NOTE 2010-10-02: This partial article was lurking unpublished in my drafts folder. I have posted it, backdated to when it was written, for reference now the AutoCAD WS application is live. If nothing else will show how the app & service have evolved
Butterfly is a preview of a cloud based AutoCAD DWG editor
Looks like a bit like AutoCAD, except…
Butterfly has a simplified ribbon UX. The home ribbon combines the basics of file open, save modify and display. The Draw, Edit and View ribbons elaborate on this. Share and Timeline are unique to Butterfly to allow collaboration and tracking of changes.
Importing & Managing Files:
The files you edit must be uploaded to the Butterfly servers. Importing & Uploading files to Butterfly is simple and supports a variety of formats, including drawing related AutoCAD support files (CTB/STB etc)
Once imported drawings are managed in the Drawings panel
A home panel shows an overview of recent files & activity
Editing, feels like AutoCAD:
Actions like adding, selecting creating content are very AutoCAD’like although Butterfly doesn’t have a command window. Direct entry is like the cursor entry in AutoCAD.
Butterfly supports AutoCAD blocks and displays AEC object proxy objects
Incorporate Web Content
Place your project in context with the map features in Butterfly. It’s not exactly AutoCAD Map (or AutoCAD Civil 3D!) but allows aerial photo or street view maps to be placed in the project edit space.
Share and Review, better than AutoCAD:
One benefit of being cloudy, server based, is collaboration. Butterfly supports an edit workflow and timeline history to track drawing reviews.
Even on a Mac:
I sent an invite to a colleague who uses those computers with an Apple. The current implementation of Butterfly uses Flash and will run fine on a Mac, if not it’s iPhone/iPad cousins. That may change as Autodesk investigate HTML5 and other alternatives as the technology serving Butterfly is not Flash dependent.