Reading ACAD files

We have a need to read autocad files and gather the WBLOCKS in layers that we are interested in. As a demonstration we were able to do this with
AutoCAD and use the DATAEXTRACT command. Our application already displays the AutoCAD files with a third party OCX. We don't want the end user to have to buy AutoCAD just for this purpose.
What tools and languages are available to read WBLOCKS using just the AutoCAD files, but not AutoCAD on the computer? We have no problem with buying the tool, its just that AutoCAD is expensive and overkill for our needs.
I'm lost reading all the stuff that Google finds. Specific tools or calls would be helpful to poinnt us in the right direction.
Thank you,
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