A360 Viewer vs. Glue Viewer

“What is the difference between A360 viewer and Glue viewer?” This is a question that I receive every once in a while. (Here we are using word “A360 Viewer” as View and Data API, and will use both forms interchangeably in this post.) As a developer who is planning to develop a new web service and looking for a viewing capability, it is important to understand differences.

In this post, I’m going to write about some questions and answers comparing two viewers. I should note that both technologies are continuously evolving (it is more so as both are being developed under agile methodology). Some part of what I write, especially about what you can/cannot do technically, might change as a new sprint releases come out. Some of comments I make might be subjective. For example, “which is better”, of course, depends on what you are trying to do. I also don’t want to limit people’s creativity over the usage of technology by defining intended usage; we always love hearing about application areas that we never thought of. With this lengthy disclaimer, let’s talk about the two viewers in comparison.

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3D Web Viewing Technologies from Recent Meetups

Back in February, I wrote about the overview of View and Data API, followed by a series of “Intro Labs” as a way to learn how to get started with the API. Jim Quanci, the senior director of Autodesk Developer Network, was recently showing off a few interesting Web sites that use those View and Data API as well as other 3D web viewing technologies. I myself found them very interesting. I thought I would share with the audience of this blog, too.

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JSON to C-sharp Class Generator

Here is yet another tool that you might find useful if you are working with REST API, serializing and deserializing a lot. json2csharp (http://json2csharp.com/) is an online tool which generates C# classes from a given JSON string. You can take any JSON string, copy and paste to the web page, and with a click of button, you get the definition of classes automatically generated.

As an example, suppose you are using Field API Intro labs. You get a long list of response string in Response textbox. Copy that string into a textbox on the http://json2csharp.com page. Then click “Generate” button. Voila, you get class definitions instantly. The image below shows an example when I copied a response of Field issue list:

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Creating a Merged Model Using Glue API

This question came from Joe Augustino through a forum post. I finally managed to clean up a sample for a blog post.

Q. I’m having trouble creating a merged model. I tried it using the Test Harness, but it is returning “Bad Request” each time. I can manually create it in Glue UI.  Can someone please check on this and verify?

A. I can confirm that the one in TestHarness does not work. It’s not up to date. We need clarification on this.

According to the documentation:
https://b4.autodesk.com/api/model/v1/merge/doc

Following are URL, request method, and required parameters.

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Team Building and B-Day Celebration with Arduino

Earlier this month, DevTech Americas team got together at Autodesk San Francisco office and held an annual team meeting. In day-to-day interaction, our team is “virtual”, meaning that each member is based in a different geographically location, and our communication is always through the Internet. Having an opportunity to get together physically near the company’s headquarter helps us get the latest information about our products, exchange opinions, and re-align the goal of our divisions. I was grateful that our VP and the director are always supportive to our requests and generous with their time. They came and talked to the team during the team meeting despite their super busy schedule. We are also lucky to have had the chief architect and dev managers coming to talk to us.

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Lab4 Field API Web Intro Ex

(This is a continuation from the previous post: Lab3 “Field API Web Intro”)

The last piece of functionalities that we want to add to our Intro Labs app is a simple reporting feature. We will add a chart that shows the number of issues sorted by status (i.e., Open, Completed, etc.). Reporting or monitoring the “health” of a project is one of frequently discussed use case scenarios of Field API.
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Lab3 Field API Web Intro

(This is a continuation from the previous post: Lab2 “Field API Intro”)

So far, we have written a program that is a desktop client application. Next, we will write a simple ASP.NET web application. For now, we keep the basic functionality same as Lab2 (i.e., login, get a list of project names, get a list of issues, and create an arbitrary issue). Later on in the Lab4, we will add a simple chart as a way to demonstrate reporting as a possible use case scenario.

The good news is that we have written the functions to make the Field web services REST calls in a way that we can simply reuse them. In the sample project, we put the common Field REST calls under Field folder. You can simply copy the folder to your web application if you have followed lab1 and 2.

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Lab2 Field API Intro

(This is a continuation from the previous post: Lab1 “Hello Field World”.)

In Lab1, we learned how to obtain a ticket or authenticate, and got familiarized ourselves with the basics of REST call. In this lab, we retrieve a list of issues in a project. We then create a new issue.

To achieve this, we use the following services:

  • /api/login (same as in the Lab1)
  • /fieldapi/admin/v1/project_names 
  • /fieldapi/issues/v1/list
  • /fieldapi/issues/v1/create 

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Lab1 Hello Field World

(This is a continuation from the previous post: Field API Intro Labs Overview.)

In this lab, we learn the first step into the Field API world and the basic of REST API call. This is a simple Windows Forms application written C#. The Field API service we use in this lab is api/login, which is a call to sign to the Field and obtain an authentication token or ticket, which is used for subsequent calls.

To make REST calls, we use a library called RestSharp. We chose this as the syntax of RestSharp nicely reflects the semantics of REST call and makes it easy to read the code even if you aren’t writing in C#. Please refer to this post about how to include RestSharp library to your project.

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Field API Intro Labs Overview

I have done “Intro Labs” series for some products’ API in the past. Occasionally I was asked if there is a similar one for Field API or planning to make one. So here it is. I’m going to write about the introduction to Field API in the next few posts.

That being said, I should add a disclaimer before I proceed with writing; Field API is still under discussion about its supportability. We don’t have good documentation and samples, yet. For example, there is no comprehensive API samples like SDK Test Harness or Sample Web App for Glue. You will probably find some discrepancy in the current online documentation. (There is some historical reasons that we have the API which supports a certain set of functionalities. But this will be a different discussion.) We hope this will improve as the API matures in future. For the time being, we appreciate your patience.

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