based 3D CAD systems. The other companies involved will be PTC and Autodesk. Chad Jackson of Design World will act as moderator.
When I first saw the title, I was a little confused. The title originally referenced "Direct and Parametric" CAD, but we sent a request and convinced Design World to change it to "Direct and History-based" CAD. If you look at the companies and products involved, history-based modeling is actually just a co-conspirator. Siemens PLM of course has had Synchronous Technology which is a combination of direct and history-based methods for over 6 years now, PTC is combining history and direct with Creo, and Autodesk is doing the same thing with Fusion.
This might seem odd, but I think these three companies are generally going to argue against history-based modeling, even though it's a part of the formula for success for the direct-history hybrids. What I imagine they will actually be arguing against is the "history-only" method, which is quickly becoming extinct, with SolidWorks being the primary cling-on. Which is also interesting because they are the only major player who will not be represented at this debate.
Dan should feel flattered going into a discussion like this where the other two companies are still playing catch up with the Synchronous Technology product which is coming up on its 7th release with the planned unveiling of Solid Edge ST7 at Solid Edge University 2014 in mid-May of this year. The fact is that PTC and Autodesk are both trying to emulate not the direct portion, but the combination of direct and history found in Synchronous Technology. This combination, this sync-ronization if you will between the two methods that used to be looked at as adversaries is really the power of the ST products.
Anyway, we can listen to representatives of these three companies discuss the relative merits of their various offerings. I expect that this "debate" is going to include a fair amount of agreement on general ideas, and a whole lot of new comers taking shots at the .