Interview with Janne Hietanen, Co-founder and CTO of CadFaster Oy.
Web site: www.cadfaster.com.
Tell us who you are and your role in the company:
CadFaster develops and sells 3D collaboration products for CAD and AEC markets. I am a co-founder and CTO of the company.
What is your company’s mission?
We bring real-time collaboration to any 3D project regardless of device or physical location.
In 140 characters or less, tell us what your company does:
We develop and sell 3D collaboration software products for CAD and AEC markets.
Tell us about your Azure based solution.
Our Azure cloud service delivers 3D collaboration models to various device platforms in secure and reliable way. The main purpose of the service is to process raw 3D data input to the smart and tightly packed collaboration models. Processed models can be viewed and manipulated on PCs and mobile devices without the original CAD application.
How is Azure implemented in your solution?
The key concepts in our Azure service are SQL Azure database, Azure blob storage and ACS 2.0 claim based authentication. Raw 3D data input is stored into SQL Azure in standard COLLADA 3D format for processing and then moved to the high performance Azure blob storage to allow fast download speeds and low storage costs. All our client applications use ACS 2.0 claim based authentication to simplify the authentication logic and to allow our users to use their existing OpenID credentials for authentication. ACS also allows integration to the existing AD FS 2.0 services which is crucial part of our solution.
How did you get excited about Azure?
Originally, we were looking for solution to share 3D collaboration models between our clients. We had been following the development of Azure and when it was launched we decided to move our technology to the cloud.
What were the Azure features that prompted you to decide to build on Azure?
Tight integration to Microsoft Visual Studio and tools, compatibility with our existing code (.NET, Win32 and MSSQL) and ground breaking authentication services (ACS 2.0).
What specific value are you getting from BizSpark beyond the technology?
BizSpark has been our key resource for Microsoft development and testing tools. We develop on both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures and BizSpark MSDN offering includes great variety of tools to maintain support for both of these platforms.
What has been your biggest “aha” moment since founding your company?
It was when we realized that we can put everything into the cloud where it’s always available. “When it’s in the Cloud it’s already sent”. First we started with the data and later have continued with the code. Now we have replaced our complex client applications with cloud based thin clients.
What advice do you have for companies that are thinking about building in the cloud?
Cloud should not be only storage for your data but the effective parallel computing unit that can be used to unleash your application for the larger audiences.
What is the one thing that you would like readers to take away about your Azure app?
Due the unique use of Windows Azure capabilities our collaboration 3D model export to the cloud is even faster than saving them to the local disk. This is the way how the cloud should be integrated to the existing software products.