CATIA (Computer Aided Three dimensional Interactive Application) is a multi-platform CAD/CAM/CAE commercial software suite developed by French company Dassault Systemes and marketed world-wide by IBM. The software was originally intended for the development of Dassault's Mirage fighter jet, but became a runaway success and was subsequently adopted by numerous well known companies world-wide, such as Boeing and IBM. The software was also famously used by architect Frank Gehry in his building of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. CATIA is written in the C++ programming language. CATIA is the corner stone of the Dassault Systemes PLM software suite.
CATIA started as an in-house development by French aircraft manufacturer Avions Marcel Dassault, at that time customer of the CADAM CAD software.
The software name was initially CATI (Conception Assistée Tridimensionnelle Interactive - French for Interactive Aided Three Dimensional Design ), but was renamed to CATIA in 1981. At that time Dassault created a subsidiary responsible for the software development and marketing, and finalized a non exclusive distribution agreement with IBM.
In 1984, the Boeing Company chose CATIA as its main 3D CAD tool, making it the largest customer.
In 1988, with version 3, CATIA was ported from the mainframe to the UNIX platform.
In 1992 CADAM was purchased from IBM and the next year CATIA CADAM v4 was published. Subsequently in 1996 CATIA V4 was ported from one to four Unix operating systems, including IBM AIX, Silicon Graphics IRIX, Sun Microsystems SunOS and Hewlett-Packard HP-UX.
In 1998, an entirely rewritten version of CATIA, CATIA V5 was released, with support for both UNIX, Windows NT and Windows XP since 2001.