Autodesk Forge is a collection of web services that allows you to build your own applications and services to work with design data. At the time of this writing, we have the following group of API’s officially released:
- Authentication (OAuth)
- Data Management
- Design Automation
- Model Derivative
The following are in preview or beta stage:
- BIM 360
- 3D Print
- Reality Capture
Scope of Forge BIM 360 API
When we talk about Forge BIM 360 API, however, we probably need a little bit of explanation; currently BIM 360 API on Forge platform is about Account Admin functionality only, which is also referred as HQ API (HQ means headquarter). This current status of limited scope might be confusing, although this is written in the documentation:
“At present, the BIM 360 API offers account-level functionalities that enable developers to work with BIM 360 account administration workflows.”
Forge is not a final product. The functionality we have today is just a beginning of Autodesk’s journey moving to the cloud. Historically BIM 360 family products being acquired products, each products run very much separately. In a long run, we would like to have seamlessly integrated, unified BIM 360. You probably have seen changes, such as admin features, which are common across BIM 360 family products now. There has been “plumbing” work behind scenes to make those changes without distracting the customers.
At the time of this writing, the structure of our BIM 360 Family products look like below:
Following lists the status of API for BIM 360 family products :
- HQ – Forge API (preview released)
- Docs – Forge API (coming soon. Private beta)
- Glue/Layout – not Forge API (yet) except account admin functionality
- Field – not Forge API (yet) except account admin functionality
- Plan – no API
Note that Glue and Field API are not yet migrated to Forge.
Our view for future is to have more data centric architecture where the data and models stored in Docs are shared across BIM 360 family product services and beyond through Forge API. The image below depicts the architecture.
What about Glue and Field API?
You may ask “what about if I want to customize Glue and Field today?” Glue and Field has a good collection of API. Many customers are using them already. As long as you are aware where we are heading, you are welcome to use it. For more information about Glue and Field API to get started, please refer to the following links:
- Glue API – https://fieldofviewblog.wordpress.com/glue/
- Field API – https://fieldofviewblog.wordpress.com/field/