Changing Positions - Engineering an Ecosystem by Mark Burhop

Mark Burhop of Siemens has recently changed positions. His new title is Director of 3rd party ecosystems for Velocity which he discusses at Changing Positions - Engineering an Ecosystem.  In the blog post, Mark asks the question "What do you like about working with us and our tools? What don’t you like? What do our competitors do well?".  I would think there are many of us here in these forums that can help answer these questions.  I know that I certainly have some opinions.  I just need to gather my thoughts and post them.  I encourage you all to do the same.



Posted by: Jason Newell
Post date: 3/1/2011 5:04:43 AM


RE: Changing Positions - Engineering an Ecosystem by Mark Burhop

Thanks Jason! Now I finally have a reason to start frequenting your website :-)


Posted by: Mark Burhop
Post date: 3/1/2011 10:00:59 AM

RE: Changing Positions - Engineering an Ecosystem by Mark Burhop

Hi all,


Just thought I'd let you know I'm still out here lurking. The blog post above was kind of high level and general so let me at least add a few more coding specific things to see if I can get some discussion going.


First of all, I'm a long time coder... going in order, I learned Basic, Fortran, Pascal, C, Lisp, C++, Java, C#, a little bit of Ruby, and VB6 (yuck!) and a number of scripting languages (PERL, TCL/TK, even SED and AWK). C# is my favorite language but I've probably written the most code in C++/COM working on Solid Edge and some other CAD systems before that.


I actually started my career developing code on top of the Anvil 5000 API when working for a big French tire company so now I've kind of come full circle. I've also done a few internal SE Addins but got rusty the last 3 years when I stepped out of development to help create the Solid Edge Simulation application.


Now I know the Solid Edge API is far from perfect. I tried to do an Addin last year to test the new Simulation API so I'm kind of excited to be in a position to help influence things for the better. Having said that, I do need your help knowing what to tackle first. I'm also looking at some other ideas for better communication with Solid Edge developers. Maybe a mailing list to start?


So, please let me know where I can help.




Posted by: Mark Burhop
Post date: 3/10/2011 3:41:09 AM

RE: Changing Positions - Engineering an Ecosystem by Mark Burhop

Hi Mark


In regard of the API, if we could have some sort of visual interface to create small applications without having to be in a familiar programming language. That would be awsome. Espacially for those who would like to automate some tasks.


Posted by: Solid DNA
Post date: 3/11/2011 3:43:27 AM

RE: Changing Positions - Engineering an Ecosystem by Mark Burhop

Hi all !!

Let me introduce myself... 

my name is Anthony, @totop on twitter.

In the beginning of my career, I worked for a Solid Edge customer in a design office in order to improve the CAD workflows. I developed a bunch of tools in order to manage CAD data. It implies cad file management, revisions,batch operations , search, ERP connection...

Then, I joined a french CAD VAR reselling Siemens PLM products. I add the pleasure to work with some major french companies in industrial or consumer goods industry providing technical support, advanced training, data management implementations (mainly Sharepoint+Insight) or specific software development. I left this VAR last month to work in PLM.

I remain deeply interested in Solid Edge evolutions because I really enjoyed working with it.I had some ideas regarding 3rd parts developments that I did not want to share with my company (I've just talked about it at french Siemens guys) ... 

I had some thoughts about a platform in order to easily manage/download/integrate plugins in Solid Edge. As Applications store are in the move these days.

I will be happy to participate in these discussions, who knows, maybe some day I'll work with Solid Edge again !



Posted by: Anthony PONCEOT
Post date: 3/11/2011 6:22:11 AM

RE: Changing Positions - Engineering an Ecosystem by Mark Burhop


Yes, thats an interesting idea and you are not the first to suggest something like that. Maybe some coders could jump in with some ideas on how this might be done. 

There are a lot of examples of people hooking up scripting languages to APIs or even going to the next step and creating UI's that can visually create a script (without the user having to know the language). Lego Mindstorms was one that was popular a few years ago.



Posted by: Mark Burhop
Post date: 3/12/2011 4:09:42 AM

RE: Changing Positions - Engineering an Ecosystem by Mark Burhop


Another good idea. I know a number of people have created some useful apps (addin's for oldskool foks) for Solid Edge that would be very valuable for other Solid Edge users...if only they knew about them. 

BTW - for anyone reading this that has such a app, I'd love to hear what about what you have plus maybe a URL on where it is. Feel free to reply. 



Posted by: Mark Burhop
Post date: 3/12/2011 4:28:02 AM

RE: Changing Positions - Engineering an Ecosystem by Mark Burhop



I did a lot of little macros for customers and, in general we can notice these difficulties :

- it's complicated to provide these macros to end-users (or even promote them) because there is no diffusion channel

- it's complicated to keep these developments up to date for installed instances

- for more complicated developments for specific customers needs, it's hard to sell because the price is supported by one customer but in most cases, the functionality need exists for severals customers (in the Solid Edge world but not necessarily for the VAR customers)


It's with these statements that I had this idea, and began to code a proof of concept.


Here is some Screenshots of the beast :






Of course, the final goal would be to integrate it as an Edge Bar panel ! but it's pretty easy to do.

The goal of this app is :

- Provide a platform to develop plugins (anybody can implement it EASILY)

- Provide a one-click installer

- Provide a one-click updater and notify updates of apps

- Provide a marketplace to federate created plugins and eventually monetize the work

- ...


I think this type of dev wan be a real added value for Solid Edge community.

I did not go further with this idea as it's difficult in france to be supported and to get money to develop such an idea (and have a technical support).

So I kept this in my drawer until now...




Posted by: Anthony PONCEOT
Post date: 3/12/2011 5:36:32 AM

RE: Changing Positions - Engineering an Ecosystem by Mark Burhop

^^ that would be greeaaat, i also asked myself, why there's no app marketplace,developer can upload work, valued directly, appstore like :::... also plugging in addins should be easier in the future...

maybe jason has sparetime to open an appstore...  


Posted by: Linus Hechinger
Post date: 3/14/2011 3:32:54 AM

RE: Changing Positions - Engineering an Ecosystem by Mark Burhop

I agree. It is becoming a popular idea.

The negatives are of course some of the things Anthony brought up - keeping the addins updated, supported, etc. For any bloggers out there, you run into some similar problems with WordPress pluggins, addins, and themes that no longer work with the next version of WordPress because the guy that wrote it moved on.

 Of course, WordPress is dominating so maybe there are so many positives it outweighs these negatives. 



Posted by: Mark Burhop
Post date: 3/18/2011 7:13:15 AM