Field API: Updating a Equipment Creates a Duplicated Record

Q. I’m trying to update an existing equipment record. By calling /api/equipment, however, I end up creating a new record with the same values.  I used /api/get_equipment to get an equipment record, and using /api/equipment to update. What do I need to do to update an existing record?

A. Please check your JSON string representing a record and make sure that you are using “id” and not “equipment_id”. For example, if your equipment ID in JSON data looks like this:

[{“equipment_id“:”a9df893e-d9b9-4098-b434-e7d2be62d0a8”, …

then, you will need to modify it to:

[{“id“:”a9df893e-d9b9-4098-b434-e7d2be62d0a8”, …

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Forge Subscription FAQ

I’m not an expert of sales side of discussion. Still, questions like “does ADN membership include Forge subscription?” comes to me occasionally. Forge subscription model itself has evolved since the DevCon last year. There are a few things that I myself wasn’t sure and needed to ask. So here I’m sharing a few questions and answers that I happen to have received recently. These are supplemental to the information that are described on the official Forge pricing page:

Disclaimer: the information written here is from the best of my knowledge at the time of this writing (2/4/2017). There may be some changes coming in future. Please check the latest on the official pricing page, and use “Contact Forge Sales” button found at the bottom of that page for more information.    

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HQ API: Get Companies Under a Specific Project

The latest update for HQ includes an API enhancement; you can get a list of companies that are related to a specific project. The documentation is found here:

GET projects/:project_id/companies

In UI, you can find corresponding information under Project icon >> {a_given_project} >> Companies tab (see the image below).

I just gave it a try. Nothing complex. But thought keeping some snapshots (while I have it at hand) might help understand what this functionality is about more easily.

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BIM 360 Docs API Update

I’m happy to inform you that the latest update for Forge Data Management (DM) includes important enhancements for BIM 360 Docs support; you can upload a file now (y). The documentation page is updated to include Docs. I myself have been waiting for this for a long time. While we are aware that this is not complete, this is a big milestone. Here is a quick summary of the current status of DM support for Docs.

Key Points

Basic workflow is identical to A360 Personal Hubs and BIM 360 Team (as well as Fusion Team). A few differences are:

  • Docs support 2-legged and 3-legged.
  • “Hubs” is equivalent of “Accounts” in BIM 360.
  • Docs requires an additional step for provisioning or activating API access in HQ.
  • Look for the use of extension types, such as *:autodesk.bim360:* instead of *:autodesk.core:*

API Basics page describes extension types and data management services in detail.

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3-Legged Authentication Using Postman

Continuing from the previous post about 2-legged authentication, let’s take a look at 3-legged authentication or more precisely OAuth 2.0 3-legged authentication with Forge next. My colleague, Adam Nagy, has already written a blog post about calling 3-legged using Postman. My rewrite will be with additional comments with BIM 360 in mind.

BIM 360 Team and Docs support 3-legged. HQ does not.


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2-Legged Authentication Using Postman

I mentioned about Postman being a useful tool for learning and troubleshooting a few times in the past. As multiple language choices exist to make REST API calls (i.e., NodeJS, php, Ruby, ASP.NET, etc.), let’s start with Postman to get a feel of the workflow to make calls with Forge API.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, there are two types of authentication methods for Forge: 2-legged and 3-legged. Let’s start with 2-legged as it is less complex in terms of make a REST call.

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C4R and Forge API Access

Occasionally I receive a question: “Can we access Collaboration for Revit (C4R) model using Forge API?” The answer is: “not quite, but a partially, yes.” Here is the reason why the answer is not a simple yes or no.

When you are working with C4R, you can see a model on BIM 360 Team. This is actually a “published” model. When Revit model is initially uploaded to the cloud for the first time, and every time you press “Publish Latest” (image below), the system publishes the Revit model to BIM 360 Team. The central file that project members works in work-sharing is stored somewhere else. Using Forge API, you can only access to a model published to BIM 360 Team. If you are interested in the API access to the central file, you cannot do currently. Unfortunately, there is no API to publish to the Team, either.

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Forge Authentication API

As I mentioned in my previous post, BIM 360 uses the following Forge API’s:

  • Authentication (OAuth) 
  • BIM 360 (HQ) API
  • Data Management API
  • Model Derivatives API
  • Viewer

So far, my focus has been on a big picture discussion about Forge in respect to BIM 360. Let’s shift a focus a little and look at each component level. As a starting point, let’s take the first one, Authentication or OAuth.

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BIM 360 Enterprise: Activating API Access to Docs

BIM 360 Enterprise Account Administration (or HQ for short) has a feature to control API access for HQ. I have described about this in my earlier post. As a part of recent update, this feature was extended to include the control over API access to Docs. The owner of Docs account can now activate API access to Docs and invite a developer to grant API access.

Important: Currently (as of January 19, 2017), the API access to Docs is in preview mode. Please do not use with your production data. You should have read access to project data. However, the documentation is still to come. We don’t recommend to try complex access, such as write access, till the proper workflow is documented and made available. (Update: 2/6/2017 – upload is possible now (y). Please refer to this post.)

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BIM 360 and Forge Overview

Occasionally I get requests to have a call to discuss about BIM 360 and Forge. While the context of what people are trying to accomplish are different, some people tells us that they hear conflicting information about availability of different API’s. I will try to clarify the status of API’s for BIM 360 as it stands today.

The fact that Forge is continuously evolving, in particular, Forge support for Docs is still under development, is most likely contributing to the confusion. In addition, I see there are two factors that seem to make API discussion for BIM 360 fuzzy:

  • BIM 360 is a collection of different web services. Some are Forge while others are not.
  • Forge is platform technology, which in turn a collection of component technologies that some of BIM 360 web services are built on top.

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