Update 11/28/2016. this is written before Forge was introduced and some part might be outdated. Please check the latest at forge.autodesk.com. I intend to update when I get a chance.
Autodesk View and Data API is a platform technology that allows the user to upload a model in the Autodesk cloud storage and to view it in a modern Web browser. This is the technology that Autodesk is using internally as well. For example, A360 Collaboration for Revit (C4R) has the viewing capability of a work-shared Revit model on A360. View and Data API is the technology that is used behind the scenes of those features. Although API for C4R itself is not available at this time, Autodesk is making the same technology available to the third party developers to use with their web services applications. View and Data API is current in beta stage.
As this is a platform technology that potentially has an impact to various products, the entire DevTech team has been involved to look at View and Data API in some degree. From my position, I sometimes get an inquiry about difference between Glue viewer and View and Data API viewer, as well as the specific behavior when uploading Revit and Navisworks files. I have also noticed the slight difference in the styles of REST API from Glue web services API.
In the next few posts, I’m going to write about the introduction to View and Data API. I should note that there are plenty of materials about View and Data API already. There are a couple of versions of getting started available. Samples are written in various programming languages. Many of them covers advanced functionality and suitable for demonstration. They are posted on the github and are available for anybody who is interested in trying out. For your reference, I have included the list of links to the existing materials at the bottom of this post. A bit of drawback of pointing to those existing materials is that there are so many. Being in beta stage, they are constantly under review. It’s a little overwhelming when you are trying to look for the first time. My intention here is to provide THE minimum sample focusing on the logic of the first basic steps. The steps I will follow is analogous to “Glue API Intro Labs”:
- Lab1 “Hello View and Data World” – this is the minimum project which shows an authentication REST call. If you are new to REST API, it will give you a good picture of what REST API looks like.
- Lab2 “View and Data API Intro” – this lab shows what it takes to upload a file for viewing.
- Lab3 “View and Data API Web Intro” – we then convert a client win forms application written in Lab2 to a web application.
Here is a list of the existing materials I know of as a reference. Please be warned that these pages are continuously under review. They may change anytime.
1. Getting started
- Autodesk View and Data API – Quick Start Guide — Nice hands-on style introduction to grasp the steps involved to upload and view a model.
- Autodesk View and Data API Beta Quick Start — A version on developer.autodesk.com. This is one of earliest version. A part of reference guide. This hasn’t updated for a whole. Some corrections are reflected in the above version.
- View & Data API – Getting started recording — Recording from the Autodesk Developer Days presentation.
- View and Data API presentation slides — Online presentation slides used at various meetups.
- Autodesk Web Services API — This is the main entrance page for Autodesk Web Services. You will need to come here to register and get access keys and secrets. You will also find links to various site about View and Data API.
- Autodesk View and Data API Beta Documentation — View and Data API reference documentation main page.
- Samples on Git — Wide range of samples are available on this site.
4. Blog and Forums
- Cloud & Mobile DevBlog — A blog by DevTech members.
- Discussion Forum on View and Data API — If you have any questions, this is a place you can search and ask questions.