Open Design Alliance - ODA Platform

ODA Platform (previously named Teigha) is required to enable GDAL support for reading AutoCAD DWG and Microstation DGN v8 files. GDAL/OGR must be built with ODA support in order to enable these drivers.

ODA required products

ODA Platform includes several SDK. Drawings SDK provides access to all data in .dwg and .dgn through an object-oriented API. It is required to compile GDAL. Since Kernel SDK is required by all products, these two products must be downloaded:

  • Kernel

  • Drawings

These libraries are not publicly available. You have to became a member to get access to the libraries. Upon authentication the libraries are available from: ODA Member Downloads

Get the libraries

To selected the appropriate files to download, consider the following ODA name conventions (for Linux):

  • lnx - Linux

  • X86, X64 - indicates X86 or X64 platform

  • 4.4, 4.7, 4.8, 4.9, 5.2, 5.3, 6.3, 7.2, 8.3 - GCC versions

  • dll - indicates a shared library version

  • pic - compiled with Position Independent Code option

ODA archives also contains a release suffix in order to distinguish between releases, like 21.2 or 21.6.

To download the required files for Linux, the following files could be downloaded:

  • Kernel_lnxX64_7.2dll_21.6.tar.gz

  • Drawings_lnxX64_7.2dll_21.6.tar.gz

In this example, the files names are:

  • lnx for Linux

  • X64 for X64 architecture

  • 7.2 for gcc 7.2

  • dll for shared library version

  • 21.6 ODA 2021 release, build 6

Compiling the libraries

The libraries must be merged before compiling.

cd ~/dev/cpp/ODA21.6
mkdir base_7.2
tar xvzf Kernel_lnxX64_7.2dll_21.6.tar.gz -C base_7.2
tar xvzf Drawings_lnxX64_7.2dll_21.6.tar.gz -C base_7.2

To compile, an activation key is required. It can be requested from ODA Products Activation. The activation key must be copied to ThirdParty/activation/.

cp OdActivationInfo base_7.2/ThirdParty/activation/

Compile the ODA libraries with:

cd base_7.2
make -j8

Make sure your gcc major version matches ODA libs gcc version. On Ubuntu, for example, you can install different gcc/g++ versions, like 7, 8 and 9. Switch between them with:

sudo update-alternatives --config gcc
sudo update-alternatives --config g++

ODA libraries path

After compiling ODA, the resulting libs are in a non standard search path. There is no make install included to copy the libraries to a standard location. This might be an issue.

You have different alternative options to compile and run GDAL/OGR with ODA:

  • copy the ODA libraries to a standard location

  • set LD_LIBRARY_PATH (like LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:/home/jgr/dev/cpp/ODA21.6/base_7.2/bin/lnxX64_7.2dll).

  • Adding ODA folder to the system library path (echo “/home/jgr/dev/cpp/ODA21.6/base_7.2/bin/lnxX64_7.2dll” | sudo tee -a /etc/

  • Setting a run time path (rpath) when compiling GDAL (like LDFLAGS=”-Wl,-rpath=/home/jgr/dev/cpp/ODA21.6/base_7.2/bin/lnxX64_7.2dll”).

ODA library names

Some ODA library names do not conform the usual Linux standard lib*.so. If you don’t use rpath, for the other alternatives listed above, you might have to create symbolic links from the actual names. Example:

cd ~/dev/cpp/ODA21.6/base_7.2/bin/lnxX64_7.2dll
for f in *.tx
   echo "Processing $f"
   ln -s $f lib$
sudo ldconfig

Check with ldconfig -v if all ODA libraries are now visible.

Compiling GDAL

After compiling ODA libraries, GDAL can be build using two additional options:

  • –with-teigha=/home/jgr/dev/cpp/ODA21.6/base_7.2

  • –with-teigha-plt=lnxX64_7.2dll

The value of –with-teigha is the full path of the folder where the libraries were merged and compiled.

The value of –with-teigha-plt must match the platform name used by ODA. The platform name is the folder name under Platforms:

ls -l Platforms/

GDAL compilation

Use your own GDAL build configuration and add the previous mentioned options. After running configure, make sure that Teigha (DWG and DGNv8) support is configured.

As an example, compiling GDAL can be:

cd gdal
./configure --without-libtool LDFLAGS="-L/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu" --with-python=python3 --with-proj=/usr/local --with-pg=yes --with-poppler --with-teigha=/home/jgr/dev/cpp/ODA21.6/base_7.2 --with-teigha-plt=lnxX64_7.2dll
make -j8
sudo make install
sudo ldconfig
# Python support
cd swig/python
python3 build
sudo python3 install

We added LDFLAGS=”-L/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu” to use system libs over ODA’s libpcre, libcurl, etc.


After compiling GDAL, you can check if the new drivers DGNV8 and DWG are supported with:

./apps/ogrinfo --formats | grep 'AutoCAD\|Microstation'
DGN -vector- (rw+v): Microstation DGN
DWG -vector- (ro): AutoCAD DWG
DGNV8 -vector- (rw+): Microstation DGNv8
DXF -vector- (rw+v): AutoCAD DXF
CAD -raster,vector- (rovs): AutoCAD Driver

If a file is DGNv8, you will see that driver in action when opening the file:

ogrinfo ~/dev/cpp/gdal/autotest/ogr/data/dgnv8/test_dgnv8.dgn
INFO: Open of `/home/jgr/dev/cpp/gdal/autotest/ogr/data/dgnv8/test_dgnv8.dgn'
      using driver `DGNV8' successful.
1: my_model


If you find linking errors, you can set LD_LIBRARY_PATH or LDFLAGS environment variables to make sure you are able to get the ODA libraries from their location.

Use ldconfig -v to check if ODA’s library folder is listed.

For example, you can try:

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/home/jgr/dev/cpp/ODA21.6/base_7.2/bin/lnxX64_7.2dll
./configure --without-libtool LDFLAGS="-L/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu" --with-python=python3 --with-proj=/usr/local --with-pg=yes --with-poppler --with-teigha=/home/jgr/dev/cpp/ODA21.6/base_7.2 --with-teigha-plt=lnxX64_7.2dll

You can force a run time location (with rpath) with:

./configure --without-libtool LDFLAGS="-L/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu -Wl,-rpath=/home/jgr/dev/cpp/ODA21.6/base_7.2/bin/lnxX64_7.2dll" --with-python=python3 --with-proj=/usr/local --with-pg=yes --with-poppler --with-teigha=/home/jgr/dev/cpp/ODA21.6/base_7.2 --with-teigha-plt=lnxX64_7.2dll

Adjust these settings, according to your build environment.