The name IntelliCAD originated from a software company that was formed in the early 1990s in San Diego, CA, USA. The starting project as ADE (AutoCAD Data Extension), which they sold to Autodesk and later became part of Autodesk MAP software. IntelliCAD has a long history that passed through the hands of Softdesk, Autodesk, Boomerang, Visio, just missing Microsoft and then to IntelliCAD Technology Consortium.
Today IntelliCAD is a member driver non-profit Organization developing core CAD Engine based on Open Design Alliance (ODA) Teigha dwg, dxf and dgn libraries. The member products like ActCAD, progeCAD etc., are available for commercial sale. ActCAD is a member of IntelliCAD with presence in India and USA.
During 1990s, Software was the largest third-party developer for Autodesk. Cyco Software was another development partner for Autodesk. Due to some business interests, Softdesk had acquired IntelliCAD and its programmers were given the job to work on a parallel software which is similar to Autocad.
Below are the business developements happened in this regard:
1. Autodesk purchased Software for $90 million in a bidding competition with Parametric Technologies.
2. After Autodesk discovered it now owned an AutoCAD clone, the software and employees separated as Boomerang Technologies.
3. FTC ordered Autodesk to avoid IntelliCAD and its employees for 10 years.
4. Later, Visio purchased Boomerang and IntelliCAD, and launched a commercial product just at 10% price of AutoCAD.
5. After few days, Visio has purchased MarComp for its .dwg read and write libraries. Later, Visio released the code free under the umbrella of the OpenDWG Alliance. It was later renamed to Open Design Alliance (ODA).
6. Autodesk launched "100% pure DWG"campaign to scare away customers from using IntelliCAD software.
7. Visio, after spending about $25 million sold only few thousand copies of IntelliCAD. Due to this Visio made IntelliCAD 98 free, and created IntelliCAD Technology Consortium (ITC) to maintain the source codes.
8. Later Visio was sold to Microsoft for $1.3 billion.
9. The ITC discovered that critical components required royalty payments, and so only a barebone IntelliCAD could be given away free.
10.Companies started to take IntelliCAD code, either for value-added resale or for internal usage.
Please note that IntelliCAD is a not a open source Organization, but the source code is available to its commericial members after paying yearly membership fee and licene royalties.
ActCAD is a commercial member of IntelliCAD from India launched its first versions ActCAD 2015 Standard and ActCAD 2015 Professional. ActCAD operates from USA and India.