In the age of digital transformation, it’s more important than ever for software developers to be transparent. The rapid advancement means many consumers are focusing on how developers plan to keep up.
That’s a lot of the reason behind our public roadmap. There, you can see what we’re working on for future versions of the software and even leave comments with what you think.
It’s been a little over a year since we first blogged about the roadmap — this time, you'll see what’s happened in the last year as well as explore some roadmap functionality with Vectorworks leadership!
Why Maintain a Public Roadmap?
“Every business has to have long-term strategies, and in order to execute those strategies, you need a roadmap. Plain and simple. We’ve been a business for over 35 years — and how do we stay in business? Because we listen to our customers. And this is an excellent vehicle for that.”
CEO Dr. Biplab Sarkar
“The designer is our mission and the roadmap is a statement about this commitment. It’s a tool for us to serve the designer as their technology partner. For me, it represents a focus on what’s important instead of solely what’s new and shiny.”
Chief Technology Officer Steve Johnson
“It’s a fantastic way to balance the pressures of technology evolution, the pressures of managing historic workflows, and the pressures of what customers want. It’s a wonderful tool to negotiate all these forces, which I think is essential to software development. If you ever let just one of those things dictate your decisions, it’ll wind up being pretty costly.”
Chief Marketing Officer Jeremy Powell
“With quality and performance as our overall strategy, and with a software that’s been on the market for over 30 years, features just take longer to develop and customers demand more and broader integrations. It’s more and more important to pick the right features. That’s where I see the real value of the roadmap — the things we work on, we’re going to invest a lot into them, a lot of people will be working on them, and we’ll probably be working on them for multiple years. The roadmap really helps us to understand and evaluate our investments in that way.”
Chief Product Officer Darick DeHart
“I think it’s important for customers to see how we, as a tech company, are responding to the ever-changing requirements of project delivery and building technology.”
Product Marketing Director Rubina Siddiqui
Roadmap Updates Since December 2020
One of our major commitments is ensuring the Vectorworks community is well aware of what we’re working on. In 2022 we’ll publish quarterly update blogs to talk about the progress made on roadmap items. Expect the next update in March of 2022!
Click here to see what was completed in 2021 and when you can expect to see the features in Vectorworks.
Additional Investment into Collaborative Workflows
Our long-term investment in quality and performance remains constant, Siddiqui explained:
“As technology evolves and the use of technology in the AEC, landscape, and entertainment industries changes, our target with these areas of investment will move and evolve with them.”
Through customer feedback and industry research, it’s clear that technology is becoming more and more integrated; collaboration across platforms is the norm, and we’re reflecting this in our investments.
Collaboration investments realized last year in version 2022 included:
- The ability to import Civil3D DWG files.
- Better IFC interoperability for fulfilling IFC4 requirements.
- More robust GIS integrations.
- A direct link to Twinmotion.
Development in this area will continue as time goes on and technology evolves. Here are a few items that are currently in development:
- IFC4 import certification. Read about our IFC4 export certification.
- Improved Project Sharing performance and reliability.
- Stronger ability to import, export, and reference DWG/DXF files.
- Further MVR development for ease of use in entertainment design project exchange.
"A good place to conclude would be to commend Vectorworks' decision to be transparent and publish its public road map. It hopes this will be a two-way conversation with customers to help it stay focused on their needs and help them prioritise what should be delivered in each update. It is good to listen."
- David Miller, principal architect at David Miller Architects, in an article for RIBA Journal
What Do the Roadmap’s Labels Mean?
On the roadmap webpage you’ll see three different labels: Scheduled, In Development, and Active Research. CTO Steve Johnson explains what they mean:
“Scheduled means development is far enough along that we can commit to a high-quality release.
In Development means we have teams actively working on the project. This transitions to Scheduled once the feature is demonstrated as ready and needed.
Active Research is a place for us to place items that we think may be of interest, or certain technology that we’re following. We’ve always had these categories here at Vectorworks — the roadmap makes this transparent and asks for feedback as we move Vectorworks to the exciting future ahead.”
How Features Are Added to the Roadmap
There are a few factors that determine investment into features. Customer feedback is balanced with internal industry research and business objectives. Investments are ultimately decided upon in a meeting between marketing and engineering executives who place a premium on features that simplify customers' workflows.
"I personally appreciate your openness. Software is a product for the users, so it's important to listen to them and communicate the development process."
- Tobias Kern, Vectorworks customer from Germany
What Happens with Customer Feedback?
As was mentioned above, you can actually comment on cards on the public roadmap to share your thoughts. Johnson explained that “the feedback is used to help us prioritize development. It’s a great way to collect information directly from customers and in turn let them know what they can expect to see next.”
Once a comment has been entered, a few things happen. Siddiqui explains:
“We examine the amount of interest each card receives. We track engagement — whether it’s a comment, rating, or both — to ensure our priority levels align with industry and customer expectations.
We also pay very close attention to every comment. The feedback ranges from detailed requirements of certain capabilities or tools all the way to simply saying something would be a welcomed addition to an existing workflow. In some instances, we’ve reached out to customers who’ve provided feedback to better understand their design process and project delivery requirements to ensure that we’re creating meaningful solutions.”
What's your favorite roadmap task? Leave a comment to let us know what you think!
"To the Vectorworks team that brought this to life — thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!"
- Mark Aceto, Vectorworks customer
Looking Forward to Vectorworks 2022 Service Pack 3
The next major Vectorworks release is the annual Service Pack 3 that’ll be available towards the end of the first quarter of 2022. The release will continue to build on major themes from Vectorworks 2022 with a focus on quality and performance improvements, partner feature updates, and exciting updates for Cloud Services and Nomad.
See the Future of Vectorworks
That’s all for this update. Keep your eyes out for quarterly blog posts about the development of Vectorworks software.
Until then, make sure to check out the webpage, see what we’re working on, and share your feedback!