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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

CGS Revit Tools – A Rose by any Other Name...

For new content on Revit Add-ons, I get a lot of my leads from the Autodesk App Store, and on Twitter from Luke Johnson of What Revit Wants, Jason Howden of RTV Tools, and Scott Sheppard of It's Alive in the Lab (@lukeyjohnson@RTVTools and @scottsh115, respectively – by the way, my Twitter handle's @TimGrimm_). And occasionally, developers and vendors reach out to me, especially those who advertise on the site.

All that is to say that it's rare that I troll the Internet for fresh add-in content, especially ones that I don't already know about. I would you see, but rarely have the time, or lack for other content.

Back in 2011, when my then employer LMN Architects was transitioning from Bentley Architecture to Revit, in the process of evaluating the local Autodesk resellers, I became aware that two of the three, IMAGINiT and Ideate, offered add-ins to their subscription customers for free as a type of competitive advantage (IMAGINiT Utilities for Revit and Ideate Explorer, respectively – and now you know why my first four posts on Revit Add-ons that same year were about IMAGINiT and Ideate products). I then mentioned to the other local reseller, The PPI Group, that I thought their lack of a similar offering was a deficiency, and, subsequently, they developed their own, The PPI Group's Revit Briefcase.

Several months ago, Scott Zabilla dropped me a line letting me know that he had moved to an Autodesk reseller, Initial AEC. I hadn't been aware of this company before so, like I do, I went to their site to see if they offered any Revit add-ins of their own. They do, a tool suite called Pro Revit Tools.

Initial AEC's Pro Revit Tools

Having written a rather lengthy product review of the popular CGS Revit Tools, I thought I recognized the tool grouping names, and, when asked, Scott was kind enough to confirm for me that Initial AEC's Pro Revit Tools are indeed a rather attractive rebranding of the CGS Revit Tools.

The CGS Revit Tools

Interesting, I thought, and filed the information away in the trash heap that serves as my mind.

And then it happened again.

When time permits, I do try to visit vendors sites to check for updates on products I know about, and that's what I was doing when I discovered that The PPI Group's Revit Briefcase had transformed from a much smaller offering to a near duplicate of the CGS Revit Tools.

The PPI Group's Revit Briefcase

Son of gun, CGS Plus seems to be franchising the CGS Revit Tools! That's smart; I'm sure it adds value for them, and the other companies get a very impressive suite of tools with their own branding to offer their customers without having to invest in the development effort, which can be very expensive indeed. That's a win-win-win.

Like I said, smart.

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